£75,000 needed for new bells at Combe Raleigh
PUBLISHED: 13:22 13 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:22 13 January 2015
Money is being sought as part of the village's Bell Project
Residents are rallying in Combe Raleigh in an attempt to raise £75,000 for three new bells to be installed at St Nicholas’ Church.
Under proposals fronted by the Combe Raleigh Bell Project, the existing ring of three bells at the church will be increased to six.
The project has been active for the last two years and seen more than £26,000 raised already through various fundraisers and donations.
Trevor Hitchcock, one of the church’s bell-ringers, said: “In the 1553 inventory of church property, the survey listed St Nicholas’ Church as having three bells. From around 1960, the bells were rarely rung and then only by visitors. We now have an active band of bell-ringers. In fact, we have far more ringers than bells.
“Over the last five years we have been ringing regularly for the family service each month.
“We would now wish to expand our ability to meet the needs of the parishioners by widening our repertoire to include six-bell methods in our own tower.”
The oldest of the present three bells was cast in 1430 by Robert Norton of Exeter. The treble was recast in 1758, the tenor recast in 1671 and again in 1867.
These bells were set in a new oak frame in 1900 by Harry Stokes of Woodbury.
Any fees that the ringers receive are donated towards the £75,000 bell target.
The sum includes the provision of a ringing gallery which would free the base of the tower for improved kitchen and storage facilities for the church.
Mr Hitchcock added: “We are very conscious of the need to support the church.
“We have arranged joint events from which proceeds were shared between the bell fund and general church funds.
“With the continuing support of members and friends we plan to have a ring of bells to be proud of.”