St Nectan's Church - Welcombe

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Welcombe – St. Nectan’s Church Bell and Tower Restoration Project.



Some History         What's happened      Gallery    Funding

Press release sent out Tuesday 23rd November 2016: 

Welcombe Tower & Bells re-Dedicated by the Bishop of Crediton

 St. Nectan’s Church, Welcombe, was packed on Friday 18th November 2016 for the re-Dedication of the Tower and Bells in a service of Thanksgiving celebrated by the Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton

 The bells rang out again after a year’s silence to let everyone know that the project to weatherproof the tower and put the bells back to first-class order has now been completed.

The frame that supported the bells was badly corroded due to water coming in through the tower, which had to be completely re-pointed.

The total cost of around £80,000 was a hard target to chase, but the amazing generosity of residents and friends of Welcombe in donating over £13,000, and local support for all the fund-raising events that were held over the last year, meant that there was a firm base to build on.

The project would never have got off the ground without the invaluable support of Viridor Credits Environmental Company, that granted £20,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund, and other grants from bodies including the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Devon Historic Churches Trust, John S Cohen Foundation, the AllChurches Trust and the Sharpe Trust.

Gareth Williams, Funded Projects Manager at Viridor Credits, said “I was fortunate enough to visit St Nectan’s towards the end of the project and I was impressed with the amount of community support the project has received. The Landfill Communities Fund exists to preserve our heritage and the team at St Nectan’s can feel rightly proud of what has been achieved.”

The Church now has a very smart, weatherproof tower housing what is, to all intents and purposes, a new installation of bells, although the oldest one dates back to 1731, and all this is now in place for the benefit of generations to come so that they can continue to call the faithful to worship as they have for 500 years.

Revd Brenda Jacobs, Team Rector of the Hartland Coast Mission Community, said ”It was a wonderful occasion, despite lashing rain, sleet and floods nothing was going to stop the people of Welcombe giving thanks for their restored bells and tower. The church here is kept going through the dedication of a small number of hardworking people who gather week by week faithfully keeping up the witness of generations past. Now we have created a legacy for the generations which are to follow. We have much to give thanks for.”

Editors note:

Viridor Credits Environmental Company actively seeks applications from not-for-profit groups, organisations and projects that would not necessarily obtain funding from other, often more complicated, grant schemes. Applications can be made for projects that fall into one of three categories, provided that the project is located within 10 miles of an active Viridor landfill site. They are:

  • Provision of a public amenity;
  • The conservation or promotion of biological diversity within the vicinity of a landfill site through
    • the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat, or
    • the maintenance or recovery of a species or its habitat on land or water
  • Restoration or renovation of buildings of historical or architectural importance or those used for religious worship, provided they offer public access


Viridor Credits is looking for further projects to fund located within 10 miles of active Viridor-managed landfill sites. Community groups can  visit, call 01823 476476, email or write to Viridor Credits Environmental Company, Aintree House, Blackbrook Park Avenue, Taunton, Somerset TA1 2PX for more information.


Viridor Credits Environmental Company is an environmental body and independent charity.


Landfill Tax and the Landfill Communities Fund

The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) is an innovative tax credit scheme enabling Landfill Operators (LOs) to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs).  EBs use this funding for a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites.


Since its inception in 1996, over £1.3billion has been spent on more than 51,000 projects across the UK. For further information, please visit or see HMRC’s general guide to Landfill Tax.


We have had a fantastic response to our Appeal
for funds for the bells and tower, with more than
£13000 received or pledged from local people! Thank
The total cost for renovating the tower and bells and
frame is nearly £80,000, and so far we have received, or will
be receiving at the completion of the project, nearly £54,000
in grants.
The Grants received, without which this
project would
not be possible, are £20,000 from Viridor Credits and the Landfill
Communities Fund, £7,000 from the Devon Church Bell restoration
Fund, £5000.00 from Garfield Weston, £4,000 from
Devon Historic
Churches trust, £3000 from the John S Cohen Foundation & £1,725
from AllChurches Trust. Also at least £13,000 will also be reimbursed
to us from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
Your generous
response, and previous fundraising over the last few years since we
found out that the tower needed to be repointed, means that we are
now well on our way towards our target.
Please support fundraising
and awareness events in the months ahead. We will be
ringing in Christmas 2016 as usual! 

Click image for full size

 The bells of Welcombe Church had not been rung since the end of August 2015.  The ravages of the south-westerly winds and rain, combined with the exposed position of the church tower, had caused deterioration of the supporting structure and raised safety concerns about ringing the bells.  In preparation for repainting of the bell frame, the whole frame was wire brushed and cleaned to get rid of the rust, and it was found that underneath the rust, the girders supporting the bells had suffered serious corrosion, which in turn had caused cracks in the walls of the tower.  This process was exacerbated by the ingress of water through the tower walls.  The steel girders, installed with little rust protection except coats of paint, were fitted over eighty years ago and have done well.  Galvanized beams would last twice as long.  In the course of investigating the damage to the frame, we discovered that the 5th bell was in danger of further cracking due to worsening corrosion in a cast staple, and various other relatively minor items needed some attention as well. This has all now been done.


The project included removing the 'hard' pointing on the outside of the tower and replacing it with 'soft' (lime) pointing to stop the ingress of water and consequent erosion of the bell frame.  The frame has been repaired and remedial works have been undertaken on the bells and fittings.  Visitors will be made more aware of the church and the bells history using information boards at the back of the church beside the bell tower.



Full details of bells (Sizes, Weights, Notes and Inscription) see Inscriptions page.



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