The Bishop of Basingstoke, the Rt Rev Peter Hancock came to St Mary's in Abbotts Ann to take the service, and to bless the handbells and the tower roof.
In 1939, the handbells were given to the local pub, The Eagle for safekeeping during the war, and they were recently discovered in the attic there. They were in good condition, and the local handbell ringers gave a peel in the middle of the service. Also during the service, Lady Appleyard, Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Historic Churches Trust, explained the work of the trust, which had helped restore the church roof. Lady Appleyard said that the bulk of the Trust's income came from the annual "Ride and Stride", and she urged all those present to take part in the event in the following year.
Donald Sorterup has built a cabinet for the handbells to be stored in in the bell tower, and the Bishop climbed the narrow steps up to the Bell Tower to inspect Donald's craftmanship.