St. Andrew's Church and it's beautiful bell tower
NEWS FROM THE TOWER
Next year will not only be the seventieth anniversary of the installation of the well-regarded ring of ten bells, but it will hopefully see the commencement of substantial tower repairs and refurbishment funded by the 'Heritage Lottery'. In conjunction with repairs to the roof, the bells will have to be removed from the frame and carefully lowered into the spaces beneath. The bell wheels will also need to be dismantled and the clappers (hammers) taken out. After completion of the roof, everything will then be reinstated, with the cost being met from the grant funding.
However, a few months ago an inspection by specialist engineers from a Derbyshire bell-hanging firm revealed that all the bearings in which the axles of the bells rotate, and also a number of the clappers, need replacing. This is not too surprising considering their age and use over the years. The 'Catch-22' situation which has arisen is that if the bell work is done at the same time as scaffolding is in place for the main project, a great deal of money will be saved. If it has to be left until a future date when the bearings seize up and render ringing impossible, the cost will be considerably more due to inflation and the need to re-scaffold the tower!
Thus, we have endeavoured to find £11,000 which is the cost of the actual bell repairs and which, unfortunately, is not part of the 'Heritage Lottery' grant. A large proportion of this sum of money has come from the bell fund, the local bellringing association, the 'Friends', a private donation and a generous donation from All Saints' funds. However, there is still a remaining amount to be found through grants and donations.
Hopefully, the bells will ring out in 2018, not only to announce the seventieth anniversary, but also the completion of two important projects in the maintenance of our nationally important church building.
If you would like to help the bell project you can donate by sending a cheque payable to St. Andrew's DCC (Bell Fund) at St. Andrew's Church, Talbot Road, Roker, Sunderland, SR6 9PT. All donations will be gratefully received.
UPDATE ON CHURCH BELLS FUNDRAISING
To date £9,800 has been raised towards the £11,000 needed for the bell restoration. Thanks to Doug and Christine Lowther for their tireless fund raising efforts.
UPDATE ON CHURCH TOWER RESTORATION- HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND
After two years of preparatory work we have now received permission to go ahead with the delivery phase of the £300,000 restoration project to the church tower. The work will start in March next year and be completed by August.
I am pleased to announce that the restoration and cleaning of the tapestry, which adorns the high altar, will now go ahead. More than £19,000 has been raised for the project, with many thanks to John Ferguson for his efforts in raising the money from several charity trust funds. The restoration process will take approximately three months. The fabric restoration will be done in London by Janie Lightfoot Ltd. It will then be sent to Ghent in Belgium for the cleaning process. The tapestry, made by William Morris, requires specialist cleaning due to the nature of the dyes used in its fabrication. It is expected that the tapestry will be removed from the church in December or early January.
We have much to be thankful for before God. Thankful for the tireless efforts of many in raising over £900,000 for all the restoration that has taken place in the last few years. From windows to rain water pipes, new central heating boilers to carpets and curtains an much more. I was amazed to read the results of two recent surveys that suggested people were coming to faith in Jesus through the magnificence of cathedrals and church buildings. The wonder and the marvels that behold our human eyes pointing to the glory of God and the worship in them, over many centuries.
It is anticipated that next year several events will take place to showcase our church, and through that which beholds the eye will point to the glory of God for all who walk through its doors. Not least a service of thanksgiving for the mighty works that God can accomplish through human hands.
BURNE-JONES TAPESTRY - ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH