A PUBLIC meeting has been called as part of the next step of an ambitious £250,000 scheme to renovate the tower and bells at Nevern Church.

The bells at St Brynach have not rung out properly in more than 120 years but plans are now in the pipeline to carry out extensive restoration work.

So far, just over £100,000 has been raised by the restoration appeal committee through legacies and pledges and it is no hoped to involve the wider community to help raise the necessary funds.

The public meeting to outline what the project involves will take place on Wednesday, January 16 at the Trewern Arms at 7pm with an expert from the diocese, Ian Hastilow, one of those on hand who will be speaking.

“The church has played such an important part in the community and is so central to our heritage and history that people do not have to be churchgoers to get involved,” said appeal secretary Maggie Campbell.

“We have so many things planned to restore the tower and the bells, while we are also very keen to get people involved in bell-ringing.”

The church’s six bells were cast back in 1763 and still rest in their original 18th century oak frame, which rests on even older beams.

It is hoped to refurbish the bells and add two more.

The tower itself also needs extensive work, with the walls needing re-pointing, the lead-work needs replacing, along with rotten floors and timbers and the staircase.

There has been a religious site at St Brynach’s dating back to the fifth century, with its 10th century Celtic cross of national significance.

“We hope this meeting will get more people interested in what we are doing and we are looking to apply for grant funding as well,” added Mrs Campbell.

Appeal chairman Duncan Fitzwilliam added: "St Brynach's is an iconic church and is very much the focal point of the local community.

"We have been hugely encouraged by the support we have received so far and the appeal seems to have caught the mood of people who want to play their part."