Three neighbouring Guilds, Guildford, Oxford and Winchester and Portsmouth, held a joint meeting at Hawley, Hants, on Saturday [Aug. 31st]. Hawley is one of the few Hampshire towers which came into the Guildford Diocese when the old Winchester Diocese was divided, and it stands very close to the boundaries of all three of the dioceses mentioned. Yateley, an eight-bell tower, only a mile or so away, is in the Winchester Diocese, and Sandhurst, with six bells, a little further off, is in the diocese of Oxford. All these towers were open for ringing in the afternoon, but the visitors, who numbered nearly 60, seemed to concentrate on Hawley.
The Guildford Guild’s form of service was used, and was conducted (in the absence of the Rector of Hawley) by the Rev. D. L. Board, of Wolverton, hon. secretary of the Basingstoke District of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild. The lesson was read and the address given by the Rev. B. Long, Rector of Wokingham, who succeeded Canon G. F. Coleridge as Rural Dean of Sonning. He preached from Romans xi. 13, ‘I magnify mine office,’ and spoke of the necessity of recognising, first of all, the importance of any work which was undertaken, and of recognising, next, their weakness in being able to carry it through. A grasp of these two principles, he said, would do much towards making their work better and more effective. They as bellringers were officers with a great work to do for God and His Church, and they could magnify their office if they had in mind the two principles to which he had referred. The rank and file in the Church looked to them to see that their work was well done, and that their lives were lived as became their high calling.
Tea was served in the Memorial Hall, after which there were votes of thanks to the incumbents of the churches, the preacher, the organist, and those, including Mr. Boyles, who had made the local arrangements, proposed by Admiral T. P. Walker, D.S.O., hon. treasurer of the Guildford Diocesan Guild, who welcomed the visiting Guilds, and said how greatly the Guildford Guild valued the opportunity of meeting their neighbours in this friendly way.
Mr. G. Pullinger (general secretary of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild) replied, remarking that he hoped the joint gathering of the three Guilds would become an annual event.
Mr. R. T. Hibbert (general secretary of Oxford Diocesan Guild) also referred to the good results that must accrue from such meetings, and he apologised for the absence of the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn (Master of the Oxford Diocesan Guild), who was away on holiday.
Mr. W. J. Paice (hon. secretary of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Guild) said that Canon Coleridge had sent his regrets that he was unable to be present, as he also was away on holiday, Mr. Paice went on the say that the proposal to have a peal of twelve bells at St. Lawrence’s Church, Reading, had now been definitely decided upon. It would be the first peal of 12 in Berkshire, and the scheme had gone through largely as the result of the efforts of Mr. Hibbert. About £170 had got to be raised for these two bells, and the help of any ringers would be greatly appreciated.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, hon. secretary of the Guildford Guild, also spoke, and Mr. Hibbert explained the position of the scheme for augmenting St. Lawrence’s bells.
A number of contributions were afterwards handed to Mr, G. Gilbert, who had brought with him an official receipt book.
Among those who attended the gathering, in addition to those whose names have already been mentioned, were Mr. G. Williams (Master of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild), who had to leave early, Mr. C. Denyer (hon. secretary of the Farnham District of the Guildford Guild), Mr. Wilfred Andrews (Winchester Cathedral), and ringers from Aldershot, Bagshot, Bramley (Hants), Binfield, Finchampstead, Harrow Weald, Hawley, Maidenhead, Seale, Sandhurst, Slough, Woking, Wokingham, etc. In the evening there was further ringing, and Yorktown bells, another ring of eight, were also open.
The Ringing World No. 963, September 6th, 1929, page 565