The sound of bells from St Michael’s Church is here to stay.
The Parochial Church Council was granted a temporary licence in September 2018 to make safe and preserve the original bells and evaluate a modern digital bells system.
The digital bells were installed in the church tower in early December 2018 and tested and adjusted over a nine-month period to get the most realistic sound.
The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) visited the church in November 2019 to see the system and hear the bells. They noted that the system was effective and “evidently greatly appreciated by the congregation and neighbouring community”.
A faculty for permanent use of the digital bells was granted earlier this year so long as:
• any future alterations or replacement of the system is referred to the DAC
• they are rung for “ordinary use” (excluding times when muffled* bells would be required), and
• the PCC is encouraged to progress the preservation and repair of the bells.
There were once four bells in the bell chamber: there are now only three. There is no record of what happened to the missing bell. In July 2019 the bells were removed from their pivots and supported on a timber platform to remove the weight from the historic bell frame – which is included on the Church Buildings Council’s list of significant frames
*Muffled or half-muffled bells can be rung to mark funerals and other solemn occasions.