Why we have an Appeal to restore the Bells of St Mary, Croscombe
It is 91 years since the last major overhaul, and the bell installation is showing signs of wear and tear. Reports by professional bell engineers indicate that a thorough overhaul and restoration of all the moving parts is required. The frame is corroded, and needs de-rusting, cleaning and painting to industrial standards.In addition, some attention is needed where the steel frame base beams are corroded or not securely concreted into the tower walls.
The PCC does not have the resources to fund this project, so it is necessary to make a special appeal. It is hoped to obtain substantial assistance from various Trusts, but we also depend heavily on local support.
Whatever you feel able to give will be thankfully received and faithfully applied.
An honour board for grant giving trusts and exceptional individual donations will be put in the church.
What is Required?
A thorough overhaul of all the moving parts, supporting framework and fittings.It is also hoped to refurbish the Sanctus Bell to bring it back into use.
Prompt action is required to avoid further and more serious deterioration. This could lead to the bells becoming difficult, dangerous and eventually impossible to ring, and would be much more expensive to rectify.
How much will it cost?
Our preferred contractor has quoted £20,000 to carry out the work needed, plus an additional £3,000 to rehang the Sanctus bell to enable it to be chimed for services when the six larger bells are not being rung.
How will it be paid for?
It is hoped to obtain substantial assistance from various charitable trusts, but we also depend heavily on local support.Support will be welcomed from individuals, families, groups or businesses.Donations may be made as a single lump sum, or spread over a number of monthly payments.
The History of the Bells
St Mary’s parish church in Croscombe was substantially rebuilt and remodelled between 1400 and 1450. The tower and spire date from this period, though the spire was struck by lightning on 4th June 1936, was severely damaged and had to be completely rebuilt.
As early as 1485 and 1498 the Church Wardens’ accounts refer to expenses for the bells or ringers, though how many bells there were at this time is not known.In later times money was paid for ringing of the bells for special events such as the restoration of King Charles II in 1660, and for victory at the battle of Waterloo in 1815.There is now a ring of six bells, and also a small Sanctus bell which is currently on the belfry floor and cannot be chimed for services.
Croscombe has a keen band of bell ringers, who practise on most Monday evenings and also ring the bells for church services, usually on the fourth Sunday, for weddings and for special local or national occasions.
Rehanging in 1923
All the bells were taken down in 1923 by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough. They were retuned and rehung in a steeland cast iron frame with all new fittings.
How you can help us
Please donate via Church wardens or cheques, no matter how small, made payable to Parochial Church Council of Croscombe.
Major donors, including companies and individuals, who may wish to have their name included on our donors plaque, this will hang in St Mary’s Church to show our gratitude.
If you want to help us fundraise please support The Friends of St Mary’s Church, Croscombe by attending our events.