THE bells at St Wilfrid's Church in Grappenhall have been ringing out for more than 300 years.

But now they are at risk of falling silent.

Residents have launched a campaign to save the eight bells, some of which date back to the 17th century, from being clapped out and becoming too knackered to be rung.

The church has a group of award-winning community bellringers with volunteers ranging from 17-years-old to those in their 90s.

And they are hoping to raise £175,000 to keep the sound of church bells ringing out in the area for the next 100 years.

The frame in the tower has also become worn out and risks damaging the building if it is not restored so the volunteers are urgently asking for help.

Tower captain, Mike Thomson, said: “The relevant authorities have approved the plans, so now all we have to do is raise the funds.

"We are in the process of applying for any available grants, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, and are planning a number of fundraising events so watch this space.”

Plans include a ring of ten bells to be cast and the installation of a new frame, which will provide a more musical sound for residents.

The older bells can then be retired but kept in the tower to be rung occasionally.

St Wilfrid's clock will also be renovated so that the chimes of the hour can be heard throughout the village.

So far £56,000 has been raised for the project but volunteers still have a long way to go if they want to hear the bells chime for Christmas, weddings, christenings and special events in the neighbourhood for generations to come.

To find out more about the project visit and to donate visit