Lottery cash helps bells of St Mary’s as work begins on restoration

editorial image

Villagers in Bletsoe are celebrating a £46,700 windfall to restore their church bells .

The cash is from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the project, The Bell’s of St Mary’s – securing the future.

Starting on Monday, August 11 and led by volunteers from the local community, the project will see the removal and restoration of the entire peal of church bells from St Mary’s Church.

The bellringers of St Mary’s were keen to raise the money to restore the bells because years of use have made them very hard to ring.

Tower Captain Paul Vine said: “The bells will be so much easier to ring, especially new ringers who want to learn.

“We’re delighted the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported us with a major contribution to make this happen.”

Once the peals of bells are restored and returned, schools, youth groups and other organisations will have the opportunity to experience the concept of bell ringing through closed circuit TV links from the belfry in the tower of St Mary’s. They will also be given the chance to enjoy ringing the newly restored handbells.

The RevMartin Bailey, rector, said: “We are thrilled and thankful to God to receive such generous support from the HLF. We’re looking forward to our bells ringing out even more tunefully and joyfully when the work is complete!”