Church in Stone aims to recycle its bells

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A church in Staffordshire is looking to raise £150,000 to refurbish its 300-year-old bells.

St Michael and St Wulfad's church in Stone plans to melt down the bells and turn them into new ones.

Phil Gay, from North Staffordshire Association of Change Ringers (NSACR), said it is often the only way that churches can replace them as metal prices are so high.

The bells need to be recast because they can no longer be tuned accurately.

The Reverend Ian Cardinal, Rector of Stone, said: "The bells really have come to the end of their useful life.

"They've got different profiles and it's very difficult for the ringers to actually make any sense of them these days."

'Considerable value'

Casting the eight church bells will cost about £150,000, but the price of the metal would be taken off that bill when the new set are made.

Bell metal is a bronze alloy with just the right balance of hardness and resonance.

"The value of the metal is considerable," said Mr Gay.

"Very often, with bell restoration projects, the only way they can be financially viable is to reuse the metal from the old bells."

One of the fundraising ideas is for families to have their names inscribed inside the new bells.

The church was built in 1758 and there has been a place of worship on the site for 1,400 years.

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