News Church bells to ring out again

CHURCH bells could soon be heard again over Bearsted, if COVID-19 restrictions are lifted this summer, writes Simon Finlay.

The quintessentially English ringing sound has been a con- stant in the village for nearly 600 years, and it is hoped peals from Holy Cross Church will be heard in all their glory once more later this month.

The last time they were si- lenced was during WWII, when then Prime Minister Winston Churchill decreed that church bells were only to be sounded in the event of an enemy invasion. Here in Kent, as the Battle of Britain raged overhead 81 years ago, that threat was more real than just about anywhere else in the country. The order was lifted only to cel- ebrate the crucial victory at Alamein in 1942 and then perma- nently in 1943.

Holy Cross bell tower captain

Ian Parker said: "Ringing is a team activity rooted in our na- tional culture. We are keen to get back together to bring the joyful sound of bells back to our village. "We plan to ring as before for Sunday services, weddings and occasions of national or local im- portance, with regular practice and training on Tuesday evenings." Canon John Corbyn, vicar at Holy Cross, said: "It will be a very

A new leader

for Lib Dems ANTONY Hook is the new Leader of Kent Liberal Democrats. He will head up the Lib Dem group at County Hall after being elected unanimously by council- lors.

Lawyer Mr Hook (41), married with two daughters under three, represents Faversham on Kent County Council. He is also a for- mer Member of the European Par- liament for south-east England. Mr Hook said: “This is a great honour, having been a member of the party since I was 18.

“I am determined to lead the party in Kent in a way that pro- vides effective opposition to the Conservatives at County Hall. “We will scrutinise what the ad- ministration is doing and put for- ward additional or alternative plans to benefit people in Kent.”


welcome sound. We have a whole series of summer weddings com- ing up and it'll be nice to hear the bells on those occasions, as well as Sundays." Mr Parker invited more people to come forward to "learn the ropes" and take up bell-ringing. Contact

l THE bells of the ancient East Farleigh Church (founded in 961) are due to ring out at 9am on Sunday, June 20, before the 9.30 Holy Communion service, after a gap of more than a year caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

Cathrine joins church team

A NEW curate has taken up her role with the ministry team at Holy Cross Church in Bearsted. Cathrine Ngangira (29) moved to the village in June last year after

training for three years at Durham University. Miss Ngangira said she felt “very supported” entering the role, and has

yet to explore the community. She added: “It has been an interesting adventure. I do miss my family a lot and moving in was hard, but I have been very fortunate. “I think a lot of people have been very shaken up and are a bit at large on what to do since the pandemic. “I want to use my experience to help people grow and learn. I want to be a visible presence in the church.” Miss Ngangira was born and brought up in Chinhoyi, a town in the Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe.

Parking ne ‘down to user error’, says firm

CAR park operator YourPark- ingSpace, has hit back at claims that many people are receiving parking fines, despite paying at newly-installed digital payment machines.

The new payment system in- stalled at the Mall Shopping Centre car park has been criti- cised by retired Maidstone butcher John Jenner.

He said: “Many people have trouble with this firm’s payment system, especially the elderly.” Mr Jenner received a parking charge notice (PCN) for £100 sev- eral days after visiting the Mall for less than an hour and paying the £2 parking charge. After sharing his story, he says many others came forward ex- pressing similar experiences, with some suggesting a boycott

of the shopping centre. A YourParkingSpace statement said: “Since going live at the Mall we have become aware of a small percentage of customers receiving a PCN due to entering their incorrect vehicle registra- tion when paying.

“This has affected under 1.5% of customers, with over 98% en- tering their correct registration when paying.”

The company spokesman added that further measures are being introduced to minimise the risk of customers entering an incorrect vehicle registration. These include updated prompts on the payment termi- nals and SMS notifications to customers who entered a vehicle registration not recognised by the cameras.

Park assault A MAN has been charged with

attempted murder following an attack in Brenchley Gardens. Hamdi Braiek (33), of Hart Street, has been remanded to a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on July 2. A man in his 30s was assaulted near Station Road at about 7.20pm on May 30 and is said to be in a serious but stable condition. A 39-year-old Maidstone man

was also detained and has been bailed to return to the police sta- tion on June 28. Officers are appealing for wit- nesses to the assault.

Garden show

THE Amateur Gardeners’ Society in Leeds and Broomfield is putting on a summer show at St Nicholas’ Church on August 7. Schedules are available from Barbara Turner on 01622 861551.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48