20 June 2024

Church gives thanks for new bell

by Sam Hawcroft

The bell at St Matthew’s Church in Withernsea is chiming once more, for the first time in two and a half years.

The Hull Road church had been without a bell since October 2021, when the previous one was stolen. The thieves had used the church’s wheelie bin to transport it away, and it was never recovered.

Significant damage was also caused to the cellar doors after the heavy bell was dropped 30ft on to them. The cost of repairing the doors and replacing the bell was estimated at about £8,000 at the time.

The new bell has been made by the John Taylor & Co foundry, and, like the old one, it is dedicated to the memory of Geoffrey Chandler, the first vicar of the church.

The hammer is now electrically operated, meaning there is no long rope to pull – just the pressing of a button.

A fundraising appeal for a new bell was widely supported. Rev Clive Hall thanked the Buffaloes and Lions, AGM Property Services, Larsen and Co and the Burkitt family, as well as the many donors among the congregation and to an online fundraising page.

A thanksgiving service was held last Sunday to celebrate the installation of the bell.

Rev Hall said: “I do need to add a special thank you to both Alan and Grahame MacGregor for all their hard work in making this happen.

“It was good to have people representing these different groups in church on Sunday, along with our new mayor, Ian Blackburn.

“Each of the organisations who helped to raise funds rang the bell on Sunday, and we will now ring the bell every Sunday as the traditional call to worship for the people of Withernsea.”