Saturday, 3 December 2011

Contact Us

Our Contact Us page had not been working for some weeks.  We are now happy to report that it is now fully working again.

Monday, 31 October 2011

October Update

We have lots of news for you in this posting.  Firstly we have just completed Phase 1 of our refurbishment which was to widen the existing trap way in the ringing chamber floor and construct a new trap way in the bell chamber floor to allow the bells to be removed from the tower for refurbishment.  You can see the new trap way in this photo, looking up underneath the bell chamber floor from within the ringing chamber.

The work on the trap ways has cost more than was originally budgeted and as a result we have had to raise our fundraising target to £33,000.  We were delighted to receive £1,000 towards the cost of the trap way work from The Friends of Flitwick Parish Church.

Now that the trap way work has been completed, this leaves the way clear to start the bell refurbishment work.  We still have to raise more money before this work can go ahead, but we are looking forward to a provisional start date of January 2013.

We have recently received the fantastic news that we have been awarded a significant grant of £6,000 by the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers Luton District Belfry Repair Fund.  This, combined with other kind donations received during September and October, brings our total raised so far to £27,401.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

August 2011 Fundraising

Thank you to all those who donated in August.  We have raised a further £260 since the Classic Car & Bike Show, taking the total raised so far to £20,235.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Classic Car & Bike Show - 7 August 2011

We hosted the Charmborough Ring at the Flitwick Classic Car and Bike Show on 7 August.  This mini-ring generated a lot of interest from visitors to the show and also attracted ringers from neighbouring Towers.  Curious onlookers were invited to try their hand at ringing, with many taking up the offer to have a go.  In addition to the ring we had an information stand giving details of our refurbishment project and a stall selling home-made sweets, which proved very popular!

With money raised at the show and a pledge from a generous benefactor, the total raised to date stands at £19,975.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Try Your Hand At Ringing - 7 August 2011

The Bell Ringers will be at Flitwick’s main community event – the Classic Car and Bike Show (including The Health and Beauty Experience) at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick on Sunday 7 August from 12 noon to 4pm.  We are pleased to be hosting the Charmborough Ring - a portable belfry with six bells that can be rung in the same way as those in churches and cathedrals throughout the country.

If you have never rung a bell, we would be delighted to "show you the ropes" and let you try your hand at ringing, or if you are already an accomplished ringer you are very welcome to come along and have a go on what is considered to be one of, if not, the best mini-ring in the country.

If that is not enough to tempt you, the Bell Ringers will also have their stall selling a range of home-made sweets, which proved very popular at this year's summer fete.

There won’t be any charge to ring (although any donations towards our refurbishment project will be gratefully received!).  There is an entry fee to the Classic Car show which is £3 for adults (children free).  Directions and a map to the Rufus Centre in Flitwick can be found on their web site at

We look forward to seeing you there!

July 2011 Fundraising

Thank you to all those who donated in July - we raised a further £158 - making our total so far £6,559.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

June 2011 Fundraising

Thanks to those who donated in June - we raised a further £90 - taking our total so far to £6,401.

Friday, 10 June 2011

April/May 2011 Fundraising

The Bell Ringers home-made sweet stall and Raffle at the Summer Fete raised a total of £170.  Thank you to everyone who turned out in the rain to support us.  In addition, a further £459 was was kindly donated, taking our total raised so far to £6,311.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Summer Fete - 30 May 2011

The Bell Ringers will be at the Summer Fete raising money for the Bell Refurbishment with their stall selling a range of home-made sweets.  We will also be holding a raffle for a chance to win afternoon tea at Flitwick Manor.  The Fete is being held on Bank Holiday Monday 30th May from 2.00pm in the Churchyard.

In addition to the Bell Ringers stall, there will be lots to do and see for all the family - cream teas, tombolas, cake stall, raffle, face painting, games, book stall, bric-a-brac and lots more.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

March/April 2011 Donations

Woodland Middle School recently held a Recital Evening and a Concert Performance of Joseph, at which they kindly held collections in support of our Bell Refurbishment fundraising appeal.  In total they raised £81.22.  We would like to thank the Woodland Staff, Pupils and Parents very much for their support.

Including the donation from Woodland, we have raised £247 in the last month, taking our total so far to £5,682.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

March Update - Taking The First Steps

The first phase of the refurbishment project is to construct new trap ways so that the bells can be removed from the tower.  A meeting with the Architect and the Bell Hanger was held on 7 January 2011. At the meeting, the trap way in the ringing chamber floor was inspected with a view to widening it and the position of the new trap way to be cut in the bell chamber floor was agreed upon.

At the PCC meeting on 14 February 20011 the Architect was appointed for the work required to the bell chamber and ringing chamber floors. The Architect will now proceed with the faculty application and tendering for this work.

In parallel, the PCC are currently preparing the faculty application for subsequent phases of the refurbishment project; to tune and re-hang the bells.

These are the first important steps to make this project a reality!

February/March 2011 Donations

Donations amouting to £146 were greatly received in the past few weeks, taking the total raised so far to £5,435.

Friday, 4 February 2011

January 2011 Donations

Thanks to those who donated in January - we raised £289 - taking our total so far to £5,289.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Story So Far...

An inspection made by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) dating back to 1980 recommended that within the next ten years the bells should be refurbished and tuned.  Some work was done in 2002 to refurbish the clappers and roller boxes on the five oldest bells.  Otherwise the installation has been largely untouched since the five oldest bells were re-hung in 1909 and the new treble bell was installed in 1957.

In 2005 a tuning analysis was done on the bells and in 2007 one of the Bell Foundries was asked to consider the feasibility of tuning the bells.  A tuning scheme was proposed and the conclusion was that there would be a dramatic improvement in both tuning and tone of the bells.

In late 2009 it was decided that the time was right to fully consider the refurbishment and tuning of the bells.  In February 2010 inspections were carried out by Bell Foundries and Bell Hangers and proposals obtained for the required refurbishment and tuning work.

In July 2010 the preferred proposal was presented to the PCC and their approval was sought to move forward with the project.  Consultations have been made with the public, the Diocesan Bell Advisor, the Church Buildings Council, English Heritage and Natural England.

We will be meeting with the Architect and the Bell Hanger in January to work out a scheme for constructing the trap ways which are required to remove the bells from the tower.  Once this has been done and estimates for the work obtained, the faculty application can be completed and submitted to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for approval.