A CHURCH bellringer died while sounding the chimes for the Sunday service.
Bill Houghton, who was 74, suffered a heart attack before the 10.30am service at St Mark’s Church in Longwood.
The fire service were called along with paramedics to recover him from the top of the bell tower.
The Vicar, the Rev James Hunt, said: "I have been at the church for nearly 15 years and he has been here all that time and longer. He will be very sadly missed."
Mr Hunt said other bellringers alerted the emergency services to the incident.
The service continued and Mr Hunt and the congregation only became aware of what had happened after the service finished.
Mr Hunt added: "We were aware of sirens sounding, but it wasn’t until afterwards that we were told what had happened. It was a shock and our thoughts are with Bill’s family."