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St James’ Church fears silence

 Published on: 12th December 2013   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

An appeal for £80,000 has been launched to restore the historic bells of Bushey Parish Church, St James the Apostle. There are eight bells in the church’s tower and the oldest was cast in the 15th Century church yard, while two others date back to the Great Fire of London. Bell ringers at the church fear that the chimes will be silenced if funds are not raised for much-needed repairs. Tower captain Sue Morton told My Bushey News: “Bells have been sounding out here for at least 500 years, but without a major restoration they will fall silent. The bells are becoming increasingly difficult to ring because the fittings are wearing out and the frame is a bit wobbly. “We aim to create a ring of bells that will ring out in Bushey for the next 100 years or more. We believe that people will wish to contribute to maintaining an important local heritage.” The church is hoping people will sponsor specific elements of the restoration and suggests that people make their donations in memory of a loved one or to mark a special event. If funding is raised, the bells will be retuned and hung in a new securely mounted frame with new fittings and modern headstocks. Sue added: “We would also welcome sponsorship of specific components of the restored ring, ranging from £70 up to £3,000 or more.” St James Church dates back to the 14th Century. There are eight bells in the tower, the oldest was cast in the 15th Century in the churchyard.  Two others date from before the Great Fire of London. They are rung by a band of volunteers for church services, weddings and special occasions of local or national significance by pulling ropes around wheels attached to the bells. To make a donation visit www.gofundme.com/savebusheybells. You can also donate by cheque or by making regular monthly contributions, such as £10 a month for four years. For more information contact Sue Morton on 01923 245542 or suemorton@btconnect.com  

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