Before 2020 Barham Church tower housed four bells, which before long would have been completely derelict and a possible danger. The last peal on the bells had been rung in 1947 and the bells were in a bad state of repair even then!
Before the 2020 pandemic hit the country, the PCC had voted to restore and augment the bells, adding two new bells to make a ring of six in a new steel frame further down the tower and a fundraising appeal was launched.
The new and refurbished bells were installed at a cost of £100k at the end of 2020 although, with the pandemic seriously impacting fundraising efforts it was not until October 2022 that we had raised enough money to cover the costs. We are extremely grateful to Taylor’s Bell Foundry for their patience and understanding at that time.
With the bells being rung from the ground floor of the tower which is our current main entrance into church, we planned as a later phase to improve the hall entrance so that it could be used more frequently as the entrance/exit for the Church as well as the hall.
In the shorter term as phase 2, we planned new glass doors for the tower which would hopefully improve the draft situation as well as allow us to watch the ringers ring the bells. We also planned to improve that entrance for wheelchair access. We also hope to install a small screen and camera so that we can watch the bells ringing from inside the church. Planning permission was granted for this work but no funds have been available to progress.
These further phases of work are currently shelved indefinitely until our finances and the general economic situation improves
As well as restoring and reviving the history of Barham Church, we can now offer an extra service to the community. Not only will wedding couples be able to have the bells at their weddings, but we hope to reach out into the village to recruit new ringers, invite local schools to explore the bells, tower and church history, and welcome visiting ringers from all over the country who wish to ring the bells. Anyone interested in ringing or learning to ring should contact Liz Christian by emailing [email protected]. Bell ringing teams wishing to ring the Barham bells should contact the Tower Correspondent by emailing [email protected]
We very grateful to those who have sponsored the new bells and to the whole community for their support through several years of fundraising.