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Rochester Cathedral

Company of Bell Ringers

 

 

Jubilee_Bells The Jubilee Bells

Help us to mark the Platinum Jubilee

Over the last 2 years, we have been raising money to carry out essential maintenance work on the existing 10 bells. However, we would also like to add more bells so that we, like many other English Cathedrals, have 12 bells to ring. The Queen's Platinum Jubilee provides us with an excellent opportunity to castnew bells to commemorate this unique event.

One of our aims is to become a centre for ringing excellence in North Kent and across the Diocese of Rochester and adding 2 bells will enable us to move towards this goal. Being able to ring on 12 bells is regarded as the ultimate aim for all bell ringers and we would provide the Diocese of Rochester with its first ring of 12 church bells.

We also want to create a lighter octave to practise on. This will make it easier to train ringers with the bells either sounding as normal or being linked to a ringing simulator for silent practice. To do this, we want to get a third new bell which will enable us to ‘change key’ and ring a lighter set of 8 bells in the key of A major. 

To achieve this aim, we need to raise a further £60000 in order to get the new bells cast and provide the necessary framework and fittings to enable them to be rung.

You can make a contribution by visiting our Just Giving page:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rochester-cathedral-bells

You can also send your donations to:-

Rochester Cathedral Bells Centenary Project
Garth House
Rochester

ME1 1SX


Cheques should be payable, please, to “Rochester Cathedral” with “Bells Fund” written clearly on the back of the cheque.

 

 

`Why do the bells need maintenance?

The bells themselves do not need  maintenance as bells can last for hundreds of years. The Cathedral bells were cast in 1921 and were hung in their current frame in 1960. However, when this work was carried out, it resulted in a very large rope circle in the ringing chamber so the way in which the ropes fall means that it is not easy to see every other ringer from each bell rope.

4th, 5th and 6th

We want to improve this circle to make the sighting better. We also want to ensure that the bells are no longer oddstruck, in other words they are sounding either slightly earlier or slightly later than they ought to. This makes it difficult for less experienced bell ringers to get their bell to sound at exactly the right moment. Another issue we want to deal with is the fact that the sound of some of the bells dominate over the others when all the bells are ringing making the overall sound unbalanced.

Some of the fittings are also getting worn out. The ropes we pull on to ring the bells run through pulleys which are showing signs of wear. The wheels which the ropes attach to are also showing signs of damage caused by aging.

damaged wheel wheel sizes

Finally, we would like to improve the environment in the Ringing Chamber. This room, in the tower below the level of the bells, is where the ringers actually ring the bells from.  The lighting in this room is not very good, and it also has very dated carpet tiles which are in need of replacing.

ringing chamber carpet

I

 

 How much will it cost?

In order to achieve these aims and help to establish Rochester Cathedral as one of the foremost ringing centres in Kent we will need to raise £100000. We have already raised £40000 which will help improve the way that the current bells ring. Now we would like a further £60000 to provide North Kent and the Diocese of Rochester with its first ring of 12 church bells and provide a legacy for teaching and furthering the art of bellringing at Rochester Cathedral.

Examples of what a donation may provide:

£20,000 Maximus sponsor"
%
A new bell and associated fittings (subject to availability) with an inscription acknowledging the gift of the sponsor
£15,000 Royal sponsor” 

% A new bell (subject to availability) with an inscription acknowledging the gift of the sponsor

£  10,000 Major sponsor”
%
Employing a professional bell-hanger to carry out the  necessary work with a plaque in the Ringing Chamber acknowledging the gift of the sponsor
£ 5,000 Platinum donor” 

% Replacement headstocks (subject to availability)

%  Frame improvements and painting

% Providing the fittings necessary to hang a bell (subject to availability) 

£  2,000 Gold donor” 

% New ropes

%  Improved lighting in the Ringing Chamber

£     500 Silver donor”

% Replacement clapper to improve overall sound balance

% Replacement pulley box

% Repairs to bearings

£     250

£     200

£     150

£     100

£       50

Donor”   % Greatly valued contributions towards any of the above  and additional hidden costs, e.g. transport, scaffolding, lifting gear, accommodation for bell hangers...

We do hope you may wish to make a contribution. Every donation, however small, will help towards us to attain our aim to mark the Platinum Jubilee and to carry out the essential work to kepp the bells at Rochester Cathedral ringing out for future generations.

You can make a contribution by visiting our Just Giving page:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rochester-cathedral-bells

You can also send your donations to:-

Rochester Cathedral Bells Centenary Project
Garth House
Rochester

ME1 1SX


Cheques should be payable, please, to “Rochester Cathedral” with “Bells Fund” written clearly on the back of the cheque.

 

If you would like to find out more or have any questions about the project, please contact us.