A refurbishment at an East Hampshire church has been given a ringing endorsement by a senior figure.

The Bishop of Basingstoke came to East Tisted last Saturday, March 2, to bless the bells of St James.

The service he conducted with the assistance of Northanger Benefice Associate Priest, Rev Lesley Leon, follows a refurbishment and re-hanging of the church’s three historic bells.

The treble was cast in 1635 and carries the inscription ‘Honour the King’ while the second is even older. It was cast in 1590 and is inscribed “Praise ye the Lord” while 1623-dated Tenor proclaims: “Let your hope be in the Lord”.

The bells were rung before and after the service by local ringers and members of the East Tisted community under the leadership of Rachel Barber.

Their refurbishment also provided an opportunity for villagers to learn the skills of full circle ringing. The service was well-attended and the celebration continued with tea, cake and wine.