THE bells of St Mary’s in the Lace Market have fallen silent for the first time in nearly 600 years.
Apart from war time and the pandemic, the bells of the ancient Parish Church have been a constant presence.
Records of bells in the tower go back to the 14th Century. Of the current peal of twelve, the oldest was cast in 1595, a fine example of Tudor casting, and is decorated with the Royal Coat of Arms.
Peter Rogan, the church’s architect, explains: “The parapet of the gable end wall needs to be taken down and rebuilt. It’s unlikely much of the stonework will be salvageable.”
The Rev’d Tom Gillum, the vicar, is anxious the repairs are undertaken quickly so the bells can be rung for the coronation of Charles III on 6th May
“The bells are part of the life of St Mary’s and the City of Nottingham, sounding out what we celebrate and commemorate,” he said.
Captain of the bellringers, Emma Jones, added: “The problems have significantly disturbed the regularity of the bells ringing, especially so soon after their silence during the pandemic. We were unable to ring for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and at her death in September.”
“Not to have the bells ringing for the 6th May, the 24th coronation since 1475, is unthinkable,” says Mr Gillum, “so we are asking Nottingham to come together to help raise the £200,000 for the repairs.”
If you’d like to donate the easiest way is via their website: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12704#!/DonationDetails or for more information contact vicar Rev Tom Gillum on 07825 041432 or email firstname.lastname@example.org