Deepwell House, Chilham Castle Estate, Chilham, CT4 5DB
Tel: 01227 730363 m.07785316171 Enquiries@friendsofstmaryschilham.org
The Committee of Friends of St Mary’s church Chilham announce an exciting new fund-raising project and invite you to join us with your support:
St Mary’s Church Tower Clock Mechanism and dial full repair and renovation.
Total Funds required: £48,000.
You will be aware that for some time, our Parish timekeeper has not provided the time or quarter peels. This is due to the clock mechanism having finally failed after many years of faithful service, and it must now be repaired. To our surprise, we are informed by The Cumbria Clock Company, that the clock movement is from the school of turret clock manufacturers established by Leonard Tennant in the early 1600’s and is one of few remaining in the county. Examples of his work may be found in both the British and Science Museums. This is an exciting piece of history that has come to light.
To ensure the clock will once again be a reliable timekeeper, it will need to be carefully removed with its dial and taken into Cumbria Clocks workshops for a full overhaul; this is a complicated repair. The dial’s paintwork on the stainless steel is failing, and it will need to be repainted in its original colours.
In addition, the housing for the mechanism, which sits immediately behind the dial within the Tower, is made of inferior wood materials and to ensure the proper protection and access to the working parts, a local reputable carpenter will construct a new hardwood case.
We are keen for this wonderful piece of history to be restored to full working order and for the Parish to have its timekeeper back in place and have, therefore, decided to raise funds towards the refurbishment costs, which include the dismantlement and removal of both the mechanism and the dial, the latter will have to be removed by using a cherry picker to avoid the need for costly scaffolding around the tower.
We would like The Friends to raise £15,000 as our contribution (if not more), and this is our target so your support at all or any of our events is very important and will result in the Parish having the return of a valuable historic piece of working history providing us all with time once again.
We know you will be interested in the progress of the project and have already begun the process of recording the journey by taking photographs of the mechanism in place within the tower. Cumbria Clocks will keep a photographic record of the repair/restoration process, and we will document its return and re-installation. This record will go onto The Friends website, and photographs will be displayed in the church so you and our many visitors can all witness this new piece of history of St Mary’s. There will be banners in the church explaining the project, and we will post information and regular updates on the Parish Social Media sites. Leaflets will also be available in the church.
To raise this substantial sum, events will be held throughout the year and into 2024 to include concerts, coffee mornings, lunches, Dinner talks and more and we would love to have your support at these. In addition, we are applying for grants to help with the restoration costs and seeking donations. Details of upcoming events will be posted soon, so you can note them in your diary.
Please spread the word amongst your friends and families. Gifts and donations may be made via PayPal (see the website), or directly to The Friends – see Bank details below. Cash may be put into the collection box in the church or left clearly marked with your details at the Chilham Post Office.
We would love to hear any suggestions you may have for raising funds so please do contact us.
Thank you for your wonderful support to date. We have a great circle of Friends, and you are all appreciated.
George Kennedy CBE
Chair: Friends of St Mary’s Church Chilham
Lloyds Bank Canterbury
Account: Friends of St Mary’s Chilham
Sort Code: 30-91-60
Account no.: 00018435