Project 2016

The bells are in but the project is not yet complete, see below for details.
Plan view of our new thirteen bell peal

Our Aim
To install 5 additional lighter bells.

The Church
St Mary's, the Grade 1 listed Parish Church of Bridgwater, is located in the very heart of the town. It's engaging visual situation with an imposing 14th century spire on a 13th century tower, which houses a ring of 8 bells, is a beacon to ringers and non ringers alike. The church was also instrumental during the Monmouth Rebellion and we ring from a chamber named in his memory.

The Bells
The earliest bell we know of was cast locally in 1283. There were 5 bells in the tower by the mid 16th century and the earliest surviving bell still in the tower was cast in 1617. In 1745 the bells were augmented to 8 and refurbished in 1899 with the installation of an iron H frame, also, 2 bells were then recast. In 1979 the bells were overhauled and re- hung on modern bearings.

The Opportunity
To augment the bells to 13 by removing the bell frame, and the existing 8 bells, re-model and re-install it to house all the bells on one level and have repairs carried out on our existing bells at the same time.

Our heaviest bell is 25cwt, (1250kg approx), and having a lighter ring of bells will make it easier to teach new recruits and to future proof ringing in St Mary's. We are also the nominated teaching tower for the area so we have the latest computerised education system for quicker progress in change ringing.

The complete project will cost £194,505 which includes installing sound control to enable us to hold more practice sessions without disturbing the local community. Here is the cost of some specific items:
Augmentation Update - July 2020
 a BIG THANK YOU for all your donations, the bells are in!
There is still more work to complete but we're almost done.
Outstanding work yet to be completed is restoration of the clock dial drive, the clock hammers and the automated sound control system to be fitted to the 4 windows of the belfry.  Also replacement of  tower light fittings with low energy LED units.

Since we launched our appeal in 2016 a lot has happened in the life of the Church which affected our vision of increasing our bells to 13

Items are available for funding-

Flat sixth bell, including installation, £11631.60

For each of the five new bells
Stay £72
Slider £86.40
Runner Board £138
Roller Box £346.80
Bell rope £234.00
Headstock with gudgeons £1474.800 average price
Main bearing and Housing £438.60 average price
Clapper £410.40 average price
Crownstaple £198.60 average price
Wheel £1791.60 average price

An average price of all the fittings, per bell, is  £5,191.20
An average price for hanging a bell is £1,173.60

To download and print a copy of this poster click here
If you would like to contribute to any item, or items please use the form.

How you can help
Buy a Bell or fittings or share the cost with someone. A Bell is a lasting memorial to a loved one, it can be expected to last well in excess of 400 years and will bear an inscription of your choice (subject to approval)
Sponsored Ringing. Pay to have the bells rung for a special occasion of your choice.

Give time. Able bodied people are required to help with the new installation. No technical experience is required but the work will be quite arduous.

Make a donation. Details of all donations over £50 will be kept in a special memorial book. To make a donation simply fill in the gift aid form on this leaflet and return it to
Mrs Kate Bennett, Tower Treasurer, C/o The Church Office, St. Mary's Church, St. Mary Street,
Bridgwater TA6 3EQ  Charity No: 1128525

GiftAid Declaration
Boost your donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate
Gift Aid is reclaimed by us from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer.

To process this we ask you download this leaflet, print and return.

In order to Gift Aid your donation you must tick the box below:
 I want to Gift Aid my donation of £______________ to: St Mary's PCC – Bell Fund
I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

My Details
Title____ First name or/initial(s) _______
Surname _____________________
Full Home address__________________
_________________________________ Postcode ______________
Date __________________
Please notify the charity if you:
 want to cancel this declaration
 change your name or home address
 no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains
If you pay Income Tax at the higher or additional rate and want to receive the additional tax relief due to you, you must include all your Gift Aid donations on your Self Assessment tax return or ask HM Revenue and Customs to adjust your tax code.

Please send the attached form with your donation to:
Mrs Kate Bennett, Tower Treasurer, C/o The Church Office, St. Mary's Church, St. Mary Street,
Bridgwater TA6 3EQ  Charity No: 1128525
For more information contact:
Margaret Lee,
Tower Captain 8 Suffolk Close, Bridgwater TA6 5PN

It is only by people like yourself helping in whatever way you are able that this project will be successfully completed.

Do not recycle – please pass this leaflet on to a friend

A PDF of this page is available for you to download, print and pass to a friend - click here