Bell Tolls for Duke of Edinburgh, and Prayers for Royal Family

The bell at St Peter’s Church, Hambledon, tolled 99 times yesterday in remembrance of the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on Friday.

Today (Sunday April 11th) prayers were said for the Royal Family at the 9am service, which ended with the congregation assembling outside to sing the National Anthem.

Derek Miller was the bell ringer at midday yesterday as Hambledon associate vicar Simon Willetts and a small number of villagers gathered outside to witness the occasion. 

Simon and Derek are pictured outside the the church, along with a socially distanced small gathering of villagers (below)

A limited number of worshipers are allowed inside the church under the recent relaxation of Coronavirus restrictions and Simon said he wanted to share with villagers prayers for the Queen and other members of the Royal Family as they mourn the passing of Prince Philip, who was 99.

The 9am service is open to those who register their wish to attend on the Busbridge and Hambledon Churches website here:

Services are also streamed on line and details can be found by clicking on the same link.

For other village information following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, please see previous news stories on this website, including how to sign the official Book of Condolence.




Hambledon will mourn the death of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, today, joining in the tributes by tolling the bell at St Peter’s Church. 

The bell in the village church will be rung 99 times, beginning at midday, in recognition of the Duke’s age at the time of his death yesterday morning at Windsor Castle.

Across the nation tributes are being paid to the long life of service and dedication the Duke brought to his role as consort to Queen Elizabeth II.

The flag at St Peter’s – as elsewhere – has been flying at half-mast since the news of the Prince’s death was announced by Buckingham Palace.

It had been planned to open a Book of Condolence at the church, but under current Coronavirus restrictions this is is not allowed. Instead, people are encouraged to pay their respects on line at or

If villagers would like to be present when the bell is rung, they are reminded that they should only do so outside and by keeping a 2-metre distance from others.

Please read the previous news story on this website for more details and to read local tributes.



Buckingham Palace today announced the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

In a statement issued shortly after midday, the Palace said: “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle”. He was aged 99.

The flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast and an official announcement attached to the Palace gates.

Official tributes are being paid to the Duke, and sympathy expressed to The Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

Here in Hambledon, tributes have been paid by our vicar, MP and Parish Council chairman. Under current Government Coronavirus guidelines, a physical Book of Condolence is not allowed. An on-line one is to be made available. Details can be found here:

The Union Jack is flying at half-mast at St Peter’s Church. Tomorrow (Saturday April 10th) the church bell will be rung 99 times, beginning at 12 noon. Villagers are welcome to attend but must remain outside and observe 2 metre distancing.

Simon Willetts, associate vicar of Hambledon, said: “On behalf of the parish of St. Peter’s, we are deeply saddened by the news of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.  We offer our condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and her family. We are holding them all in our prayers, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey and a Hambledon resident, said: “Today all of us are feeling a special sense of sadness following the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh. He personified a sense of duty which made us proud of the Royal Family and proud to be British. He sacrificed his own ambition as a promising Royal Navy officer to dedicate himself to a life of service at the Queen’s side and her wonderful longevity is in no small part thanks to his unstinting support. We remember Her Majesty on this sad day and will hold her and her family in our thoughts and prayers.”

John Anderson, chairman of Hambledon Parish Council, said: “It is with great sadness that we learnt today of the death of HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Phillip was a man who has always served our country loyally with devotion to duty and has supported Her Majesty the Queen throughout her reign.

As consort he has carried out his role with good grace and good humour in his own inimitable way. Our thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty and all her family at this very sad time.”


Better together!

Hambledon and Busbridge Ecclesiastical Parish unification proposal

Hambledon Church deeply values its strong relationships with the Hambledon village community and the parish of Busbridge. It is for this reason that we would like to inform you of some possible developments concerning the future of the church.

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A Farewell to John Tidmarsh

Many in Hambledon will wish to pay their last respects to John Tidmarsh but will be unable to attend his funeral because of the current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Instead, villagers may choose to wave him off as his funeral cortege travels from St Mary’s Church, Chiddingfold, passing the turn off to Lane End, Hambledon, close to his family home at Meadow Cottage. This will take place on Tuesday March 30th.

Rosie and Jo, John’s daughters, have shared their memories of their father, a respected and popular character who contributed so much to community life in Hambledon, particularly at the village shop.

John spent much of his childhood in Chiddingfold. He played cricket there for many years and worshiped at St Mary’s, the parish church. 

The hearse will leave the church at 12.45pm and travel along Petworth Road, passing Chiddingfold cricket ground, and on towards Hambledon where, at the junction with Lane End, it will turn left into New Road at approximately 12.50pm. It will then take the country lanes to Grayshott, for a service at the Heatherley Wood memorial ground.

Rosie said: “If you would like to pay your respects and wave John off, we invite you to safely position yourself somewhere on the side of the road, along the route of the hearse.”

She pointed out that the hearse will not be entering Hambledon, but can be seen as it reaches the Lane End junction with the A283. As for John’s send off, she said that those paying their respects can do so with “flag, daffodil, cricket bat or football scarf”, and that “waving and cheering is encouraged”.

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