The clock in a York church is to be restored later this year by the experts who worked on the Big Ben mechanism.
It will mean the clock in the spire of St Lawrence Church will start keeping regular time again – and an appeal has been launched to help cover the cost of repairs.
Irregularities in the clock’s timekeeping and hourly chimes have meant the church has decided to fully overhaul it, with the work to be carried out this October by renowned church and public clock specialists, the Cumbria Clock Company.
The restoration project is expected to cost £12,000, with grants received to support much of the cost. The church council is issuing an “appeal for peals” to cover the remaining costs for the iconic landmark.
Fr Adam Romanis, Vicar, says: “We’re hoping to restore the hourly chimes to the parish from a smoothly-running accurate clock, which can be seen for miles from the north and the south.
“The restoration will ensure the clock continues to serve the area for another 80 years, or more.
How you can help
Donations can be made in cheques made out to “St Lawrence PCC” and sent to FAO The Treasurer, St Lawrence Parish Church, Lawrence Street, York, YO10 3WP, or contact: [email protected], or direct to: Virgin Money, Sort Code: 05-09-94 Account Number: 25485880
“The clock dates to the 1860s before the construction of the “new” church built in 1883, having first been installed in Doncaster. It was sold by Potts of Leeds as a new clock in 1893 to St Lawrence, despite being second-hand!
“The spire and clock even feature in the City of York Council’s skyline image, demonstrating its importance to the city’s heritage.
“It was maintained for many years by Geoffrey Newey and his family, who made York’s Coney Street clock on St Martin le Grand and wound the Minster clock.”
St Lawrence is the largest CofE parish church in York and holds three services every Sunday.
It was in danger of becoming a redundant building before major works to install a new heating system, significant re-wiring and lighting costing in excess of £200,000 during 2016 and 2017.
In 2020 the 1885 Denman organ which had previously been in St Michael Le Belfrey church was fully refurbished and installed in St Lawrence. It is in frequent use for recitals and concerts as well as regular services.