Bell ringers want Christchurch's sound of silence broken


It's five years since the Christ Church Cathedral's bells were silenced in the big earthquake, and they have been missing from the city since the quakes tore down their home.

But bell ringers are fundraising for a temporary home in a bid to keep the art alive.

It's the only piece of the Cathedral that isn't packed in containers and its scarred from the quake.

The other bells fell have been repaired since they fell with the Cathedral.

Campology, as the art is called, is a sound that's been absent from the city since the quakes.

Sydney is the only place the bell ringers have been able to practice since the bells in Christchurch have gone.

But a small tower to hold the lighter bells could be the answer for its return. Three containers high and just two wide, it will be a temporary fix, like the cardboard cathedral it would sit next to.

Mike Clayton is the head ringer, he's been doing it since 1969, but he's not getting any younger and doesn't want the art to be lost.

"Hopefully we can get young people interested who will be quite prepared to maintain the ringing for a long period of time."

The idea doesn't come cheap. It has a price tag of $230,000. Around $60,000 has been raised and $40,000 has been pledged.

"It's a little slow at the moment but that's what happens with fundraising," says Mr Clayton.

The Anglican Church isn't in a position to help either. It's yet to decide the fate of the Cathedral, until then they can only hope the sound of the bells will return.

"The bells play wonderful tunes and the bell ringers are really skilled at coming up with different combinations, it's a lovely sound that adds to the sound of the city." Lawrence Kimberley, Dean of the Transitional Cathedral, says.

And one that could be returned to the city well before the Cathedral returns to the square.

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