If you heard the bells ringing on Thursday afternoon....
The sounding of the bells in the afternoon of Thursday, 3rd December, was the final test by the bell hangers, assisted by some volunteer workers, to ensure that the work has all been done correctly and that the bells are swinging properly and sounding harmonious.
The bells are now back in the care of the church and the local band hopes to be ringing them again as soon as government and Church of England requirements allow
Meanwhile a single bell can be tolled before services so you will hear different bells being rung on different Sundays
Welcome to Ledbury Bells
St Michael & All Angels Church has now embarked on an exciting project to make sure that our bells will continue to ring out for many years to come, calling people to worship and ringing for local and national events in joyful celebration and in times of sorrow. Work had just begun in late March 2020 (you can see some news about that here) but was then suspended due to the Coronavirus lockdown. We are delighted to be able to announce that, under strictly controlled conditions, building and bell restoration have now begun in earnest. There are pictures and more details here as well as in the bulletin.
As far as funding is concerned, we have now raised close to £277,000 (including a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund). Costs have risen in some key areas as we have encountered one or two additional challenges. We therefore continue to seek support, to raise the £13,000 which will ensure the fulfilment of all our plans. Further details of specific opportunities for sponsorship are here, and ways of giving on our donation page here.
As part of this project we will be restoring and conserving 6 of the 8 existing bells and their fittings, replacing the two newest bells that don’t match the rest and adding two new lighter bells.
We will also be installing a training bell, simulator and CCTV which will make it much easier for us to teach people of all ages to participate in this hugely rewarding, social activity that is good for your physical and mental health.
Engaging local people in learning about their cultural heritage is an integral part of our project which will include a programme of activities and the creation of a display area on the ground floor of the tower to help us explain this quintessentially English tradition that dates back to before the Norman Conquest. You can see the response of some of our younger visitors to the tower in this video, made with support from Joined Up Heritage Ledbury.