Paula on the pull for cash to restore historic bells

THE MAYOR of Weston, Paula Howell, has been knuckling down to a three month training course in bell-ringing to help raise funds for St John the Baptist Church's restoration appeal. Cllr Howell will be ringing the bells at the church in Lower Church Road,

THE MAYOR of Weston, Paula Howell, has been knuckling down to a three month training course in bell-ringing to help raise funds for St John the Baptist Church's restoration appeal.Cllr Howell will be ringing the bells at the church in Lower Church Road, Weston, on October 14 and she has been practising the skill every Wednesday to make sure she will be up to scratch on the day.The church needs to raise £30,000 to restore the historic bells, the oldest of which is 630-years-old.Members of the congregation have put on garden sales and mini bell-ringing shows to raise the cash and have also been given grants, but they still need around £7,000 to reach their total.Joe Beaumont, the church's tower captain and chief bell-ringer at the church, said: "We are really pleased the mayor is supporting us."Not everybody can pick up bell-ringing at first, it can take up to a year to get to that stage but I think she'll be ready."Cllr Howell first learnt to bell-ring when she was 14-years-old, following in the footsteps of her late father, Harry Button, who kept up the hobby into his 90s.Cllr Howell will be joining the bell ringers at the parish church of Weston on October 14 at 10.30am. Spectators can donate to the church on the day. A Weston College lecturer is also supporting the appeal.Paul Raymond, head of music at the college, has recorded a CD featuring the bells, organ and piano. The CD goes on sale next month to raise funds for the restoration work. To order a copy call 01275 463304.


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