THE BELLS OF ST JOHN'S
Bell towers are not meant solely for ornament. From their lofty chambers there floats down upon the city or the countryside the melodious harmony of bells, calling people to worship. They are rung joyfully before and after weddings and at funeral services where one bell is tolled for each year of the deceased's life.
St John's has a peal of eight bells which were given by Governor-General, Viscount De L'lsle, as a memorial to his wife. The bells were cast at the bell foundry of John Taylor & Co in Loughborough, England, and were installed in 1964. Ranging in weight from 13 to 2 hundredweight and in diameter from 3 feet 4.5 inches to 1 foot 9 inches, the largest bears the inscription:
"For the glory of God and in devoted memory of his beloved wife Jacqueline this chime of bells was given to the Church of St John the Baptist, Canberra, by William, Viscount De L'lsle. J.D.L. Twentieth October, 1914 to Sixteenth November, 1962."
The old bell was donated to the Church of St Michael and All Angels at Hall, where it was re-erected in the churchyard.
The bells are rung by ropes which cause the bell clapper to strike the inside of the bell. They are rung by two people each ringing four bells.
Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit. If you would like to learn to ring, or become a bell ringer, please contact us. Practices are on Monday evenings at 5.30 pm.
Colonel John Watch, Master of the Bellringers for many years, removes the leather muffer from a clapper on one of the bells.