Church Bells Restoration Appeal

We are running an appeal to raise funds to refurbish the historic bells at St Michael's Church, Bishop's Stortford, to help safeguard a long tradition of Church bells ringing out to call worshippers to Church for future generations.  Check out our fund-raising video. 


The Appeal

StMbellringers002-editedThe red brick tower and slender steeple of St Michael's Church are a familiar sight to the people of Bishop's Stortford.  There have been bells in the tower since the early 1400s, when we know there were five until a sixth was added in 1671.  The present ring of ten bells was installed in 1820 in the existing 1713 wooden frame after the tower and spire were rebuilt in 1819.  Since then, the only other work on the bells consisted of re-tuning in 1928.  Now, nearly 200 years since the last major work, the bells are in urgent need of refurbishment and rehanging in a new frame due to cracking in the tower, which has occurred because the two largest bells are hung against the weaker west wall and swing in a north/south direction, resulting in increasing stress to the building and making the bells difficult to ring.           
To this end, reports have been obtained from three recognised bellhangers.  Of these, Nicholson Engineering Ltd was deemed the most suitable to our requirements.

The Proposal

We need to raise £275,000 plus VAT.  The three smallest bells are beyond re-tuning, so need to be replaced with three new bells and the remaining seven retuned then re-hung in a new steel frame positioned lower in the tower to improve stability and a new floor installed. The bells will be reoriented with the 17cwt tenor bell being moved to the centre of the frame.  The old bell frame will be retained for posterity at a higher level and used to support a second new floor above the bells to form a sound chamber and a pivoted opening door will provide for a measure of sound control in this town centre church which will help with noise pollution and benefit our neighbours, but will not affect ringing for any service. In addition, the existing timber and metal access ladders that rise from the ringing chamber to the roof will be replaced with more modern and safer ship’s ladder installations to provide much easier access.
bellsedited-2

How to donate

To give you some idea of what your donation could buy:

  • Dedication to an individual, family or organisation, one of 3 new bells, each increasing in size - £10,000, £12,500 or £15,000.
  • Re-tuning remaining 7 bells - £5,500
  • Headstock - £1,000
  • Wheel - £1,200
  • Rope - £250
  • New metal frame - £17,000
  • New bell chamber floor - £11,200
  • Sound control (new floor and louvres) - £12,600

All donations will be recorded and retained in the Church archives.

We will, of course, be pleased to accept any donation that you wish to make online, by cheque or standing order.

Online 
Please visit our JustGiving page, or click on the button below.


 
Text Message 
Donations via text message to be announced.
 
Cheque/Standing Order

Please make payable to “St Michael’s Bells Appeal” and return to the Parish Office in an envelope marked ‘Bells Appeal’.
BACS Payment

Donate via your online bank account to
20-36-98,
a/c 13838609
Reference: Bells Appeal
 
 

Contact

Appeal Co-ordinator: Dick Prime
Email: bells@saintmichaelweb.org.uk
Website: https://saintmichaelweb.org.uk/Articles/542915/Church_Bells_Restoration.aspx
St Michael's Church, Windhill, Bishop's Stortford Herts, CM23 2ND
THE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL PARISH OF BISHOP'S STORTFORD (ST. MICHAEL)
Registered Charity No. 1130646
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Download the leaflet Gift Aid & Standing
Order Form
Check out the video
Bells Appeal Cover Bells Appeal Form
 
The ringers would like to offer their thanks to all those who are supporting the fundraising.