Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


All Saints Swanton Morley is a splendid 14th Century church occupying a prominent position in the village, and close to the former airfield which is now a military base. The Church and its peal of six bells dating from the 17th Century play an important role in the community through regular church services, major festivals, weddings, funerals and special events such as Remembrance Sunday. There is a War Memorial and small Commonwealth War Grave cemetery within the churchyard.
Against a national pattern of decline in parishes, bell ringing at All Saints is flourishing, with well over a dozen attending a typical Friday evening practice night. The age range extends from primary school pupils to pensioners, the majority being of working age and from a wide variety of professions and trades. LGBT are well represented within the band, and the tower has the reputation of being one of the most diverse and welcoming in the district.
Bell ringing encourages and enhances a broad range of skills which contribute to health and wellbeing.
Physical strength is not a requirement per se; bells weighing several hundredweight can be handled by a properly trained child. However, a level of fitness and dexterity is required and maintained; it is also the case that our bellringing chamber can only be reached up 45 steps of a stone spiral staircase. Concentration is required to ensure safe and accurate ringing, and close teamwork necessary to ensure the bells sound precisely in the correct and changing order for the many different 'methods'. We face each other as we ring and all our band, including some with mental disability, have benefited from the social and emotional support and respect that flourishes here. And we have great fun ! (See our Twitter
The successful combination of an excellent bell tower, a proven training regime and an enthusiastic and growing band has resulted in All Saints being selected by the Norwich Diocesan Association of Bell Ringers as a prospective centre of excellence. These are the attributes on which we wish to build to the benefit of health and wellbeing in our community.
This project - to augment the peal from six to eight bells - was initiated as a result of a local anonymous donor's wish to mark the Centenary of the 1918 Armistice and the founding of the Royal Air Force through the casting and installation of two memorial bells, and this was the launch pad for this application
The aims of the project are threefold:
1. To widen the physical, mental and social benefits of bell ringing to more of the local community to the benefit of its Health and Wellbeing
2. To use the augmented peal and associated training equipment to improve and extend the skills of bell ringing to the benefit of this and other parishes in Norfolk
3. To cast and install two Centenary Bells to commemorate this community's contribution during World War I and the work of the Royal Air Force since 1918, and to increase the range and skills of bell ringing. This will be complemented by an education programme working with Steve Smith, author of 'Norfolk 1914-18' to bring to life this community's role in the Great War, and its continuing relevance now.
We are honoured that the Commanding Officer of 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards based at the former RAF airfield, the Station Commander of RAF Marham, and the President of the Royal British Legion, Norfolk have graciously agreed to be Patrons of our appeal. We have the enthusiastic support of the Parish Council, and are confident in the support we will receive from the public once the appeal is launched.
The sum required to cast/ install the bells, and to acquire/install the training equipment is £24,727 . We believe that this project will prove of significant and lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of this community, and provide a fitting memorial for this Centenary.

All Saints Church Swanton Morley PCC

Moment of Pride

We are proud of our band's enthusiasm, diversity, welcome and training, and for the support it has given and continues to provide to the community. This project provides a link between the Swanton Morley of 1914-1918 and today, to the future benefit of all who live here and in the surrounding area.

Location: Swanton Morley