THE bells of St Luke’s are back – and they should be ringing again by the end of the month.
Parishioners at Milland’s parish church are celebrating the completion of refurbishment and re-tuning work on the bells.
When they were taken away in September, it was the first time since the church was built in the 1880s that it had fallen silent.
Work has gone on throughout the winter at the workshops of specialist company Whites of Appleton in Oxfordshire.
The six bells returned to Milland on Friday, and were lined up for inspection by the congregation and the bellringers.
During parish communion on Sunday the rector, the Rev David Renshaw, conducted a service of dedication.
Work began on Monday on the job of putting the bells back into the tower.
“It is a very delicate job winching the bells back up and manoeuvring them into place,” said the former churchwarden at St Luke’s, Sam Pope.
“I don’t think the bells will be ringing on February 19, but we will be disappointed if they are not ringing on the 26th.”
The dozen or so bellringers at Milland have been keeping their hand in by ringing at other churches, particularly St Mary’s at Liss.
The biggest of the six bells weighs 12 and a quarter hundredweight, and has to be squeezed through a trapdoor which is only a couple of inches wider than its circumference.