The Association encourages PCCs to restore and improve their rings of bells and to keep them in good order. It is always ready to give advice on bells and their installations and to offer financial help through its Bell Repair Fund. Its Education Committee is also willing to help in the training of local ringers (especially if none are already there).
In return for its advice and financial help, the Association would look forward to the council encouraging the ringing of its bells regularly on Sundays, other special days and for weekly practices, and also to allow reasonable access to other ringers for meetings, quarter peals and peals.
The Bell Repair Fund
The Bell Repair Fund (a Registered Charity) exists to give financial help to Parochial Church Councils, which are carrying out improvements, repairs, augmentations etc. to their bells and fittings. Any church within the diocese is welcome to apply for a grant or loan from the Fund, to seek advice or to ask for an inspection of its bells by the Association’s bell consultants, whose expenses are borne by the Fund.
The Fund is administered by the Association’s Bell Repair Fund Committee, which meets usually in March and September of each year.
Information required by the committee.
In order to come to a good decision when considering an application, the committee needs to know certain basic information. In deciding the amount to be granted or loaned, it takes into account:
1. The technical merit of the proposed work to the bell installation.
2. The total cost.
3. The amount of local volunteer labour to be used (thereby adding to the value of the work, but keeping down the cost), and
4. The likely state of the Fund when payment becomes due.
The Bell Consultants must agree the ‘technical merit’ in item 1 above. On points 2 and 3 of the above the committee has to rely on the applicant to provide the information. A copy of the bell founder’s or engineer’s quotation, if this can be made available, provides an excellent guide in assessing the technical merit and cost of the work.
Bell Restoration Firms.
There are a few firms which specialize in bell founding and repair, some of them fairly local. The Association strongly recommends that PCCs seek quotations from more than one firm. The Association’s bell consultants will be pleased to supply the names and addresses of suitable firms and to advise PCCs on any matter concerning bells, including inspections and advice (if requested).
Applications for Grants and Loans.
Applications should be made to the Honorary Secretary of the Bell Repair Fund.