Exeter St Mark Bell Augmentation Project

Eight Bells to Ten Appeal

The appeal is now finished. St Mark's church has a complete peal of ten bells, augmented by two bells cast by John Taylor & Co in 2005 and hung in 2006. The new bells were dedicated by the Bishop of Crediton on 29th October 2006.

If you do still wish to make a donation to our Bell Restoration Fund this is still possible. Please take a look at the Charitable Status information.

The old eight bells are comprised of six bells from St John's, Fore Street Hill and two new bells donated in 1949. They were dedicated by the Bishop of Crediton on 28th April 1951. These bells are tonally excellent and of a good weight for teaching purposes. They are much in demand for peals and quarter peals - and practice nights have always been well attended acting as a magnet for those wishing to progress to 'the difficult stuff'.

But when you are reasonably competent on eight bells: what next? The natural progression is to learn to ring on ten and twelve at Exeter Cathedral, but this is not easy with the Cathedral bells being so heavy, ropesight being awkward and naturally there is a very public audience for the efforts of the band. So what is needed in Exeter is a suitable tower where ten bell ringing can be practised in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.... St Mark's is the ideal place for this.

*** Dedication Service Photos ***

The following links will give more information about the bells and our augmentation project:


Charitable Status

We are a registered charity under the name "Exeter St Mark Church Bells Restoration Fund" which enables us to take advantage of tax benefits.  (Registered No 1102557)

Our objects are stated as:
"To advance the Christian Religion by providing financial assistance to the church of St Mark in the parish of Exeter in the county of Devon for the purpose of maintaining and improving the bell installation by making grants to it. Maintenance, improvement and augmentation of the bell installation shall be deemed to include taking out, overhauling and reclappering existing bells, recasting or replacement of faulty bells by any means including acquisition of bells from churches declared redundant, overhauling or replacing the existing frame, fittings and support structure and re-erection, and the provision, installation and maintenance of sound control, and the maintenance of fixtures and fittings and the upkeep of the ringing chamber facilities."

It is now possible to Gift Aid any donations made to our bell fund which means we can claim back 28p in every pound that is donated to us. This will help significantly in our fund raising. Please complete the gift aid declaration form and send together with your donation made payable to "Exeter St Mark's Bellringers" to Matthew Hilling, 17 Dotton Close, Exeter, EX1 3US.


The Cost: How you can help

We are looking to raise something in the region of 25,000 in total. This will include the casting of two new bells and all the work connected with installing them in the tower - including the labour. Unfortunately we have to VAT and this total includes this. This sounds like a lot of money, but it can be broken down into smaller chunks.

Each bell needs a wheel, a stay, a slider, a rope as well as other parts. The approximate costs are, per bell:

Bell 3800
Wheel 700
Headstock 525
Clapper 300
Bearings 180
Pulley 100
Rope 100
Slider 45
Stay 30

Can you help with a contribution, no matter how small? If so, for details of how to make this donation please see the Charitable Status section above.


Future Events

On Sunday 2nd May 2004 Andrew and Matt both ran in the Great West Run. Both of them were sponsored in aid of St Mark's Church Bell Restoration Fund. They are now busy collecting the monies and should provide another welcome boost to our funds. Andrew completed the race in 1:41 and Matt in 1:48 which are very respectable times. More details and photos can be found on the GDR website.

We held a barn dance at Exminster village hall which raised nearly 400.  

The wine tasting evening was an excellent evening and has raised us a further 385. Some photos are available.

About 70 people came to ring at the 28 towers open around the Buckfast and Torbay area at the beginning of October. A profit for the day of 927.20 was made which is a superb result. Our thanks to all who came and supported us. A few photos are available.

Future events could include a car treasure hunt, a concert, skittles evening... or virtually anything else!


Quiz & Pens

The quiz has now closed. The winners have been announced and sent their cash prize. Well done to everyone who entered and thank you for helping us raise more money.

We also have "Exeter St Mark's Bell Fund" Biro pens for sale with A5 coloured pads of paper for only 1. Everyone must have one!



This is the design we have used for our logo. This will be screen printed onto T-shirts or polo shirts. You should find all members of the augmentation project wearing their sky blue T-shirt or polo shirt at our fundraising events. Please feel free to ask these people any questions you like... and they will be pleased to answer (usually in return for some cash!).


Peals, Quarter Peals and Visitors

The bells are rung on Sunday mornings from 8.55am to 9.30am for the Sung Eucharist service. We practice on a Wednesday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm and visitors are always welcome. Generally the bells are very available for extra ringing on top of this within reason. We are not taking bookings for peals or quarter peals on the new 10 yet!

Peals: Eight peal attempts are allowed during the year. Rope fees are 3 per rope for GDR peals or 5 per rope for visitors. The attempt can be during the day, or on a Monday evening (commencing at 5.45pm) or on a Saturday morning.

Quarter Peals: There are no restrictions on when quarter peals can be rung, but the best time is a Sunday afternoon at 4pm or 5pm. Fee is 10 total (whether ringing 6 or 8).

Visitors: The bells can be made available to visiting groups of ringers almost any time, but most easily on a Saturday. A donation of 10 is asked towards our augmentation project.

Please contact the Tower Captain to request a booking.

Last updated: 22 February 2007