Lyme Church bell tower appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:01 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:17 21 February 2019

Lyme Regis Parish Church . Picture Brian Wheeler

Lyme Regis Parish Church . Picture Brian Wheeler

Archant

Repair fund is nearly at £20,000

Almost £20,000 has been raised for repairs to Lyme Regis Parish Church tower - which houses one of the most famous peals of bells in the country.

The tower, parts of which are Saxon, is leaking water, mainly through the top of the ringing chamber. It has been the venue for the creation of more world ringing changes records than any other church tower around the globe.

To remove and replace the exterior pebble dash rendering is currently estimated to cost £135,000 and £150,000.

By the end of December the total raised from events, donations and awarded grants was around £19,000.

St Michael’s Church officials say they are very grateful for the kind and generous support they have received from the town and the local community.

Added to this figure are additional grants awarded but not yet received totalling a further £26,000.

But the final bill will depend on the condition of the tower after the pebble-dash render is removed.

A spokesman said: “We share the town’s delight that our near-neighbours the Marine Theatre were successful in their application to the Coastal Revival Fund, and it was with some disappointment that we learned our own application to the CRF had not been accepted, as the sum involved would have been a significant proportion of that required.

“Undaunted, our team are continuing to make applications to other bodies for grant funding, and we are hopeful that at least some of these will be approved.

“The conditions set out by the Diocese of Salisbury include a requirement that funding for at least 80 per cent of the expected cost needs to be in place before work can commence, but if work is to commence this spring, much still needs to be done.”

* The first world record was achieved in the Lyme Church tower in 1987 when the event was staged to raise funds for the purchase of two new bells, upping the total from eight to 10.

Enthusiasts have come from all over the country and abroad, including Australia and New Zealand to peal it bells.

Ringing master Andrew Nicholson said: “No fewer than 16 world ringing records have been set here since 1987, and it is important that we do all we can as soon as possible to carry out the refurbishment of the tower before the damp spreads and threatens other areas of the church.”

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