Alnwick church offers 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to see new and restored bells

New and refurbished bells are set to be transported to an Alnwick church.
Rev Canon Paul Scott standing in front of the bell tower of St Michael's Church.Rev Canon Paul Scott standing in front of the bell tower of St Michael's Church.
Rev Canon Paul Scott standing in front of the bell tower of St Michael's Church.

St Michael’s will take delivery of the 10 bells on Monday, August 9 – and there will be a unique chance for people to go and see them.

Rev Canon Paul Scott, vicar of St Michael’s, said: “We are thrilled to have reached this important stage in the life of our Tower Project.

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"The arrival of all ten bells and the opportunity to see them close up and then witness them being blessed by the Bishop of Berwick will be a very special experience.

"We hope lots of people will take this once in a lifetime opportunity. It will be something that they will be able to recall to the generations yet to come.”

The three unringable bells in the tower were removed from the belfry in March and taken to bell hangers in Oxfordshire. The two medieval bells have been cleaned and have now been brought back to Alnwick to remain permanently on public view in the church for the first time since they were cast in approximately 1440 and 1540.

The 10 bells, four which are new and six refurbished from St. James’s church, Newton Hall near Corbridge, will be brought to Alnwick by Whites of Appleton, bell hangers.

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From mid-afternoon they will be displayed in the church chancel before a blessing at 7pm by the Bishop of Berwick.

They will be lifted into the belfry on Tuesday, August 10 which, like those now in retirement in the south aisle, might not be on public view again for another 500 years.

The £300,000 Tower Project was launched in 2018.

St Michael’s Church has never possessed a full peal of bells. The only other ring of ten bells in Northumberland is at Hexham Abbey.

It is hoped that the bells may ring out for the first time on St. Michael’s Day, September 29.

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The project also includes a new roof for the ancient tower which was last replaced 274 years ago in 1746 and the preservation and display of interesting graffiti – some of which is considered to be quite rare and of national importance.