A FLAG is flying at the top of a Fareham church’s clock tower for the first time in its history, thanks to a grant from a county councillor.
And the clock on the tower of Holy Trinity Church, in West Street, is set to chime tonight to ring in the new year.
Dignitaries climbed to the top of the tower for a short service, led by the Rev Sally Davenport, to celebrate the occasion, and to mark the clock tower’s restoration.
Cllr Seán Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council and executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, gave a grant of £1,000 to fund the flag of St George and the flagpole, as part of the church’s High Time Appeal, which has raised £500,000 to complete the tower’s restoration.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘It is important to be able to provide funding for projects as significant as this.
‘One thing we can all now look forward to is the clock striking on the hour at 11am for Remembrance Sunday 2016.’
We eagerly await the clock chiming midnight to welcome in the new yearThe Rev Sally Davenport
The Victorian clock, which was installed in 1842, ground to a halt in 2011 in need of a complete overhaul.
Furthermore, the two church bells needed restoration and the tower itself, which was structurally unsound, was in need of emergency repair.
The High Time project was launched in May 2014, and a huge fundraising drive, plus a grant of £214,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, saw the appeal hit its target earlier this year.
Restoration of the clock has been undertaken by The Cumbria Clock Company Limited, whose former projects have included clocks at Salisbury Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster.
At Holy Trinity, the four dials were refurbished in situ but the clock mechanism itself was removed earlier this year for repair and returned at the beginning of December.
The Rev Davenport, Rector of Holy Trinity, said: ‘We’re all thrilled that our High Time project is almost complete.
‘Thank you to everyone in the community who has responded so generously to our appeal for help to repair the clock and tower.
‘Now we eagerly await the clock chiming midnight to welcome in the new year. There will be a warm welcome for everyone attending our services at Holy Trinity.’
Meanwhile, work has now started inside the church to make it more welcoming and suitable for use by community groups.
In October the church marked reaching the £500,000 mark in the appeal with a topping out ceremony.
For more information go to htscf.org.uk or search Holy Trinity Fareham on Facebook.