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Towers and Belfy Committee - Main objects of the sub-committee's work

The following is a precis of the work undertaken by the Towers & Belfries Sub-committee. 

  • To provide advice to towers within the Oxford Diocese on their bell installations and associated matters. This advice includes:

    1. routine maintenance
    2. minor restoration
    3. rehanging
    4. safety matters
  • To provide advice to the trustees of the Oxford Diocesan Bell Fund regarding requests for grants from the Bell Fund.
  • To respond to requests from the trustees of the ODBF, for the purpose of advising them that work has been correctly carried out, and thereby recommending that grant monies awarded should be paid out as appropriate.
  • To provide similar advice to the administrators of the Guild Restoration Fund as is provided to the trustees of the Bell Fund.
  • To run training courses with the aim of providing towers and ringers with self-help information.
  • To run the Best Kept Towers competition in the Diocese of Oxford.
  • To act as the focus for the exchange of information on redundant bells between the Central Council of Church Bellringers, the Guild and other Associations.


In addition, the sub-committee is producing a series of technical notes to help steeplekeepers, which can be downloaded from here:

TBC01 Emergency Lighting for Ringing Chambers

TBC02 Risk Assessment in the Tower

TBC03 Correcting Oddstruckness

TBC04 Clapper Bush Wear

TBC05 How to make a FRED (Friendly Rope End Drier)


A Guide to How We Can Help You

The Committee Exists to:

  • provide inspections
  • examine work done prior to payment of a Bell Fund or Restoration Fund Grant
  • offer advice on:
    • routine maintenance
    • minor restoration
    • rehanging
    • advise on safety matters, CDM, etc.

The work of the committee is voluntary but committee members appreciate a contribution towards their travelling expenses.

It is important to remember that the role of the committee is purely advisory. It has no formal role in any scheme apart from the requirement to inspect completed work and advise the Bell and/or Restoration Fund trustees prior to the payment of an ODG grant.

Making Contact

The committee work on the principal that they must receive a formal invitation before they can carry out an inspection or give advice. In the first instance you should make your request to either the Chairman or Secretary, details in ODDBOB. If possible requests for a formal inspection and report should be in writing. On receipt of a request you will be advised which member of the committee will be appointed to help you.

For immediate advice on routine maintenance matters contact the chairman or secretary or your nearest committee member. The Chairman’s details are in the list of Officers from the Home Page and the full committee is detailed in the Guild magazine; Odd Bob.


The ODG has two funds that make grants towards bell projects. The Bell Fund exists to make grants for most sorts of bell restoration scheme, but specifically excludes grants towards any element of a restoration scheme that involves augmentation. The Restoration Fund exists to make small grants to all sorts of schemes including augmentation.

If you wish to apply for a grant you should contact the Treasurer of the two ODG Funds, details in ODDBOB, and he will provide you with application forms and advice on making your application. He also can provide details of other charities that make grants towards bell projects. The Treasurer may advise you to contact the Towers and Belfries committee for an inspection, useful to the Funds' trustees in making decisions on grants, and for advice on your scheme.

A Simple Guide to Organising Bell Projects


There are two sorts of scheme:-

  • a minor scheme that does not require a faculty
  • all other schemes that do require a faculty.

A faculty is the equivalent of church planning permission. The application (which is now free) must be agreed by the PCC. When agreed it is sent to Church House in Oxford by the PCC/Church Authorities

How to Plan Your Scheme

Project flowchart

Usually, minor schemes are those which cost less than £300 but you should check with Church House to be sure that your scheme qualifies.

There are many points in the project where the Towers and Belfries (T & B) committee can offer advice. Most of these are indicated on the flow-chart which shows how the average project might proceed.

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