16 May 2023

Council funding helps the church bell ring once again

Council funding helps the church bell ring once again

THE bell at Lyme’s Roman Catholic church is set to ring out once again with the help of town council funding.

The Church of St Michael and St George in Silver Street took the bell out of service around 13 years ago for health and safety reasons.

The Grade II listed church, which dates back to 1838, has undergone extensive internal and external renovations in recent years but the bell couldn’t be repaired due to insufficient funds.

Thanks to a grant from Lyme Regis Town Council and other sources, the 138-year-old bell has now been restored to its former glory and is expected to be rung this week.

The mayor, Cllr Michaela Ellis was invited to see the bell in the tower loft before it was raised out of sight into its housing.

Cllr Ellis said: “It was a privilege to see the bell before it was raised out of sight and so interesting to hear about its history and how it has been carefully restored.

“This is the culmination of extensive restoration work to this beautiful 19th century church but arguably the bell is one of the most essential elements of the building, signalling important ceremonies and marking weekly services.

“It is a shame the bell hasn’t been heard for so long and I look forward to hearing it ringing out across the town from this week.”

The mayor was met by bell hanger Chris Cozens, of Nicholson Engineering, who explained the restoration process, and parishioners Philip Mostyn and Jim Griffith, who explained the history of the bell and the wider restoration project.

The bell was made in 1885 by renowned bell foundry John Warner and Sons, which also made the original Big Ben, and it has taken around a month to restore.

All being well, the bell will be rung for the first time at 9.45am on Thursday 18 May and again on Sunday 21 May at 10.45am.