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Oct 22, 2012 9:04 AM by AP/CS

St. Martinville church bells temporarily silenced

For the first time in a century and a half, the bells of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church are not chiming out quarter-hours or ringing people to Mass in St. Martinville. The bell tower is empty.

The oldest bell is cracked, one of the newest needs retuning and the tower is being re-roofed, repaired and reinforced as part of renovations planned before the church's 250th anniversary in 2015.

Bell technician Phil Borel of Loreauville says the work on the bells and tower should take about six weeks.

The church founded in 1765 has no plans to use amplified recordings while that work goes on. The Rev. Rusty Richard says the tower will be silent until the bells return.

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