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Historic bell restored in Stratford war-torn church tower

St Paul's Church in Maryland Road, Stratford. St Paul's Church in Maryland Road, Stratford.

Annabeth Westerman-Smith
Friday, August 30, 2013
1:23 PM

A historic church bell has been re-installed at St Paul’s Church after 15 years of languishing in the corner of the churchyard.

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Construction workers on a cherry picker installing the new bell.Construction workers on a cherry picker installing the new bell.

A historic church bell has been re-installed at St Paul’s Church after 15 years of languishing in the corner of the churchyard.

The bell underwent a restoration process at the world famous Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and was put back into the Stratford church tower in Maryland Road on Tuesday August 27.

Weighing 50 pounds, a cherry picker donated by Lenleaf hoisted the 140-year-old bell back into place, ready to welcome the first residents of the Olympic Village into their new homes.

The bell survived a German V2 rocket in 1945 which destroyed the original church building.

It was so badly damaged by the explosion that it was not considered worthwhile to rebuild it at the time.

But the war-ravaged church was restored in 1951 after The Friend’s of St John’s contributed to the cost of repairs,.

Rev Jeremy Fraser, who joined the church in February, said everyone in the church longed “to have our bell put back up” as it was last rung 15 years ago to call the faithful to service.

It became a priority and, helped along by a donation from London Over the Border, they paid for the restoration of the bell.

Rev Fraser felt that the church tower was “naked without a bell”, and is “really pleased” to have it back in business.

He added that he hopes loyal churchgoers will like the new bell and he looks forward to it ringing in some new members of the congregation.

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