An ambitious appeal to raise £35,000 in a bid to completely revamp eight historic bells at a Fylde church has been launched.
Churchgoers at St Joseph’s Church, in Woodlands Road, Ansdell, want to renovate the bells, each more than 100 years old, to keep them in a ‘ringable’ condition for future generations.
The fund-raising team hope to raise the cash by December before presenting plans to the Diocese of Lancaster trustees, who are part-funding the project, which is expected to cost £56,000 in total.
Edwina Gillett, part of the church bell restoration appeal committee said: “The peal of eight bells at St Joseph’s has rung out for more than 100 years, calling parishioners to worship, marking national occasions and personal milestones such as weddings, funerals and anniversaries.
“Not surprisingly, given their age, the bells and sounding mechanisms are in need of a major overhaul to keep them in a ringable condition.
“The bells were last overhauled in 1974.
“The overhaul of a full peal of bells is a major task and the parish of St Joseph’s needs to raise £35,000 by December in order for the essential works to proceed.”
The peal of eight bells were cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1908 and installed in the tower in 1911 at a cost of £800.
The updated work includes the installation of an angelus tolling unit, which will allow the bells to sound automatically at noon each day, without requiring the help of bellringers.
Anyone interested in supporting the project is asked to contact Rev David Burns, the parish priest and appeal chairman, by calling (01253) 737037.
The St Joseph’s Church Bell appeal
The project will involve a thorough clean of the bell chamber, replacement of parts and removal of bells from the bell chamber and transportation to a bell foundry for cleaning and re-tuning.
The complete re-installation of the bell will involve new ringing ropes, as well as the angelus tolling unit.
The appeal team has planned a series of fund raising activities including a parish barbecue, a concert by the Girls Choir from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral in October and coffee mornings.