Kesgrave church bell rings again after years of silence

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Kesgrave church bell rings again after years of silence

After years of silence, Kesgrave’s Church of the Holy Family and St Michael’s bell rings again, revealing a mysterious maritime past and a legacy intertwined with local history.


After several years of silence, the church bell at The Church of the Holy Family and St Michael in Kesgrave is ringing once more, much to the joy of the local congregation. The bell had been immobile and unapproachable, accessible only from outside. With the assistance of Cummings Roofing, the bell has been repaired and now sounds to summon parishioners to Sunday services and other significant events.

Dcn Chris Brighten revealed that the bell’s inactivity was due to the rope breaking just before the Covid pandemic, with repair efforts being delayed due to lockdowns and difficulties in finding interested and reasonably priced builders. This was probably the original rope from 1934.

An intriguing discovery was made during the repair – the bell, installed on July 2, 1934, three years after the church was constructed, is engraved with ‘Sancta Maria’. It was donated by Captain Herbert Vaughan R.N., related to Michael Rope in whose memory the church was built, and his sister Margaret Agnes Rope, the creator of the church’s stained-glass windows. It has been suggested that the bell may have originated from a First World War ship.

Despite the bell being operational since last October, its full history, particularly its potential maritime origins, remains a mystery. Any information regarding the bell’s past is welcome, if you know anything, please contact Dcn Chris at chris.brighten@st-mary.org.uk

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