Glynn church bell silenced for safety reasons

Church warden Brian Milligan brings the bell to safety.
Church warden Brian Milligan brings the bell to safety.

Residents of Glynn, outside Larne, may notice that a long-standing tradition will be absent on Sunday morning.

The bell at St John’s Church in the Co Antrim village has not had its familiar ring lately.

The bell crown is broken.

The bell crown is broken.

Previously, it could be heard pealing every Sunday for years.

Closer inspection has revealed the bell, which dates back to 1840, is suffering the effects of old age.

Its crown has become damaged and has had to be removed as a safety precaution.

St. John’s glebe warden Derek Swann explained: “Two weeks ago, someone noticed a strange sound from the bell toll. The following Sunday, it stopped working.

“We got a service engineer to look at it. We thought it was just a small fault.”

However, after the engineer scaled the 35 ft height to the bell tower, he discovered that the damage was more serious.

Mr Swann added that when St. John’s Church was refurbished in 2001 , the bell at the 169-year-old church was updated and was fitted with an automatic hammer making it automated.

During the recent inspection, the engineer reported the bell’s crown had become broken off.

“The crown has broken off and the bell has become a health and safety concern,” said Mr Swann.

“Our first priority was to get it down safely. It has now been taken down from the bell tower.

“We now want to get the crown repaired.”

Mr Swann went on to say the church has decided to have the bell repaired at a cost of approximately £3,500.

The alternative, a replacement, would be considerably more.

Mr Swann said the church is now planning a series of fundraising events to pay for the bell to be repaired.

The first will take place on October 25, at 7.00 pm, when a table quiz will be held at Glynn Village Hall. Cost of admission £3. A ballot will be held. Donations welcome.