Bells silent in Bramford
FOR centuries church bells have sounded across Bramford village summoning people to the Sunday service. But experts have called a halt to the age-old tradition of bell ringing at St Mary's Church because of a serious structural problem with the tower.
FOR centuries church bells have sounded across Bramford village summoning people to the Sunday service.
But experts have called a halt to the age-old tradition of bell ringing at St Mary's Church because of a serious structural problem with the tower.
Bramford bell ringers Rose Godfrey, John Doy and Sam Harris have been told one of the buttresses supporting the tower is in danger of collapse and this would only worsen the problem.
They are urging people to support a £12,000 fundraising drive to help save the tower before it is too late.
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"Lots of villagers like to hear the bells," said Mrs Godfrey. "We enjoy it and hope that it gives joy to other people. I know some people think they are a bit of a nuisance.
"But it is part of our heritage and is a tradition to ring bells on a Sunday as a call for people to come to church.
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"Bell ringing has gone on for hundreds of years and will also affect the weddings here because people won't be able to able to have the bells, which they like."
The Evening Star reported how Reverend Cannon Roger Dedman launched an urgent appeal to save the tower.
Since then the situation has reached crisis point after a Suffolk architect carrying out a five yearly inspection put a stop to bell ringing and called for the area around the tower to be fenced off.
The building is still in use but notices have been put up warning people not to walk near the tower because of the dangers of falling masonry.
Reverend Dedman said: "We are now in a worse situation than we thought we were and are hoping the impact of silence will drive home how serious the problem is."
A meeting was held to encourage fundraisers which attracted a dozen church members and three others, but more support is desperately needed.
Meanwhile the bell-ringers have been invited to practice in the neighbouring village of Sproughton.
If you would like to make a donation to help save the tower please send a cheque made payable to Bramford Parochial Church Council, Colin Elsdon, Church Treasurer, 64 Cedarcroft Road, Ipswich.
Donors who are taxpayers are asked to make a signed declaration with their address and amount donated so a further 28 percent can be claimed.