Bells will ring once again across Bigbury and the surrounding areas thanks to donations

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Bells will ring once again across Bigbury and the surrounding areas thanks to donations

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Donations from local businesses and people to The Tower and Bells Restoration Project has meant it won't be long before the sound of church bells rings out across Bigbury and the surrounding areas. 

The main donor has been The Venus Company, who runs three beach cafes in Bigbury-on-Sea, East Portlemouth, and Broadsands in Paignton, which has been making regular donations over the last two years.

The Tower and Bells Restoration Project is in aid of the historic church of St Lawrence in Bigbury, which is partly 14th century and was partly rebuilt in 1872 by J D Sedding.

Vic Gubbins, husband of fundraiser Jill Gubbins, helps restore the bells. He is a member of the six-strong PCC and is in charge of the grant applications undertaken for this project, and overall project manager in a volunteer capacity for the works.

Jill Gubbins, fundraiser, says: ”On behalf of the PCC of St Lawrence Church, may I tender our deep gratitude to the Venus team for the fantastic support given to The Tower and Bells Restoration project over the last two years – the total donated is a wonderful £3,643.48, which is very much appreciated by all involved in getting this long outstanding work underway.

“The tower had been repointed at some point with cement mortar which cracks and lets the rain ingress. This led to the deterioration of the steel frames and wooden structures supporting the six bells, making them unsafe to ring over the last twenty years. The tower joints have now been repointed with the more appropriate lime mortar specified for heritage buildings, which allows the joints to ‘breathe’ and accommodate movement.

"The cockerel has been firmly replaced on the spire top, and new floors, ceilings, and oak doors have been installed in the tower.”

She continued: “The bells, which are in reasonable condition, have been taken out to a Dorset firm for work mostly on the supporting structures that allow the bells to ring. We now await a firm date for the bells’ return, with a team of local volunteers eager to reinstall them in the belfry. Other keen volunteers are training to bell ring with the help of Modbury and Kingston churches.

“May Venus Company continue to thrive in our lovely part of England! St Lawrence looks forward to inviting Michael, Louisa, Lee, and the Venus team at Bigbury to the rededication of the bells in due course. It’s thanks to the great support such as Venus Company has offered that the parish can take pride in its Grade 2* listed church again, the tower of which now stands out well on the skyline, and which can allow bells to ring out in May for the new monarch!”

Michael Smith, MD of The Venus Company says: “Sustainability is part of our DNA, and we love the beach as a habitat, so taking care of it and the surrounding area is integral to our business philosophy.

“Our Bigbury-on-Sea beach café indoor dining area has spectacular views across to the iconic Burgh Island and Bantham, boasting some of the best South Hams coastline come rain or shine. It’s popular with young families with lovely coastal walks and St Lawrence Church is an important part of the local community. With this in mind, we felt it was important to get actively involved by donating funds to help support this wonderful initiative.”

 

 

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