Church bells restored after 100 years
The parish church of St Michael the Archangel in Chagford have been raising money since September 2015 to have their historic church bells refurbished and re-hung. The bells were last recast in 1914.
The money raised to restore the bells was aided by grants from Brownsword Charitable Trust, Chagford Parish Council, Chagford Show, the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund, Devon County Council, Locality Budget Fund, Friends of St Michael’s and the Lottery Heritage Fund. Generous donations were also received from other Bell Towers and from many individual donors. The bells are now clean and shiny with new, bright red, cast iron headstocks.
A service of thanksgiving was held on April 1 to celebrate the return of the bells to Chagford from Taylor’s of Loughborough where they were able to complete the work they began in 1914 when they recast the bells. Bishop Robert led the service along with Rev Paul Seaton-Burn (Team Rector of the Whiddon Mission Community). A celebratory buffet lunch was held in the town hall following the thanksgiving service.
There is to be an open tower day on Saturday 15 April 10am-4pm. Guided tours will be taken up the tower to the belfry, the clock chamber and the ringing chamber, with demonstrations of how the bells work.