Shropshire Star

Community urged to get involved in restoring their town's church bells

Bells have rung out from St Mary’s Church in Chirk since 1519 with the present ring of six bells installed in 1814.

The view from the bell tower

Now the community is being urged to help with a £60,000 appeal that has been launched for their restoration.

Bellringers in the tower

They have been part of the soundscape of Chirk, rung to announce services and to mark happy occasions, weddings and coronations but also to help the community to express its sorrow for example by the bells being rung muffled following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

One of the bellringers, Peter Furniss, said: "Rung regularly by an enthusiastic and committed band of ringers, their use for over 200 years has taken its toll and the bells require major expenditure to ensure that they continue to ring in the future. If funds allow the ringers would also like to complete the octave by adding two new bells. This will enable more ringers to take part in the ringing while also expanding the repertoire of what they can ring."

St Mary's Church

Mr Furniss said the total cost of restoring the present bells and adding two new bells will be in the order of £60,000. On March 16 an appeal will be launched to raise the money needed.

The launch will take place in Chirk Church Hall at 2pm, when light refreshments will be available. At 2.30pm there will be a presentation about the planned restoration followed by an opportunity to climb the tower to see the bells and ringers in action.

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