Appeal for a Peal “St John’s Sharow Bell Restoration”

Despite social distancing and following Government Guidelines, local people are coming together to help raise funds to renovate one of the finest assets of St John’s Sharow. For years pigeons have roosted in the bell tower resulting in the bells becoming toxic and unsafe to use, denying the local community of a valued and treasured iconic resource.

It is hoped that 8 groups of people, involving individuals aged from the age of 8 to 88, using 8 ways to donate will enable the renovation of the 8 ancient bells within St John’s church tower.

2024 is the Bi-Centenary of the first bells arriving in St John’s and it is hoped the bells will be restored for a commemorative Peal, a wonderful celebration of continuous bell ringing lasting over 3 hours.

St John’s Tower Correspondent Bridget Taylor-Connor says “2024 may seem a long way off, but the bells have been very neglected and we want to be sure they are ready. By clubbing together as a family or donating in memory of a loved one, Appeal for a Peal is about banding together to get the 8 bells of St John’s Sharow cleaned of pigeon guano and usable for all to enjoy.”

Covid-19 aside, the bells, usually rung for weddings and services and by visiting bands of ringers are now silent. The trouble started when part of the ringing chamber roof fell in and though the ceiling is now repaired, the build-up of pigeon droppings has made the tower and the bells unsafe to use.

With the support of the church council and local people it is hoped to soon start cleaning and repairing the bells.

More information on the bells and the Appeal for a Peal b.connor7621@btinternet.com

Photo shows Rev Ruth Newton, vicar of St John’s, with her dog Tessa, outside St John’s bell tower