Silent night, holy night
Thursday 16th December 2010, 2:56PM GMT.
THE Rector of St Mary can count himself lucky that he was not around 150 years ago.
For if the Rev Bob Naylor had told a 19th century congregation that they could not ring the parish church bell on Christmas Eve, he would probably have had a drunken riot on his hands.
Thankfully, today’s parishioners are unlikely to be quite so upset at the news that repairs to the church belfry are not yet finished and so the traditional 24 December bell ringing cannot go ahead as planned.
For hundreds of years, the bells of St Ouen, St Mary and St Peter were rung continuously from noon on Christmas Eve until midnight on Christmas Day to mark the anniversary of the end of seven years of French occupation in 1468.
It was the three western parishes which were the last to be taken by the invaders and the first to be freed.