A RING of bells has been renovated and replaced in Kingskerswell Parish Church.
And they will be rung out for the first time this Sunday when the Bishop of Plymouth will dedicate them during the Advent Sunday Eucharist.
The bishop will also dedicate the balcony and other renovation work, including new kitchen and boilers, from the first phase of the church’s wider restoration project.
The newly-refurbished bells arrived at the church last week and were blessed before they were re-hung in the tower.
The cost of refurbishing the bells was around £80,000, funded by church legacies, fundraising and a grant from the Devon Bell Restoration Fund.
The six bells had been removed from the tower in April, along with the old wooden frame and supporting beams.
Five of these bells have been re-tuned, and the sixth bell had to be recast as it was found impossible to be re-tuned satisfactorily. They were refurbished at Nicholson Engineering in Bridport.
Tower captain Philip Stevens said: ‘All went according to plan, with only a slight two-week delay with the sixth bell, the third bell of the ring.
‘Two new bells have been cast to make a ring of eight. The weight of the tenor (largest bell) is now seven cwt and three lbs and the treble (lightest bell) is two cwt three quarters and five lbs. Weights of bells are always quoted in imperial measurements.
‘A new mezzanine balcony has also been added lower in the tower. This is where the bells are now rung from and gives the ringers a considerable increase in space compared with the old cramped ringing chamber. Ringing and the ringers can now be viewed from the church.
‘The church clock is being automated which means it will no longer have to be wound twice a week by the ringers and will always show the correct time.’
Philip said phase two of the re-ordering of the church will start when sufficient funds have been raised. This phase will include new heating and lighting; replacement of pews with new seating including major alterations to the floor; and re-location of the vestry to the back of the church.
A ring of five bells was installed in the church in 1815 and were augmented to six and hung in a new frame in 1887. Three of the original bells remain. There has been no major work carried out since 1937 when the fifth bell was recast.ORDER YOUR DIGITAL EDITION HERE