The original fittings dating from 1893 had become so worn that ringing was difficult and would not have been sustainable for very much longer.
The church now has a fully restored ring of 8 bells hung on modern metal headstocks with new pulleys, wheels, clappers and sliders. The bells were tuned while at the foundry to improve the sound quality.
The Revd. Keith Hale and the PCC approved the fundraising appeal in 2013. The work was completed in February 2016.
We are very pleased and grateful for financial grant support from Viridor Credits Environmental Company, The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, The Yorkshire Association Bell Repair Fund, the YACR Sheffield Branch 100 Club, Sharpe Trust, Irwin Mitchell LLP Charity Fund, Wortley Parish Council, The Post Office Trust Charity and the Blakemoor Foundation.
We would also like to thank the businesses and groups in the area who helped us and made donations; The Wortley Arms, Wortley Post Office, Wortley Mens Club, Wortley Farm Shop, Wortley Hall, Wortley Rotary Club, Wortley Golf Club, St Mary's Ecclesfield bell ringers and Hallam Probus Club.
The final donation was fittingly made by Lady Rowena, daughter of the late Earl of Wharncliffe and great-great niece of Mary Caroline who made a gift of the bells to the village in 1893. Thank you.
Thank you also to all the private individuals who donated money to the appeal, volunteered to do the work, came to support our concerts and events, encouraged us and spurred us on, baked cakes, made and purchased craft products, held open garden events, carved stone bird baths, made endless cups of tea, grew and sold plants, delivered leaflets and so many other things.
The appeal was managed by Revd. Keith Hale, the St Leonard's PCC members and the bell ringers who all did a great job, thanks.
We are pleased and relieved as St Leonard's bells could have fallen silent forever if it hadn't been for the support and generosity of the people of Wortley and the villages nearby. It is clear bells mean a lot to this village.
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