The bells from All Saints’ Church, Loughton, have been sent off for restoration in a project that forms part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of this landmark church in Milton Keynes.
The church has a ring of six bells, the oldest two of which date from around 1450. The bells are rung regularly for services on Sundays and practice on Monday evenings, but the last time any major work was carried out on the bells was in 1935.
Following various inspections of the bells in 2014 it became clear that significant restoration work was needed, and whilst this was being done there was also an opportunity to carry out some much-needed improvements to make them easier to ring and to improve how they sound.
Since then, as a result of fundraising, grants, donations and a generous bequest, a total of £100,000 has been raised which meant that the restoration work on the bells could go ahead.
The bells will be rehung all at the same level in a new frame with all new fittings, the poorly-toned treble will be recast, the second and third bells will be tuned, and the out-of-tune tenor will be replaced with a new bell.
The old listed tenor will be used as a clock bell. The new frame will be designed so that two additional treble bells can be easily added in the future, to complete the full octave, subject to approval and the availability of additional funding.
It is hoped that this work will all be completed by the beginning of April.
For more information visit www.loughtonbells.org.uk and details of the 800th anniversary celebration events and special services are at www.watlingvalley.org.uk/allsaints800