St Mary’s has a ring of eight bells and are now in need of considerable restoration. It’s over 70 years since any substantial work was undertaken. We hope to replace 3 bells and renovate the other 5, and further work is required on the tower and bell frame.

Interestingly, in the 18th century the local squire’s life was saved when he was riding his horse in the early morning mist on the downs and suddenly heard the Twyford bells. He realised he was heading in the wrong direction towards a chalk pit, and was convinced he would have died if he had continued. He left money in his will, for the ringers of Twyford to have a supper on the anniversary of this occurrence. Since then, to this day, the ringers ring the bells in the morning and the evening of 5th October and toast William Davies at their supper after the reading of his will.

We have been so encouraged by the response to our appeal. Already we have generous donations to replace 2 of the bells, and last weekend a Flower Festival raised around £2500.

This week the money for the renovation of the number 7 bell was generously gifted by Bruce Purvis who handed a cheque for £2500 to the Tower Captain, Angela Forder-Stent and Juliet Hawkes the Church Warden. Bruce spent some of his young life in Twyford when his parents ran a grocery store in the village, and he rang the bells at Twyford church. He is now the secretary of the Winchester District Bell Ringers, and is a Cathedral ringer. His enthusiasm for bell ringing has been constant throughout his life.