The Bell Restoration Fund (BRF) was constituted in its present form on Spring Bank Holiday Monday in 1976. Two years later it became a Registered Charity (No. 508531) and, although closely associated with the Hereford Diocesan Guild of Bellringers (“the Guild”), it is administered independently.
Since 1976 the Fund has distributed grants totalling £213,832 towards the cost of bell restoration work in its affiliated churches. Currently grants totalling approximately £10,000 have been offered to the parishes of Eastnor and Broseley.
The BRF’s income comes from a combination of affiliation fees paid by member churches, an annual donation from its parent Guild, personal donations, largely Gift-Aided, bequests, events organised by the Districts of the Guild, interest earned from investments and from fund-raising events by the BRF itself. Each District of the Guild appoints its own Representative to co-ordinate fund-raising by members, and the work they do is highly valued by the Fund’s Trustees, as is the hard work and generosity of so many individual members of the Guild itself.
Originally all churches within the Diocese of Hereford, and a small number of extra-Diocesan parishes with a long history of membership of the Guild, with five bells or more were invited to become members of the BRF. More recently, however, churches with fewer than five bells have been admitted as well. Currently 126 churches are so affiliated.
The BRF is able to assist projects to restore bells so that they can be rung full-circle. When considering the availability and amount of grants the Trustees take into account the church’s history of membership of the Fund: at the present time they are usually prepared to award grants of up to 10% of the eligible cost. Payment of grants is made to PCCs following satisfactory completion of the work.
Any church in the Hereford Diocese with bells hung for full-circle ringing may apply to join the BRF: this requires payment of an annual affiliation fee of £4 per bell, due on 04 January and payable by Standing Order. If a church has not paid by 28th February it is deemed to be in arrears, and the Trustees may at their discretion terminate its membership.
More information about the Fund’s work is available on request from the Secretary.
The membership of the BRF comprises all current Ringing Members, Honorary Ringing Members and Freemen of our parent Guild, together with one representative from each affiliated church’s Parochial Church Council. Members are entitled to attend, speak and vote at the Annual General Meeting, which is usually held in March.
The Fund’s Trustees are Neil Bennett, Richard Clements, Sue Hack, Cherry Hughes, Jane Mason, Mark Pugh, Penny Salisbury and Rick Shallcross.
The Chairman of the Fund is:
Dr Rick Shallcross
HEREFORD HR4 7RJ
Tel: 01432 760273
The Secretary of the Fund is:
Mrs Cherry Hughes
BRIDGNORTH WV15 5DJ
Tel: 01746 761361
to whom all correspondence should normally be addressed.
The Treasurer of the Fund is:
Mr Neil Bennett
WELSHPOOL SY21 8TS
Tel: 01938 580333