Image of Carolyn's Newnham drawing

Artist donates charcoal drawing to help bells appeal

A large drawing of the River Severn by Newnham artist, Carolyn Black, is to be sold in a sealed-bid auction to raise funds for the St Peter’s Bells Restoration Appeal. This original work of art captures the view as you stand by the cliff edge in the Newnham churchyard looking north.
Cam Dickie, who chairs the appeal, says the drawing is a remarkable achievement. “Wide, panoramic views are notoriously difficult to capture on canvas, but I think Carolyn has found a way to meet the challenge. Because the drawing is so wide, we have to turn our heads to take it in. From the church on the left, our eyes follow the row of houses that sweep down Church Road to the river, then across the wide-open water to the Old Passage Inn on the opposite bank. It really does capture the mood of the estuary at Newnham.”
One of a series of large-scale charcoal drawings that explore the Severn, the Newnham picture is the biggest by far, measuring two metres across. It came about because of some voluntary work that Carolyn did for the bells appeal. “I offered to help set up their website and took some panoramic shots for the front page. Visit the appeal website at, and you’ll discover the original shot which inspired me to undertake this drawing. I want to support the bells appeal and donating the work feels like the right way for me to help.”

You can view Carolyn’s drawing in the window of the Quaker Library on Newnham High Street from Friday 8th June until Friday 22nd June. Bids should be placed in a sealed envelope along with your name, telephone number and email address and delivered by midnight on Friday 22nd June. Address them to Art Auction, Quaker Library, 26 High Street, Newnham, GL14 1BB. The envelopes will be opened and the winner with the highest bid announced at the Riverside Rock concert and picnic on the evening of Saturday 23rd June. The full amount of the successful bid will go towards the bells appeal. There will also be limited edition prints available for those whose bids are unsuccessful.

Tickets for the Riverside Rock concert, also a bell appeal fundraiser, are on sale at Newnham Post Office in the village shop. For further information contact Cam Dickie on 07886829960 or

The St Peter’s Bells Restoration Appeal was launched in January 2016. So far nearly £120,000 has been raised, much if it from local fundraising. The total budget is over £150,000. The project will replace or refurbish damaged and worn out parts of the installation, as well as taking steps to overcome structural issues linked to the oversized bells that were installed in 1894. Three bells will be recast and, in a bid to make ringing easier, a new ringing platform will be built nearly twelve foot above the current floor with access from the back of the nave.

Carolyn Black studied Fine Art to degree level at Bristol UWE and gained an MA in Fine art (with distinction) from Cardiff UWIC. As well as making her own art, she commissions and delivers art projects in unusual locations under the banner of Flow Contemporary Arts. and

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Have fun and support the Bell Appeal

Cotswold way picture

Would anyone be interested in taking part in a 10 mile sponsored walk in the Cotswolds?

“The Cotswold Way in a Day” sponsored walk takes place on Sunday June 3rd and is organised by Gloucester Kingsholm Rotarians.  The Way is 100 miles long and you can choose any one of 10 legs on which to do your 10 mile walk.  Walkers choose their own charity and the Newnham Bells Appeal will pay your £10 entry fee if you can raise £150 or more for us.   Want to help another charity as well?  No problem.

Entrants will be asked to arrive with some spare places in their car so that the Rotary Club can organise lift sharing in order to get walkers back from their finishing point.  The Rotary Club provides walk leaders and full safety back-up.

Everyone gathers at the Hatherley Manor hotel near Gloucester, where you can pre-order an optional breakfast before you start. There will be certificates at the end and a Pig Roast supper you can also pre-order.

If this interests you please contact Mike Bacon asap and before the end of April if at all possible. 01594 516508, We need at least four participants to register for this.

Look out for more enjoyable events coming up this summer, including
• The Newnham Live Music Festival in June,
• A Midsummer’s Eve Picnic and Music at Newnham House during the Open Garden’s weekend – June 23rd
• A ‘tour and tea’ at the home and garden of Lady Bathurst our patron – Cirencester Park.  Date to be arranged

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Bells Restoration Update

Photo 26 Church from above cropped

When we launched the Bells Restoration Appeal in January 2016, the target of £150,000 seemed so huge, it was hard to believe we’d ever get there.  As we enter 2018 we have come a long way.  We now have a date for Andrew Nicholson Engineering, the bell hangers, to start work – July 2nd 2018.  If we can keep to this schedule, we anticipate that the bells and frame will be returned to the tower in October this year. Continue reading

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Reception and supper, with Countess Bathurst


Harpist Jemima Phillips was the surprise entertainer when the Bells Appeal committee laid on supper and entertainment in the church on Friday November 3rd.  It was a chance for us to say thank you to the many donors and supporters of our appeal and for them to meet our new patron, Lady Sarah Bathurst. Continue reading

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Fund raising events to date

Ross choir cropped

The visit by the Ross Choristers (above) to Newnham last month (October 2017) was the latest in a series of fundraisers on behalf of the Bells Restoration Appeal.  We are grateful to all those who have given time and energy to put on events and to all the supporters who’ve come along to enjoy them.  Here is the full list: Continue reading

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Progress on the project


From the Archive: originally published 9th September 2017

Getting the diocesan approval for such an ambitious project was always going to be a major task and so it proved. After two years of inspections, reports and budgeting, we finally got our official go-ahead – known as a Faculty – this June. That opened the way for a more concentrated effort to gain money from grant giving trusts. Continue reading

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Letter from the chair

Cam cropped

From the Archive: First published 9th September 2017

Having met Lady Sara Bathurst last week, I know that we are very lucky indeed to have her support as our patron. She made it clear that she wants to get involved in the campaign and not just be a figurehead. We are indebted to Ceri Evans, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, who lives in Newnham and who suggested the Countess Bathurst as an ideal patron. Continue reading

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