NEWLY refurbished church bells in Ruthin are ringing out once again.

The peal of eight, which date from the mid-19th century, were rung for a special Sunday morning service at St Peter's Church to celebrate their restoration.

The service was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, Henry Fetherstonhaugh, the MP for the Vale of Clwyd, David Jones, the mayor of Ruthin, cllr Gavin Harris and deputy mayor cllr Heather Williams.

Other civic dignitaries also attended to celebrate repair works to the church’s medieval roof.

Almost £200,000 of National Lottery funding has supported the restoration of the roof and the refurbishment of the bell tower, projects totalling more than £300,000.

Revd Stuart Evans, the Warden of St Peter’s Church, who led the service of celebration, said: “I am delighted to see that the many years of hard work and fundraising means our magnificent medieval ceiling is now preserved for future generations and our church bells can be rung regularly for services, weddings and civic occasions.

“St Peter’s has a long and important history in the town of Ruthin and the bell tower is an iconic landmark on the skyline along the Vale of Clwyd. After almost a year without the bells, it’s a pleasure to hear them being rung again.

“The sound of the bells offers an invitation to anyone to join us for a service or spend time saying a prayer, lighting a candle or reflecting on life. The bells can signify moments of joy or times of sorrow and can be used to convey important sentiments at times of National occasion. The bells can be an invitation to all who hear to consider Life’s big questions – including questions of faith.”

All eight bells have been restored at Taylor’s Foundry in Loughborough and fitted into a purpose-built steel frame inside the newly refurbishment bell tower.

The ringing room has been renovated and updated to modern safety standards.

Jennifer Trigger, co-ordinator of the bells project, said: “This has been a very important project for the town and we’re delighted to be celebrating the official first ring of the bells.

"Much of the work was carried out by volunteers who gave so freely of their time and skills, under the supervision of Taylor’s, throughout the project."

Tours of the tower were conducted on Saturday as part of the Ruthin Open Doors Festival.

Thanks to the North Wales Association of Church Bell Ringers, a programme - to train a new generation of bell ringers - is starting.

Everyone from the age of 10 upwards can join the band and new members are welcome to attend practice sessions.

Bell-ringing practice takes place on Wednesday evenings at St Peter’s Church from 6pm until 7.30pm.