Villagers have launched a campaign to restore the bells in their village church.

A ‘Peal Appeal’ has been launched by residents in Medmenham to reinstate the bells and bell frame of St Peter & St Paul’s church.

They want to raise £21,000 to fund the restoration and rehanging of the bells to ring out again at regular services, wedding and other occasions.

Stephen Southgate, Rector of St Peter & St Paul’s, said: “With the Medmenham ‘Peal Appeal’, we aim to restore the bells to their former state, to sound out once again to the Glory of God across the parish and beyond.”

The church is at the junction of Ferry Lane and the main road between Marlow and Henley.

It dates back to the 12th Century, although it is thought to date back as far as 640AD when the missionary bishop Birinus built it as a wooden construction on the site.

It was subsequently rebuilt in stone 500 years later under the patronage of Hugh de Bolebec, between 1100 – 1165.

The tower and chancel, which were added around 1400-50 during a religious revival following the Black Death, house three bells cast by Knight of Reading, dated 1691 (Treble: 28.5 in, 4.5 cwt), 1624 (Second: 31.25 in, 6.25 cwt) and 1666 (Tenor: 34.75 in, 7.75 cwt).

Andrew Nicholson, of Nicholson Engineering, church bellhangers of distinction, said: “Given the age of the bell frame in the tower, the unusually fine design and execution and the fact it remains as built with no obvious signs of reconstruction or alteration we are of the opinion that this is of great national importance.

“There are other frames of similar or even earlier date around the country but there are very few indeed as fine as that at St Peter & St Paul’s church.”

All donations made to the Steve Baxter memorial fund will go towards the target.

To donate to the appeal, visit