A BELLRINGER from Selby, who has been in the role for 39 years, has received a top award recognising his work.

The committed work of John Wright at Selby Abbey has been identified as he was one of six people from the Diocese of York to receive Royal Maundy Money for their service to the church and the community.

Every year, in a tradition going back several centuries, the Royal Family rewards a selection of citizens from around the country.

On receiving the prize, Mr Wright said: "I’ve had letters from several vicars over the years thanking me for my work, but never one from the Queen before. I was flabbergasted."

John also also serves as 'Steeple-keeper’ - which involves keeping the bells and the internal furnishings of the tower in good order.

The vicar of Selby Abbey, Canon John Weetman, said: "We are delighted that John is one such servant of the church who has been recognised in this way."

Mr Wright received the award through the post rather than at a service in Westminster Abbey, which had to be cancelled due to Covid regulations.