THE first stage of a major project to restore a town’s church is underway.

Ulverston Parish Church’s bells are being re-hung as part of a big restoration project to repair and improve the church for the community and future generations.

This week, and continuing into August, bellhangers from Nicholson Engineering, local builder Sam Shaw Kilburn, and volunteers from the church will be completing the work of strengthening the 1836 bell frame and renewing the 1934 fittings.

The new Tower Captain, Sue Smith, is looking forward to the day when the bells are ready to call people to worship again.

“After all this time, the first Sunday the band can ring for the 10.30 service will be very special for everyone,” she said.

“Ringing the bells is an important part of Sunday morning worship.

“Hopefully, this will be towards the end of August this year!”

During lockdown and Covid restrictions, the 10.30 service congregation has been meeting on Zoom but now that singing is allowed again, they will be moving back into the church building this Sunday.

According to Ulverston Parish Church the new-look 10.30am service will be livestreamed and more relaxed than the traditional service at 9am.

“We are really looking forward to being back together as a church family, to laugh and sing together again to worship God together, and to share each other’s pain and sadness,” said the curate, the Rev Madi Simpson.

“Whether you are looking for God, for friendship, or simply a slice of cake, you are welcome here. Come and say hello!”

To celebrate the occasion, there will be a family fun day.

After the 10.30 service, a picnic in the church grounds will be followed by traditional all-age games such as can skittles, giant darts in hoops and splat the rat.