A MAJOR fund-raising project which aims to ensure the bells of one of Malvern’s most historic churches remain ringing has passed its halfway stage.
The bells at Great Malvern Priory Parish Church have been ringing out loud in the town for more than 600 years but because they are getting much harder to ring, a campaign was set up to fund the strengthening of the church tower and the rehanging of the bells.
To do this the ringers and church volunteers need to raise a total of £220,000 which would also include the addition of two more bells and a dumbbell to help teach new ringers.
So far more than £100,000 has been raised through a number of grants but now the dedicated team hope to secure donations from the public to help get to their desired target.
Jane James, one of the bell ringing volunteers at Great Malvern Priory, told the Observer that despite making great strides there was still much work to be done before work could begin.
“We are thrilled to have raised so much so far but I don’t think many people know about the work we are trying to do so we are trying to raise our profile a bit more.
“If we do not do anything then it will get to a time when we will not be able to carry on ringing the bells. So this is quite a big project for us which will ensure many more years of ringing.
“Hopefully this time next year we can be in a position where we can start thinking about starting the work with all the funding in place.”
As a way of raising more funds for the project, the ringers are offering to ring sponsored quarter peals to mark family occasions or special events.
“A quarter peal is a lovely way to mark a special event. It requires 1,260 changes and normally lasts about 45 minutes, for it to be successful we have to start and finish the ringing in rounds.”
Visit www.greatmalvernpriory.org.uk for more information about the project, to book a quarter peal or donate.