Belfry Upkeep

Belfry Upkeep #

Up Holland bells raised ready for ringing

Welcome to Belfry Upkeep. This online document, produced by the Central Council Stewardship & Management Workgroup, is aimed at the Steeple Keeper – the one responsible for keeping the bells in order. You may be an established Steeple Keeper, or one just new to the job, or someone wondering if you should take it on.

Our aims in this document are:

  • To help you understand the installation in your tower (they are all different, in detail at least)
  • To describe the checks you should carry out to identify any problems
  • To advise you on the maintenance tasks that you should be able to carry out, possibly with expert advice or assistance
  • Most importantly, to help you recognise the tasks that require specialist knowledge from a Bell Hanger or other expert

The Stewardship & Management Workgroup have produced two other documents:

  • Belfry Projects, which offers advice to anyone who is considering a project to install bells or undertake restoration work on a bell installation in a bell tower.
  • Running a Tower, which is aimed at the Tower Captain - the person with overall responsibility for looking after all aspects of a tower.

Finding Your Way Round #

If you are working on a computer browser (or on a tablet in landscape orientation) you will see a navigation menu with links to all the chapters on the left, and a menu with links to sections in the current chapter on the right. On a narrower screen (a phone or a tablet in portrait orientation), you will need to click on the menu icons (three stacked horizontal lines) at the top of the page to see either menu. Another click takes you back to the full text. For those who want to read the document straight through, and to help those reading on small screens, there are links at the end of each chapter to the next and the previous chapter.

Within the text, links to sections within the current chapter, to other chapters, and to external web references are shown in blue. Links shown in bold italic blue refer to entries in the ‘Glossary’ chapter.

Image Credits #

Credits will be found at the end of each chapter. The picture on this page shows the six bells of St Thomas the Martyr, Up Holland, Lancashire, UK raised ready for ringing. This was the winner of the Bells and Installations round of the Central Council photographic competition. (Photo: Phil Hope)

Latest Changes #

09/04/2024Bells: Reference to Clocks Advisers Forum added
22/03/2024Ropes: Added section on rope stretch
27/01/2024Introduction: Possible assistance from local Societies & Associations
06/10/2023Maintenance Schedule: Downloadable schedule improved
28/07/2023Home Page: Search Box issue resolved - note removed
08/07/2023Home Page: Note added on Search Box issue
24/06/2023Home page: Added links for Belfry Projects and Running a Tower
05/06/2023Ropes: Added appendix on Rope Driers
24/03/2023Faculty Jurisdiction Rules: Further advice on application of Lists A and B
04/03/2023Stays & Sliders: Warning added about Ash die back; Faculty Rules: Relevant items from Church Building section added
28/02/2023H&S: Appendix on Avian Influenza added
13/02/2023Faculty Jurisdiction Rules: Improved layout for Tables A and B
07/11/2022Maintenance Schedule: Full version now available
14/10/2022Ropes: weight of spider
06/10/2022Bell frames: Bonding of metal frames to lightning conductor included
30/09/2022Each chapter now has a link to the next and previous ones.
23/09/2022Acknowledgements & Sources: Pickford document available online.
31/08/2022First publication. All chapters at v1.0

First Chapter

Disclaimer #

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, neither contributors nor the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers can accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any activities undertaken based on the information provided.

Version 1.0.14, July 2024

© 2024 Central Council of Church Bell Ringers