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Staffordshire church to stay quiet due to bell delay

By James Vukmirovic | Stafford | News | Published:

A Staffordshire church is set to stay quiet owing to a delay in refitting its bells.

St Mary's church will remain quiet after coronavirus-related delays in reinstalling its bells

The bells of St Mary's Church in Stafford rang for the last time in November 2019 ahead of a project to rehome, refurbish and replace them due to being assessed as poor tonal quality.

However, the project to replace the bells has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the foundry in Bridport in Dorset working on the bells to close due to lockdown.

Rev. Richard Grigson, rector of Stafford, has been a lead on the project since the inception.

He said: "We were disappointed that the project was delayed, but we also realise that the safety of those who are working on the bells at Nicholsons needs to come first.

"The church has been closed since March and we would have loved to hear the sound of bells, but the bell ringers would not have been able to meet due to distancing regulations.

"While the church will be silent in terms of the bells, it will soon be full of the sound of worship."

When the project is completed, St Mary's will be home to 12 new bells - 10 from the former St John's church in Hanley and two brand news bells cast by Westley Group in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

Of the original bells, five will return as the clock bells, four will be rehomed at other churches, two will be kept in the clock room and another kept for its historical value.

St Mary's will reopen for services on Sunday, July 5, with one service each week, starting at 10am.

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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