CAPTION: Brentor Church is one of Dartmoor's best-known landmarks

Bell Tolls At Landmark Dartmoor Church As Coronavirus Restrictions Ease

Posted: 15th May, 2020

The bell has been rung at one of Devon’s most scenic churches for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began.

The sound rang out from the 12th Century St Michel de Rupe on top of Brentor, Dartmoor, following new guidance from the Church of England permitting the tolling of a single bell.

Churches were closed for public worship in March in line with the Government’s coronavirus restrictions and all bellringing was suspended on public health grounds.

Bellringer Corinne Shutt tolls the bell at Brentor for the first time in two months

But there has been a partial easing of the guidance for churches.

Priests and Licensed Lay Ministers are now able to go into their churches for private prayer or to record or live-stream services.

It is hoped small-scale church weddings and funerals may be able to resume soon, as well as churches being opened to members of the public for prayer and reflection.

Nick Shutt, the Archdeacon of Plymouth, who was at Brentor to film a service for Ascension Day on 21 May, said: “Our churches may be closed for public worship at the moment but isn’t it great to hear our bells tolling?

“It’s a visible reminder of God’s presence with us and we look forward to a time when our churches will be open once again for worship.

“In the meantime we know there is an awful lot going on in our churches and in our communities to remind everyone that God is very much alive and active in this world in which we live.”

Marisa Cockfield, the Team Rector, at Holy Trinity, Weare Giffard in North Devon, said she would be ringing the church bell at noon every day as a way of praying for people in the six villages she has churches in.