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Restored bells installed at Suffolk church for historic Armistice sounding

PUBLISHED: 15:32 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:01 01 November 2018

All Saints Church in Little Cornard Picture: RACHEL EDGE

All Saints Church in Little Cornard Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

Campaigners who raised £130,000 to restore bells at a Suffolk church have hailed a “momentous day” in the project following their installation.

The campaign to restore the bells at All Saints Church in Little Cornard, near Sudbury, was launched three years ago and the community backed the project through a series of fundraising events.

The project involved the restoration of the five ancient bells – with the oldest dating from 1399 and the youngest from 1712 – as well as adding a new sixth treble bell.

The bells, which have not been rung full circle in living memory, are set to be sounded on Armistice Day for the first time in 200 years.

The bells were installed on Monday in preparation for the historic sounding on Remembrance Sunday.

Left to right: Gerald Bird, John Taylor, Jeremy Apter, Robert Mackman. Bells have been installed at Little Cornard church after a restoration project Picture: RACHEL EDGELeft to right: Gerald Bird, John Taylor, Jeremy Apter, Robert Mackman. Bells have been installed at Little Cornard church after a restoration project Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Lesley Ford-Platt, fundraising secretary of the bells committee, said: “I think the whole of the committee is delighted.

“It’s the culmination of all that hard work and to see them being winched into the tower was so exciting.

“It’s such a momentous day to see the project – and what a project it has been – to its conclusion, and to hear them ring again after all this time will be really wonderful.”

Mrs Ford-Platt, a former mayor of Sudbury, purchased the new sixth bell and it has been dedicated in memory of her son Michael Ford, who died in 2010 aged 30.

The new sixth bell, which has been dedicated to Lesley Ford-Platt's son Michael Ford Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe new sixth bell, which has been dedicated to Lesley Ford-Platt's son Michael Ford Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“It’s very special to think that they could be there for the next 600 years,” she said. “The oldest one dates to 1399 so why not.

“I’d like to pay tribute to all the people on the committee who have made it happen.”

Mrs Ford-Platt added that a practice ringing is likely to take place next week ahead of the formal sounding on Remembrance Sunday on November 11.

A service of blessing, conducted by Rt Reverend Martin Seeley, took place on Sunday, September 30, with supporters of the project in attendance.

The bells were installed on Monday Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe bells were installed on Monday Picture: RACHEL EDGE

A service of dedication will also take place on Saturday, December 1, led by the Rt Reverend Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich.

Supporters are being invited to attend that service to mark the completion of the project and celebrate the restoration of the bells.

Visit www.littlecornardchurch.org.uk for more information.

Clangers at All Saints Church in Little Cornard Picture: RACHEL EDGEClangers at All Saints Church in Little Cornard Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The bells being winched into the tower Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe bells being winched into the tower Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The bells will sound on Armistice Day Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe bells will sound on Armistice Day Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The bells are winched into the tower Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe bells are winched into the tower Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The committee hailed The committee hailed "a momentous day" in the project Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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