Film ID:
YFA 2551



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This is a film which chronicles the restoration of All Saints Church in the small North Yorkshire village of Sherburn-in-Elmet. The church has been damaged by an infestation of death watch beetles which have destroyed some of the vital beams.

The film opens with a shot taken from the top of a hill looking down onto fields. Then there is a shot of a church in grassy church grounds. There are scenes of the inside of the church showing vaulted archways, pews and carved pillars. On a small stone altar there is a piece of wood with an inscription carved into it; there are shots of it from a few angles. There is a big stained glass window and some stone carving on the wall.

Two master craftsmen, employed to take on the job of repairing the church, are setting up wooden supports so that they can take away damaged sections of wood. One of the men runs his hand along the crack, and then he gradually chips away at a section and removes the damaged pieces of timber beam. The two men work on another replacement piece of wood, planning it down to size. They lift the section into place and then use some other beams for support; they do this to several other sections of wood and then the supporting beams are removed. There is a shot from outside as the men come out of a small doorway.

A shot from below looking up shows some other men on the roof; they look at the lead roof sections and replace some and solder them into place. In the next scene two workmen and two girls with school uniforms are up beside the bell. The men use wrenches to loosen pieces holding the bell in place. The girls and another young man help to hold pieces while grinning at the camera. The workmen put new parts onto the bell and then hoist it back into position with replace all of the sections that help it to swing. There is a shot of the bell swinging in the bell tower.

Following this are shots taken from the inside of the church at the start of a rededication mass. The priest and altar boys file in and several priests give sermons. A shot from the balcony looks down onto the clergy as they file out of the church. Then there are shots of two men outside the church grinning at the camera and shots of a few women, men and a priest outside after mass.

Outside, a group of young adults file in through the small door that leads to the bell tower. The camera pans up to show a clock on the outside wall which reads 8.05pm. Inside the men and women sit around the little room with small bells in their hands which they ring in a specific order. Then one of the men stands under the big bell and pulls the rope many times; the shot cuts to the bell swinging up in the tower. It then cuts to the rest of the group who also have a rope each and pull them in another specific order.

In a hall a priest is making a speech, a woman beside him then does the same thing. A band starts to play on the floor in front of the stage. A line of children walk up to the woman and she puts a paper crown on each of their heads. They all crowd around and pose for the camera.

In the next scene (which is in colour) the camera is up high on the roof looking down at a funeral procession that is making its way along the graveyard path. The last few shots are of the surrounding countryside and views.