Photo by Ian Longthorne
A parishioner who has rung the bells at St Peter’s Church, Burnham, for almost 60 years will be celebrating his 90th birthday there on Sunday.
Cliff Blundell, who moved to Burnham in 1959 with his wife Angela, has held various posts at the church over the years, including serving on the parochial church council, editing and writing for the parish magazine, and church warden on two occasions.
Cliff, who is both a handbell ringer and tower bellringer, has rung the church bells for Sunday church services, as well as what must be ‘hundreds of weddings’.
He has been ringing tunes as part of the Burnham Hand Bell Society since 1965 and has visited various places with the group, including care homes, schools and other churches.
His son-in-law, Peter Lewis said: “He and his wife have been bell-ringers really all their lives.
“When they moved into this area he started coming to St Peter’s – he and his wife Angela – and they’ve been members of this church ever since and basically leaders of the bellringers for most of that time.
“He’s a very keen bell-ringer and we’ve got a very expensive set of handbells here which Cliff and Angela were mainly responsible for the buying of and they’re very keen on that as well.
“They both still ring handbells and Cliff rings tower bells whenever he can.
“It’s a quite tight spiral staircase to get up to the tower but he still manages quite often.”
Peter added that Cliff will be celebrating his 90th year at the church and will have a cake following the Sunday morning service at 10am.
He added: “He’s been a pillar of the church. He’s been a great support to the church ever since they started.
“He’s been very important to the church over the years. He’s been a key person in the layside of things, supporting the priest through the years.”
Cliff said: “I’m grateful, I’m glad that the church is helping me celebrate it.”