Our Fundraising Target

Our target is to raise £250,000.  We are applying for grants but anticipate that most of the money needs to be donated by bell-ringers.  We hope that there are enough of you out there who want to put something back into a hobby that gives a lot of pleasure for very little outlay.

We need to raise most of this amount before we can order the bells or start the building work.  This is because the church cannot risk being left with an incomplete project, and there needs to be enough in hand to cover possible cost increases.

About half the money will go into creating the ringing chamber and the access to it.  The bells will be rung from the first floor of the tower which needs some structural alterations and to have the large opening into the nave filled with a glass screen with doors.  The doors will open onto a new balcony, and that will be linked by a short staircase to the landing outside the existing upstairs meeting room.  All this will be to a high architectural standard in keeping with the work recently completed to build a kitchen and toilets as well as the meeting room.

In the top stage of the early 19th century tower is a timber structure which supported a spire until it was taken down in the 1920s.  There are also two bells which pre-date the tower: one of about 8cwt (400kg), and the other a small sanctus bell.  Half of the timber structure needs to be removed, and the top half supported by a new steel ring beam.  The large bell will also be supported by the new steelwork and hung dead as a service bell.  That will make space for the new bells, a 6cwt (300kg) ring of 6 bells which will be a tight fit in the tower.  The existing windows and openings in the tower will be double glazed and be partly openable in order to control the sound level outside.

With construction complete further funds can be spent on equipping the installation with a simulator (to create simulated sound in the ringing chamber during teaching sessions when the clappers are tied and no sound is audible outside) and other teaching aids.  We also want some displays of information to interest visitors and encourage them to give ringing a try.

The final requirement for money is to operate and maintain the facility until it is able to sustain itself through charging those making use of it.  We need a part time manager if it is to be open to the public on most days of the week.  Income will come from payments for lessons and from those using the bells, and from giving demonstrations to visitors.  We hope to be making enough to pay the manager and the running costs without having to ask for further donations by the end of the first year.