BELLS at a church in Lye have been sounding again following the completion of a massive restoration project.

Work in the tower at Christ Church, High Street, has been going like the clappers in recent weeks to bring the historic set of 19th century bells back to life.

The bells were cast in Belgium are the only full set of eight bells of their size in Britain, they originally cost a sum reported as £400 when they were cast in the 1880s.

Church members believe, without the help of volunteer workers, the 2012 restoration project would have clocked up a total estimated at up to £50,000.

The bells were removed in January and while they have been undergoing repairs the tower has also been overhauled with projects including the construction of a new floor for the belfry.

Work to return the bells to the church was completed this week and they were rung for the first time on November 7.

David Chiswell, from the Belfry Advisory Panel of the Worcestershire and District Change Ringing Association, said: "The sounded lovely, once word gets round clubs should be sending requests for bands to come and ring them, I'm looking forward to that."

The church is also keen for former bell ringers and beginners to come forward and try the restored set of bells, which are set to be a familiar sound in Lye for many years.

Mr Chiswell said: "The have lasted 150 years so theoretically they should now be good for another two or three hundred."