An excellent starting reference point is the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers publication “Organising a Bell Restoration Project” This is advertised in the “Ringing World” and well worth the asking price which is currently £4. It can be ordered from CC PUBLICATIONS, Mrs B Wheeler, 2 Orchard Close, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 1XE.
Sources of funding are primarily from either fundraising activities or from donations/grants.
It is likely that a large proportion of the money you need for your project, especially if it is very expensive, you will have to get yourself. Below is a list of ideas, techniques and events to help you reach your goal…
Auction of Promises – people promise to do something and others buy what they are offering
Waste Paper collection
- Fill-a-can – give participants a full can of drink and ask them to enjoy it, wash it out and then use it as a money collecting tin.
- Parish Map/Paintings/Prints – sell special edition copies of parish scenes. This could be extended to selling items such as other souvenirs and heritage items, clothes, pens, pencils etc
- Night of 1000 Suppers
- Charity Auction – fairly self explanatory
- Plant Sale – sell plants!
- Fete – try to make it interesting with something different. Similar events like a Craft Fair or Bric a Brac sale make between £200 and £300
- Trivia/Quiz Evening
- Village Dance – get the residents dancing
- Jumble Sale
- Marathon Sponsorship – if you have a sporty runner they could run a sponsored marathon for your cause. Other sponsored events include walks, runs, swims and cycle rides.
- Quilt – quite a big project involving a lot of needle people creating a squared quilt.
- Sponsored Quarter Peals – possible simultaneous quarters to gain maximum publicity, involves people ringing quarters for which they are sponsored.
- Cheese and Wine evening – the usual idea. Could be improved as Wine and Buffet Supper (with music?) to make more money.
- Food – this covers a selection of ideas. A Coffee Morning could raise around £200, Ploughman’s Lunches a little less (however if positioned and publicised well a lot could be made) and Cream Teas can gain about £100 for your fund
- Christmas Draw – Special Christmas raffle, try to secure some good prizes
- Car Treasure Hunt & BBQ – create clues and a route for people to follow around your area (possibly selling the clues off to make more profit), finishing at a location for a BBQ supper.
- Barn Dance
Please note all incomes are estimates from a Central Council document and the amount gained greatly depends on the scale and organisation of each fundraiser. Some of these can be easily implemented by individual towers; others may require the help and advice of the BRF Fundraising Committee. See contacts details on the BRF fundraising committee's web page
Donations / grants
Your own ringers
Unlikely but not impossible that one of your own band may have the cash and wish it to be used to having a bell cast in memory of a loved one.
Your local PCC
Remember many PCCs have cashflow difficulties already. However, PCCs do sometimes ask the relatives of the deceased if there is any specific purpose that the funeral collection should be put to. Why not ask your PCC to mention your bell project?
Your local village / town
A personal type letter, hand delivered may be laborious but is likely to produce better results than a general appeal on local radio, the local press, and the church magazine. You could try all these. If the town is too large to mass mail, consider targeting those people who may feel some affiliation towards the church and its bells.
Your local business community
Do you have one of two large employers who may be sympathetic to your cause and who might be worth approaching? Don’t forget those businesses that may need to create goodwill in the local community.
Check with your local Reference Library to investigate the possibility of support from philanthropic Trusts in your area. Those Trusts known to support bell projects include:
Leicester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers
Speak to a member of your district committee or BRF Allocations Committee representative. See names and contacts for the Allocations Committee on their page here. Applications considered annually and needed by 31st July.
Leicestershire Historic Churches Preservation Trust
Apply to Mr T Y Cocks, Hon Sec, 24 Beresford Dr, Leicester, LE2 3LA. Tel. 0116 2703424. Applications considered 6 monthly and needed by 1st Feb & 1st Sep.
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
Check the website by clicking here, for contact details and availability of funds.
Barron Bell Trust
If you are low church and have / would like at least 6 bells then consider contacting Mr I H Walrond, Trustee, 71 Lower Green Rd, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4EB. The Trustees meet twice a year.