Calne St Mary, Clock and Bells restoration project

If your church is thinking of restoring its church bells, this one is for you. After five years of planning and fundraising, work has finally started on the Calne St Mary, Clock and Bells restoration project. Which costs an estimated £260,000.

The work started on 5 September, with the aim of ensuring that the bells and clock will continue to function for many years to come. This development will make ringing easier and open up the ability for broader community participation. 

As part of the project two new bells were cast, including one in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. 

The two new bells will be added to the current total of eight, with the Sanctus Bell, cast around the 15th century, being re-positioned to an existing belfry at the top of the tower. 


The clock at St. Mary's, which has been keeping time for 170 years, is also due for an upgrade. Alongside the tower bells, the face and dial have also been removed for restoration, and the mechanism will be converted to an electrical winding that will abolish the need for someone to hand-crank it once every few days. 

The project will not involve any changes to the outside of the 12th century tower, but will require a re-modelling of the inside to accommodate the renovations. 

This extensive work does not come without cost of course, and is estimated to cost the church around £260,000 to complete, of which they are currently £20,000 short of. 

number of generous organisations came together in order to fund the majority of St Mary's budget, the most notable of which being the Llewellyn Edwards Bell Restoration Fund. 

The Llewellyn Edwards Bell Restoration Fund is a registered charity that has made grants totalling over £50,000 for the restoration and augmentation of church bells within the Diocese of Salisbury. 

If you're interested in other work that the Llewellyn Fund is involved with, or are interesting in applying for your own grant, find their website here

The church also embarked on their own fundraising missions in their local area, with the Calne Branch Bell Restoration 200 Club being set up as a small society lottery. 

All profit from the lottery is made available to Calne Branch bell restoration projects, with any surplus at the end of the year being donated to the Llewellyn fund. 

For details of their next draw and how to get involved, click here

The builders will continue their work over the coming year, with aims of the bells and clock being returned to the tower by Spring 2023, where they will be tuned and hung in a restored frame along with the newly cast bells. 

To keep an eye on the ongoing work at Calne St Mary's, or if you've been inspired to donate to their restoration fund, you can click the links for their website or Facebook page. 

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