Ringing Success: Church History, Fundraising, and Band Building in Nevern

How many bells are enough? Six, eight, ten? As show host Cathy Booth discovers from Peter Heard, once the offers of help and support came rolling in to Nevern Restoration Project, it was easy for their ambitious plan to grow and grow!

There’s something for everyone in this engaging episode, whatever your interests. Church history, restoration projects, epic fundraising, setting up a band from scratch and the ups and downs of special guests and TV appearances all get a look in.

Peter feels that ringing has rejuvenated him in later life, but I think this may be the other way about. Judging from the amazing success of this bell restoration and training centre, he has fully reciprocated by doing his bit to breathe new life into an old tower.

About Peter Heard, FCMI, LRPS

It was not until the ripe old age of 75 that Peter Heard was first introduced to a Dumbell with a view to learning to ring.  This was in 2019 when plans were developing to restore the bells and tower in his local church at Nevern.  Then came along Covid when everything came to a halt. 

As a further consequence of Covid and family bereavements, ringing training for Peter did not resume in earnest until June 2022.  He was, however, fortunate enough to be accepted for a course at Bradfield later in 2022 and now feels competent enough to handle most bells safely.

He has to admit that it has taken him considerably longer to get his brain functioning properly and at the age of 79 is only just beginning to learn how to cope with Plain Hunt.   Nonetheless, he is totally smitten with bell ringing, wishing he had discovered this art many decades ago.  He now rings at various towers up to 4 times a week whenever he can. 

He maintains there is absolutely no doubt that bell ringing has not only helped him revive some of his failing muscles but totally rejuvenated him mentally by meeting so many other like-minded, fun-loving ringers.

A grey haired man stands smiling holding a colourful bell rope with his arms stretched up above his head.
Peter Heard

Top 5 Takeaways

  • Looking for the perfect holiday location with an excellent ring of bells thrown in? Find out more about Nevern church and its bells here Our Church Bells | Nevern Church (nevern-church.org.uk)
  • If you’re planning a bell project, check to see what talent there is in your church congregation, you might be amazed to discover the expertise that you have
  • Find out more about the Keltek Trust Helping churches acquire surplus and/or redundant bells to be hung for English-style full-circle bell ringing
  • Looking to hold a ringing recruitment drive? What better place to hold a welcome and introductory session than the local pub!
  • Whilst the Colwinston Trust focuses its funding on projects that benefit Wales, look for unusual connections to your church and local trusts that might be able to help you with any bell ringing project

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