Bells ring out for a double celebration

The Rev Peter Mayo-Smith and his wife Eileen, who will celebrate 39 years of marriage

The Rev Peter Mayo-Smith and his wife Eileen, who will celebrate 39 years of marriage

First published in News

A double wedding anniversary celebration will be staged at Haworth Parish Church this Saturday, December 29.

It will be exactly 200 years since the Rev Patrick Bronte, father of the famous sisters, married his wife Maria. He was vicar at Haworth from 1820 to 1861.

It will also be 39 years since the current priest-in-charge, the Rev Peter Mayo-Smith and his wife Eileen, were married.

To mark Patrick Bronte’s double centenary, the church bell ringers will carry out a two-and-three-quarter-hour full peal.

The bell ringers previously staged this demanding performance last year, as part of the celebrations for Prince William’s wedding.

Simon Burnett, the Haworth Church bell captain, said: “A full peal of bell involves 5,040 changes in various methods, and to complete it is a magnificent feat of concentration, because just one mistake invalidates the performance.”

Earlier in the day the bell ringers at Guiseley Parish Church will also be attempting a full peal to mark the Bronte wedding, as it was at their church that the original ceremony took place.

The Haworth peal is expected to start at 3pm.

Mr Mayo-Smith said: “It’s an amazing coincidence that I should be priest-in-charge at Haworth when the 200th anniversary of Patrick and Maria Bronte is celebrated, and even more remarkable that my wife Eileen and I should have three daughters too.

“It’ll be wonderful if our bell ringing team succeed in delivering the full peal and it will help make our anniversary an even more special and memorable day.”

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