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Skip’s Bell – a Message from St Mary’s Church

A fitting and proper tribute to a true Gentleman.

It has been many months since we began the fundraising campaign to raise the necessary capital to fund the re-casting of our old 4th bell which unfortunately cracked beyond repair.  I was delighted when the proposal put forward by the bell ringers to re-cast the bell in memory of our dear friend John ‘Skip’ Papworth MBE met with an enthusiastic favourable response from the local community and beyond.

The bell has now been cast by Britain’s last surviving bell foundry John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough who are thankfully still busy casting bells not only for Churches in the UK but all over the world. The inscription from the old cracked 4th cast by John Briant of Hertford in 1803 has been incorporated into the inscription band of the new bell. Skip’s bell is tuned to the note B flat to fit in with Kelvedon’s octave of eight bells the largest of which (The Tenor Bell) weighs 19 cwt and is tuned to the note E flat. The new bell is made of an alloy of copper & tin (bell metal) and weighs approximately 8 cwt being 407 kg.  The bell will soon be fitted with its headstock and work to install it within the tower will begin on the 8th of March lasting for two weeks.

The Tenor bell in itself is an item of significant national importance as it was cast for the Festival of Britain in 1951 by the Whitechapel Foundry which sadly closed in 2017.  

The bell sat on the South Embankment for the duration of the Exhibition and was then purchased by St Mary’s Church when the old Tenor bell, cast in 1608 by Miles Graye 

of Colchester, cracked beyond repair. The oldest bell within the tower is currently the 7th bell which was also cast by Miles Graye of Colchester in 1615. Bells can last a very long time, and the opportunity for the casting of a new one is something special indeed. 

It will be a while longer before bell ringing can return to normal, but please do listen out as there will be occasions when the new bell will be test rung. We very much look forward to resuming our Tuesday Evening Practice and Service Ringing for Worship on Sunday mornings.

Our sincere and grateful thanks must go to our Churchwarden, Simon Prideaux, The Essex Association of Change Ringers, Kelvedon Parish Council, Kelvedon WI and the many individual donors for their support and generosity.

John Elliott
Tower Captain/Project Leader
On behalf of the St Mary’s Bell Ringers and PCC

Toddler Playgrounds

Our toddler area on the Recreation Ground is now closed, until we install a brand new playground.

Please use the toddler play area just off Glebe Road instead – it’s a lovely enclosed area with various pieces of equipment and plenty of space to run around. See the map below for its location.

Do you have a question or query? Please contact us:

Latest news

The village is bounded to the north by the River Blackwater where the adjacent village of Feering starts.

Kelvedon railway station has direct links to London Liverpool Street Station with trains approximately every 20 minutes and a journey time of 55 minutes.

Bus services are provided to Chelmsford, Colchester, Tollesbury and Witham.

The A12 dual carriageway runs alongside the village linking Kelvedon with the rest of East Anglia, south through Essex or north through Suffolk and Norfolk.