Bells ring across England in historic church appeal

 Birthday Bells will be heard across England from 2pm on Saturday 21 February as more than 70 Churches chime together for the Birthday Bells Appeal, the start of the nationwide, year long 40th birthday celebrations of the Churches Conservation Trust.

The charity cares for England's finest historic churches no longer required for regular worship. Highlights of the participating churches include the church with the UK's most important collection of alabaster effigies and one of the most outstanding examples of a Norman church in the country through to churches linked to bloody Civil War battles, ransom demands and dramatic moments in local history around the country.

These historic buildings will ring, chime and peal (a full peal lasts three hours) their bells celebrating their place in the heart of communities across England and encouraging people to seek them out. All events are FREE and suitable for all ages. Details of all participating churches can be found at

Ancient Bells On Your Mobile

Ancient bells can also boom on your mobile! The 110 year old bells at St John The Baptist Church, Avon Dassett, Warwickshire will ring for the first time in 30 years on Saturday. The Churches Conservation Trust is recording the bells to create unique ring tone download for mobile phones ­ a modern must for conservation lovers and technology fans alike. The bells are able to ring thanks to the restored bell tower, completed via a £700,000 restoration project from the Churches Conservation Trust. Ring tone download details at:

Lloyd Grossman OBE, Chairman, the Churches Conservation Trust, said: "The Birthday Bells Appeal will see historic churches across the UK opening up and ringing their bells to invite people to rediscover and enjoy these ancient, special places, in the heart of their communities.

"The Charity's historic churches are a quintessential feature of our English towns and countryside, but they are at risk. If cared for correctly they can provide contemporary spaces for everyone to enjoy whilst also preserving and celebrating these great buildings for future generations. The aim of the Birthday Bells Appeal is to enable people to discover historic churches near to them and find out how these spaces can be enjoyed and used all year round. The Appeal is just the start of our 40th year and I look forward to our celebrations across England to raise awareness of the importance of saving our historic churches."

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