THE bells of St Stephen's-by-Saltash Church will cease ringing after Easter Sunday - in order for repairs to be carried out to the bellframe and fittings.

The six bells have been in position in the church for around 50 years, and no major works have been required in that period.

However, a report obtained just before Christmas showed that repairs costing £5,500 are now necessary. Team vicar, the Rev Alan Butler, said the bells should start ringing again around mid-June, after the works have been carried out by bell hangers, John Taylor of Loughborough.

Fundraising is to include a sponsored abseil of St Stephen's bellringers down the tower in early June, as well as other less daring events such as coffee mornings etc.

Mr Butler said the repairs needed to go ahead as a health and safety issue. He added that donations would be most welcome, and that cheques can be made out to St Stephen's-by-Saltash PCC and left at The Vicarage in St Stephen's Road.