July 2022
 

The pace hots up

 

In just six weeks the Appeal has leapt by a third to more than £130,000.

  • The Parish Council’s Jubilee celebration raised £1500*

  • Opening The Old Rectory garden raised £1300

  • The garage sale at Withy Cottage raised £500

  • The Bath & Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers granted £20,000*

  • An anonymous donor has added £10,000 plus Gift Aid

  • Over £1000 was given in memory of Alan Billinghurst

  • Other donations totalled over £3000

 *   We don’t always count promises – only cash – but these are rock-solid, so we’re adding them in

 

We are deeply grateful to these donors and to everyone who has contributed up to now.  You know who you are!

Your generosity has brought us to the point where we can sign a contract, confident that we shall raise the rest of the cost.  That is, of course, assuming that inflation and Murphy’s law don’t set us back.  With any repairs to an 800-year-old building, you never know what you will find until you have suddenly found it.

We have permission!

At the end of July the Diocese granted a 'faculty' - in effect, planning permission - that allows us to carry out the work.

The process

 

If all goes to plan ...

... the church will be closed for three weeks from late September.  Four tons of bells and about the same weight of bell-frame and joists have to be removed from the tower.  They will be lowered through the circular hatch in the vault of the crossing, directly above the altar.

It is not safe to have worshippers or visitors in the church while this work is carried out, but we will arrange a time when you can come and see the bells before they set off for the Loughborough Bell Foundry.

In October or November we shall organise a trip to the foundry to watch the old bells being transformed into the new, as the metal is re-cast: it’s a stunning scene with white-hot molten metal, and sparks everywhere.  The dedications of the old bells will be cast into the new ones, to maintain the link with their past history; and new dedications will be added.

The new bells are tuned and the whole installation – frame and bells – is assembled at the foundry, to make sure everything works as it should.  Then it is dismantled again and brought to North Curry.  After a ceremony of dedication the church is closed once more while the new frame and bells are hoisted into place.

9a  Bells #3.jpg

Photo: Colin Trim