Sunday, 05 July 2020

Appeal for church bells over target

AN appeal in aid of the restoration of the bells and bell frame at St Peter’s and St Paul Church in Medmenham has smashed its target, writes Jack Taylor.

The Peal Appeal was launched in November to raise £21,000 to restore and rehang the bells so they can ring out again at regular services, weddings and other occasions.

Donations have poured in and almost £24,000 has been raised.

The work is scheduled to take place in May and will be carried out by specialist bellhangers Nicholson Engineering, of Bridport, Dorset.

Company director Andrew Nicholson said: “Given the age of the bell frame in the tower, the unusually fine design and execution and the fact it remains as built with no obvious signs of reconstruction or alteration, we are of the opinion that this is of great national importance.

“There are other frames of similar or even earlier date around the country but there are very few indeed as fine as that at St Peter & St Paul’s.”

The church is thought to date back as far as 640 AD, although its current incarnation was built under the patronage of Hugh de Bolebec in the 12 Century.

The original bells are hung in the relatively modern tower and chancel, built during a 15th century religious revival in the wake of the Black Death.

The appeal is still accepting donations, which can be made at www.gofundme.

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