Sponsored bell-ring bonanza

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A sponsored bell-ringing marathon will take place at a church to help raise cash to pay for vital repairs.

St Peter’s Church in Birstall will host bell ringers from across the region on Tuesday, December 29 as the church bell will be rung continuously for 50 minutes.

Guided tours of the clock and bell chambers will be offered to visitors on the day, as well as a chance to try bell ringing.

The event is being organised to raise £500 towards the cost of vital maintenance work on the bell tower.

The Rev Paul Knight, vicar of St Peter’s, said: “Over time, the worn bell ringing ropes, bearings and other maintenance issues have come close to stopping ringing altogether, including being unable to provide the bells at weddings and services.”

The sponsored bell-ringing, also known as a Quarter Peal, starts at 11am and will be streamed live to the church’s fellowship area.

Refreshments will also be available at the event and tours will start after the fundraiser has concluded.

Organisers said the church needed to raise around 
£1,500 towards the cost of 
repairs.

The Batley and Birstall Community Trust Fund has also agreed to match the £1,500 to bring the total to £3,000. PPG Architectural Coatings UK Limited, based in Birstall, donated £1,000 towards the fund.

The church has used the first donation to buy new ropes and bell bearings to start the maintenance work.

A team of staff from the firm also carried out work at the church’s cenotaph and Victorian graveyard before Remembrance Sunday.

The event on December 29 is open to everyone but children must be accompanied by an adult to go up the church tower.

Tower captain Miles Lawson said: “Thanks to the donations and grants, the bells should continue to ring at St Peter’s well into the next 50 years.”

The church offers bell-ringing practice every Thursday evening.