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Bell Restoration Project


Calstock Display board
Calstock Display table
Handbells at the Open Day
Display Boards

It was important to the ringers that the community should be involved with the project. This encouraged us to put considerable effort into informing local people about our plans and seeking their support. Activities included:

  • Speaking to all the local church and chapel congregations​

  • Putting notes in the weekly church information sheets

  • Writing short articles for the local village magazines

  • Putting an article on the parish website

  • Setting up the website for the bellringers

  • Putting a photo and artefact display at the back of the church

  • Taking part in the Heritage Open Day scheme

  • Producing an information and fundraising leaflet, which was distributed throughout the local villages and tourist attractions

  • Arranging a promotional slot at the local supermarket

  • Informing local press

  • Giving an interview to a local radio station

Every donor requires slightly different information and every application has to be tailored to meet the varying requirements. Some have a detailed multi-page application form, others want a letter outlining the whole project on no more than two A4 sides; some support high church projects, some low; some bells or iron work, others tower or repairs; some will fund the project, others the community involvement; some want to match fund, or will contribute when the fundraising is 33% or 50% complete, others want to finish the project or fund a discrete part of it; some will only support the PCC because it is a recognised charitable body, others will only support the bell ringers because they are a secular rather than religious organisation.

Meanwhile we also started applying for grants.  This can be a slow process, not only can it take days to complete an application form and amass the information required, but having made the submission it can then be three months or more before a decision is made. We were fortunate to have around £8,000 in the Bell Fund to kick start the project, which reassured donors that we were prepared to put our own money into the work.




At Calstock we applied for funds from around 36 different trusts and charities. We had a 33% success rate and raised around a third of the funds we needed through grants to the PCC from these sources (£23,000) and something in excess of £2,000 through grants to the bell ringers.

Calstock Appeal brochure.jpg
Allchurches Trust
Tesco Bags of Help
Cyril Worth & Son
Heritage Lottery Fund
Cornwall Council
Cornwall Community Foundation

The single most effective form of fundraising turned out to be the leaflets. We designed the leaflets ourselves and distributed about 2000 around the parish to households, businesses and tourist attractions; ahead of the Heritage Open Day the National Trust even put them into their holiday cottages. From an initial investment of a couple of hundred pounds and a great deal of walking, we made a return of nearly £19,000.

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