THE sounds of church bells will soon ring out again over Grappenhall village.

After an absence of six months, the new bells for St Wilfrid’s Church arrived on Friday, July 5.

The new ring of 10 bells has been cast at the foundry of John Taylor & Co of Loughborough, with each donated by individuals or groups in the village.

Ringers and parishioners had the chance to visit the foundry to watch the castings take place.

Nick Thomson, ringing master at Grappenhall Bell Ringers, said: “The tenor bell (the heaviest bell in the ring) weighs just over half a ton, and has been donated by the bell ringers themselves.

“The ninth bell has been donated by the PCC and is in remembrance of those who fell in the First World War – as a special tribute to the fallen, the foundry has cast a ring of poppies in the crown of the bell.”

Four of the previous ring of eight bells also made the journey back to Grappenhall. These had rung out over the village for more 300 years, and have been retained due to their historic value. They are now going to have a quieter life, hanging above the new bells.

The bells were taken into the church and put on display so that they could be viewed before they make the journey up the tower.

On the following Sunday, the bells were blessed as part of the Celtic Communion service, which takes place once a month.

Reverend Jane Proudfoot blessed each of the new bells with oil as the congregation watched.

Pupils of St Wilfrid’s Primary School also came to see the finished articles.

Meanwhile, work continues up the tower in installing the bell frame.

Mr Thomson added: “The Taylor’s bell hanger, Andrew Ogden, has been leading the installation, and we have been grateful for the sterling work done by volunteers, both bell ringers and others, to assist him in his work – we would not have been able to do it without this help, which has reduced the total cost of the project.

“Hopefully, the bells will sound out over Grappenhall again by the end of this month, and the ringers will once again be able to ring in their own tower again.”

The bell ringers have been using churches in Stockton Heath and Stretton to continue with their weekly practises during the absence.