Parishoners at St. John’s in Glynn, are optimistic that their much-loved church bell could be reinstated in time for Christmas worship.
Fundraising will continue next Friday evening (December 14) with music for Christmas in the church, starting at 7.30 pm.
The music will be provided by Larne Concert Choir and Glynn Primary School Choir.
A retiring collection will be in aid of St. John’s bell restoration fund.
It is hoped that the bell, with its distinctive chime, which has sounded for decades, will be back in its rightful place in the bell tower in time for the Christmas service.
Glebe warden Derek Swann, said: “To date, we have not yet raised all the money required for the restoration of the bell, however between donations and fundraising, we are slowly getting towards our target.”
“Work on the crown of the bell is progressing well and the contractor is hoping that we might have it fully repaired and refitted before Christmas.”
The bell, which dates back to 1840, has been suffering the effects of old age.
It had to be removed as a safety precaution after its crown became damaged.
Three months ago, it ground to a halt after sounding off-key.
An engineer who scaled the 35 ft height to the bell tower, discovered that the damage was more serious than first thought.
It was discovered that the bell’s crown had broken off and it had become a health and safety concern.
The church decided to have the bell repaired at a cost of £3,500 and subsequently organised a series of fundraisers in a bid to meet the repair bill.
The bell at the 169-year-old church was updated and was fitted with an automatic hammer making it automated when St. John’s Church was refurbished in 2001.
A complete restoration and refurbishment of Glynn Parish Church took place between 1999 and 2000 with a significant extension added to the church at Main Road in 2012.
Meanwhile, Christ Church, Ballynure, is hosting a Christmas tree festival, from December 7 until 9, with a community carol service on Sunday December 9, at 5.30 pm.