It will address the wear and tear of constant use accumulated over 100 years since the last major overhaul & ensure that the bells are safe to ring for many years to come. The 8 bells are extremely old, dating from 1601, and require major attention every 100 years. That time has now arrived.
How will it be done
The heaviest bell of the 8 weighs over a tonne and combined weight of the bells is 4.6 tonnes; all 8 bells will need to be lowered from the Belfry into the choir of the church before being sent to the Foundry to be refurbished and have repairs carried out. To do this a great deal of work is required within the tower such as constructing new access trapdoors, removing part of the bell frame which supports the bells, and replacing the old wooden headstocks from which the bells are actually hung. Whilst they are away at the foundry in Loughborough, the oak bellframe will be refurbished, the belfry walls re-preserved, new LED lighting fitted and the sound control system upgraded. The ringing room will also be redecorated. The refurbished bells with new fittings will be transported back to Almondsbury and hoisted back into place. They will be tested and approved before a ceremony to mark their return.
What will it cost
This major once-in-a-century restoration will cost £97,620. The Parochial Church Council and bell-ringers are raising funds but need assistance to meet the totals needed.
When will it be done
We have been fortunate in obtaining a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £65,000 and this has enabled us to make a start. Work to disassemble and remove the bells from the tower will begin in September 2018.
How can you help
We need support from local businesses to raise the money needed to complete this project. We have raised over £10,000 through self help activities but we now need to appeal to businesses within the Almondsbury Parish. The work we need to fund is varied and examples of the costs are shown below:
Examples of costs:
- Ropes – £150 each (8 required)
- Rope Bosses – £70 each (16 required)
- Wheels – £900 each (8 required)
- Sliders – £50 each (8 required)
- Running Boards – £40 each (8 required)
- Slide Pivots – £35 each (8 required)
- Bearings £220 each (16 required)
- Trapdoor – £5,000
- Bellframe Restoration – £5,500
- Belfry Redecoration – £1,500
- Belfry Lighting – £1,500
- Ringing Room Redecoration – £2,500
- Weather Proofing – £600
- Sound Control – £12,500
- Bells Restoration – £60,000
- Accommodation for bell hangers – £1,500
- Transportation of bells & fittings – £600
Please help this project to ensure a valuable part of our heritage is preserved for the next 100 + years. A commemorative plaque will be produced listing all those contributing to the success of the project. A donation of over £5,000 will be classed as a headline support and will also have the company logo included on the plaque. If you would like more detailed information please contact us at the address below, we are more than happy to provide technical or bell ringing detail and plans, and to host visits to the belfry.
Where to donate
If you feel you can make a donation please use either BACS or send a cheque.
Reference: ABRP Fund
Sort Code: 40-14-06
Account Number: 71106686
Please make cheques payable to: ABRP St. Mary’s PCC
and send to: The Vicarage, 3 Sundays Hill, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4DS
All donations will be gratefully received and acknowledged.
Please contact the Church Office at email@example.com.