As was briefly reported last week a decision has been made to sell the peal of eight bells of the church on the island of Lundy.
Announcing this in the current issue of his church magazine, the Vicar of Appledore, Rev R C Dixon, who is priest-in-charge of Lundy, writes that on a recent visit there he had further discussed the proposal with the island’s owner, Mr Albion Harman, with Miss Elsie Heaven, a great-niece of the founder of Lundy’s church, and with an informal meeting of islanders and regular visitors.
Describing the bells as a beautiful peal, the Vicar writes “If we can no longer hear them on Lundy we should endeavour to place them where they can once more ring out to the glory of God. The proceeds of the sale of the peal should then be set aside for the maintenance of the church, and for the erection of one or possibly two ‘come to service’ bells”. The Vicar’s notes continue: “The meeting also expressed gratitude to Mr Bill Copp, of Bideford, who has done our repairs during the last ten years, for the solid and conscientious way he has done his work. The thorough way the ‘East end’ has been repaired is obvious – but a good deal of repointing has also been done to the tower. Certainly if he had not come to our rescue so quickly, the state of the church would have been probably beyond repair”.
Sixty-six years ago this summer, in Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee year the Church of St Helen on Lundy was dedicated by the Bishop of Exeter. The island was then owned by the Rev H G Heaven and this lent itself to the quip that Lundy was ‘the kingdom of Heaven’.
The full Gazette article is dated 23 August 1963