Heaven's bells due to ring out

Church leaders' dreams will be fulfilled with the first melody of chimes from a belfry after more than 70 years of silence.The tower of St John the Baptist in Orwell Road, Felixstowe, was added to the church in 1914 with the intention of housing a ring of bells.

CHURCH leaders' dreams will be fulfilled with the first melody of chimes from a belfry after more than 70 years of silence.

The tower of St John the Baptist in Orwell Road, Felixstowe, was added to the church in 1914 with the intention of housing a ring of bells. However due to a lack of funds only one bell was ever installed so the tower could never sing with its full voice.

The Rev Canon David Lowe said: "I am confident that these bells will help the mission of the church in this place and now we can look forward to the future with excitement."

"The bells will be enjoyed by the neighbouring community and will add atmosphere to weddings which I'm sure the couples will appreciate."


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The cost of the bells and necessary building work will amount to around £90,000 and will be met from the legacy of Barbara Browes, a resident of Felixstowe and long time member of the church congregation, with some extra money in reserve for future maintenance.

In August 1999 Mrs Browes left some money to the church in her will on condition that it was used for this purpose.

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"We are very grateful to the late Mrs Browes and the Browes family for providing the means to fulfil our dreams," Mr Lowe added.

The tower will be the only one on the peninsular with a ring of eight bells. The nearest other church with bells is at Falkenham – but this only has a ring of six.

It has taken almost four years to do all the necessary testing of the tower's strength before preparatory work could start this month.

Special features have been incorporated to control the level of sound in consideration of people living in the immediate neighbourhood. The bells will be in place in mid May, but will not be rung until they are dedicated by the Bishop of Dunwich, The Right Rev Clive Young, on June 22.

Volunteers from the congregation will help with the installation work and a band of bell ringers are being trained for the big day.

The bells are being made and installed by John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd who supplied the original bell. On February 6 a party of 50 members of the church visited the Loughbourough based company to watch the seven new bells being cast.

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