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The Sounds of Silence from a Bell Tower in Stroudsburg

STROUDSBURG — Things are a little bit quieter than usual in downtown Stroudsburg. Church bells that are usually heard every hour on the hour have gone sil...
stroudsburg united methodist

STROUDSBURG -- Things are a little bit quieter than usual in downtown Stroudsburg.

Church bells that are usually heard every hour on the hour have gone silent.

The pastor tells us he had to silence the bells in the Stroudsburg United Methodist Church because the bell tower is crumbling.

Now, the church needs some help to fix the problem quickly.

The bell tower in the Stroudsburg United Methodist Church is more than 100 years old and in serious disrepair.

"It was late in the summer, we had a real bad leak in the church sanctuary. We had a bad rain storm and we knew the leak was worse than just a typical roof leak," said Pastor Bob Shank.

Pastor Shank showed us the narrow ladders that lead to the top of the tower near where they found crumbling mortar and severe structural issues.

The problem is so bad that the church had to turn off the bells to stop any further vibrations and damage.

Debris fell onto the church's roof.

The Sounds of Silence from a Bell Tower in Stroudsburg

"Some of them are very sizable, maybe five inches wide, 18 to 24 inches long, so luckily it fell onto the building and not out into the street."

Postal worker Armando Beniamino walks Main Street every day delivering mail and says he already misses the bells.

"It makes me think of Jesus," Beniamino said. "It makes me think everything's peaceful in the world. It brings back that old time feeling; it's a nice thing."

Before this project can get off the ground, the church is going to have to have scaffolding set up all across the sidewalk and permits approved before work on the bell tower can even begin."

The price tag is estimated to be about $200,000, and the church says it needs help to make this all happen.

"We're going to commit to staying here, but we need some help to get things done and keep our community safe, too," said Pastor Shank.

Many in Stroudsburg agree the silence speaks volumes and they hope the bell tower is repaired and back in order soon.

"It makes me feel sad. How can I say it? The bells make you feel like the community wants you," said Max Baumback of East Stroudsburg.

Church leaders say they are attending a borough council meeting Wednesday night to discuss permits and get approvals to allow a contractor to begin repairs.

They also have started a GoFundMe.com account and Facebook page called Save the Bells of Stroudsburg United Methodist Church to help pay for it all.