Church gets bells, thanks to legacy

A NEW peal of bells being installed in a Suffolk church has been financed by the generosity of a late member of the congregation in her will.Nearly four years ago Barbara Browes, a resident of Felixstowe and long-serving member of the congregation at St John the Baptist, Orwell Road, left a substantial amount of money in her will for the purchase of new bells.

A NEW peal of bells being installed in a Suffolk church has been financed by the generosity of a late member of the congregation in her will.

Nearly four years ago Barbara Browes, a resident of Felixstowe and long-serving member of the congregation at St John the Baptist, Orwell Road, left a substantial amount of money in her will for the purchase of new bells.

The cost of the bells and the necessary building work is about £90,000, which is easily covered by her legacy, and a special reserve fund will be set up from the balance to pay for future maintenance.

St John's church was built in 1895 and when the tower was added in 1914 it was designed to house a ring of bells. But only one bell was ever hung due to financial restrictions and now a new ring of eight bells is to be installed.


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This is the first time since the late 1930's in Suffolk that such a ring has been installed in a church and it will make St John's the only church on the Felixstowe peninsular with a ring of eight.

The seven new bells are being cast and installed by John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough, and earlier this year 50 members of the church travelled to the foundry to watch the bells being cast. Volunteers from the congregation will help with the installation under the supervision of the foreman bellhanger.

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The bells will be hung in May and on June 22 the Bishop of Dunwich, the Right Rev Clive Young, will dedicate them.

The vicar, Canon David Lowe, said: ''The tower of St John's was built with the intention of housing a ring of bells. We are grateful to the late Barbara Browes and the Browes family for providing the means to fulfil this intention. It has been their dream and dream of many in this church, and now the opportunity has arrived when the dream has come true.

''Since the money was left for the purpose it has taken almost four years to do all the necessary testing of the tower's strength to meet all the required approvals and obtain a Faculty.''

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