An ambitious project to revive the historic church bells in Little Cornard has set its sights even higher, following the success of its fundraising appeal.
The restoration of the bells at All Saints’ Church, the chimes of which have not been heard in living memory, gained another big boost towards its £107,000 goal when it received £5,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.
The appeal – named in honour of long-time supporter of the bells restoration, the late Rev Tony Moore – launched with the original target of raising £100,000, which rose due to additional costs, in order to refurbish the five church tower bells in time for the Armistice Day centenary in 2018.
Since then, the appeal has received huge support, including individual donations of £50,000 and £10,000, resulting in the addition of a new, specially-made sixth bell, dedicated to the memory of Michael Ford.
The All Saints’ Church Bells Committee estimates it is now just £14,000 from its goal and, encouraged by the recent success, it is now keen to raise a further £8,000 to install electrically-driven chime hammers, to ensure the bells ring even when bellringers are not available.
Lesley Ford-Platt, fundraising secretary, said: “The whole community has supported it and every little donation has been so valuable, because it has brought us to this huge total.
“People have been so generous. It all counts, so we are delighted with the support.
“When we started out, it looked like an impossible task, but this small group on the committee have worked so hard and with great enthusiasm and drive. They have been marvellous.
“I think the community is really looking forward to it. This will last hundreds of years into the future. It really is about building a long-term future for the church.”