from the St Peter & St Paul magazine
For you, not just for them
Happy New Year from the Appeal of Bells!
We wish we could ring in the New Year in the traditional way; but that time will come. We have over £65,000 in the bank now – approaching the half-way point – and donations are still coming in. With luck, hard work and lots more fundraising, the new bells will be hanging in their new frame within 18 months, ready to sound out their message of celebration and hope.
It is a message for the whole village. Whether or not you are a churchgoer, or a bellringer, North Curry would feel like less of a village if it had no church; and it would be less of a church if it had no bells.
The bells are owned by the church, but in a different sense they belong to all of us.
The bells, like the church building and grounds are an intrinsic part of village infrastructure and our community. The extensive church grounds with their panoramic views over the moors and magnificent sunsets attract villagers and visitors alike. The church building is the largest place of assembly in the parish; it is a community hub with coffee mornings, toddlers groups, concerts, events and talks. The church and grounds are open to us all.
Bells have been rung here for over 500 years to call people to services and to mark personal and national events – a new generation getting married, commemorating the passing of the old and not so old, the death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and other national figures and events such as the Battle of Waterloo and the ending of two World Wars.
For over two years the bells have been silent due to the failure of the bellframe, which is endangering the structure of the tower. The bells too are nearing the end of their useful life due to wear and tear and poor repairs over the centuries. To replace both at the same time is the most cost effective and long lasting solution. New, lighter bells will sound the same notes as before, but more melodically, as the current bells are not tuned as a set. And they will be easier to ring – which will make it easier to attract and train new, young bell-ringers (and keep the older ones for longer).
Raising over £65,000, most of it in a little over six months despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19, is a testament to the affection in which the bells are held throughout North Curry and beyond. Well over 200 villagers have contributed through donations, organising activities and supporting them. Most are not churchgoers but people wishing to maintain the bells as an asset for the heritage of tomorrow rather than solely a monument to the past. Our aim is to have bells sounding across the moors again in 2023.
We should soon – finally – be able to appoint a contractor. And fundraising events will pick up again as life returns to normal (for what, the third time, or is it the fourth?). If you can help in any way – with ideas, an offer to raise funds or a donation – do come forward.
Chair, Appeal of Bells
Tel: O7771 713444; email: email@example.com