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Established January 17 1881

Bell Fund

The Oxford Diocesan Bell Fund was set up in 1974 as a registered charity with the objectives of raising money to be deposited into a capital fund, so that the interest from the capital would be available to make grants to churches in the Diocese of Oxford towards the costs of work on their bells and associated fixtures and fittings.

Grants may only be given towards the repair, maintenance and renewal of church bells and may not be given towards the costs of augmentation of the number of bells in a tower. For clarification, “bells” includes the frames and fittings and all other parts and constructions necessary for the proper functioning of the bells, but excludes day to day replacement of ropes, stays or sliders. “Repair, maintenance and renewal” does not include routine servicing of the bells, frame and fittings, or repairs to the tower structure.

The Managing Trustees typically meet twice a year, in February and September. The Annual General Meeting of the Fund is held in March. For a number of years the Managing Trustees have sought to offer successful applicants provisional grants of 10% of the cost of qualifying works. If the eventual cost is materially different from that indicated at the time of the application, the provisional grant offer is reviewed and may be increased or decreased.

When the Managing Trustees receive notification that on-site work has been completed, members of the ODG Towers & Belfries Sub-committee undertake inspections to verify that the works have been completed to an acceptable standard and are in accordance with the Faculty or other approval process. On receipt of a satisfactory report, arrangements are made for payment of the grant.

The Managing Trustees have noted an increasing level of self help which involves the use of volunteer labour, local transport etc and urge that the following points are considered before commencing work:

  1. Adequate insurance cover should be provided for:
    1. voluntary helpers against personal injury and third party claims for damage howsoever caused;
    2. the bells, fittings etc whilst in the process of loading or unloading at the church and whilst in transit to a bell founder or bell hanger.
  2. Adequate precautions should be taken to ensure compliance with the current regulations covering Health and Safety requirements.

For more information on how to apply for a grant from the Bell Fund, contact the Guild Treasurer.

The Bell Fund reports and accounts can be downloaded using the links below.