Church bells stop for safety laws in Hellingly

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BELLS have stopped ringing temporarily from the tower at St Peter and St Paul Church in Hellingly.

The church architect has expressed concerns about the adequacy of some of the ladders used in the tower where the historic six bells are rung, according to the Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings, The Venerable Philip Jones.

He hoped that arrangements could still be made for bells to be rung at Christmas time, although the improvement work itself is expected to take months to complete.

The Ven Jones said: “We are all determined to have the bells ringing again as soon as possible but that is only going to happen if it is a safe system of access.”

A platform used to access the bells will be made safer with new handrails and safety barriers.

There will also be improvements to the ladder access up the bells, and some of the ladders themselves are to be replaced.

The Archdeacon said safety standards for ladder access were legally much tighter than they used to be and any inconvenience was unfortunate while the repair works were being carried out.