A fascinating history of Bolton Christ Church’s Bell Tower from parishioner Sandi Wiseheart; followed by a few ways you could help put the ring back in the bell…..
History of the Bolton Christ Church Bell Tower
Built in 1874, it is not surprising that our 139-year-old church needs ongoing brick repair. After replacing many of the bricks on the main body of the church, we now have to address the bell tower, which needs repair so badly that we are hesitant to ring the resident bell lest the resulting vibrations further damage the tower. Also, since the front door of the church sits squarely at the base of the tower, keeping our entrance safe for parishioners and guests is a priority.
Does anyone miss the sound of the bell summoning the faithful to worship every Sunday morning? I know that I do. We hope that the much-needed repairs to the tower will enable our bell to ring out again over the Humber Valley.
The present church building (preceded by two others which were destroyed by fire) was constructed in 1874 using bricks from the local brickyard. It was not until 1887, however, that enough money was raised to have the bell cast and hung in the tower. This was a point of municipal pride, because at the time, our bell was the only one in Bolton, ringing for civic occasions as well as religious. It was used, for example, as a fire bell, warning of fires that frequently broke out in a settlement of wooden houses heated by stoves.
We are told that Bolton residents, regardless of denomination (not only Anglicans), contributed to the cost of the bell, feeling a sense of pride that comes from working together to achieve a goal. Several solemn moments in history have been ushered in by our bell: • It rang on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. • On March 23, 1941, it rang to summon Bolton residents to the Empire Day of Prayer at a time when the free world was in grave danger, needing all the prayers it could get. • It rang to mark the end of the first and second world wars and the beginning of more peaceful times. • More recently, it was rung to commemorate the victims of the Sept 11, 2001 tragedy.
Parishioners have heard the bell ring happily for weddings and toll sadly for funerals, marking the life of this church for 116 years. So, let us pull together once again to repair our tower, in order to ensure the safety of the front entrance and to enable our historic bell to once again summon the faithful.
Here is information about three different ways they ask that people consider in their fund-raising efforts:
Come to our “Let the Bell Ring!”, our special Concert & Dessert event!
Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 PM.
Held in our lovely church chapel, 22 Nancy Street in Bolton. Please come join us.
Tickets: $20 each.
We will have an evening of some of the best local music around:
Candescence, an acclaimed female quartet associated with the Achill Choir;
Michael Lerner, a knock-your-socks-off pianist, leading our very own Christ Church Choir in song;
Greg Dickison, a singer with a deep smooth baritone who specializes in gospel and similar moving music forms; and last but never least,
The Christ Church Bell Choir, a handbell group so skilled and so expressive that I, at least, often forget to breathe!
Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Kingly Quilt!
Dorothy Stewart and members of our Church ACW guild have hand-quilted a stunning king-sized quilt, and you can purchase tickets to win it in our drawing in mid-November.
Pictures of the quilt and of each individual square can be found at http://christchurchbolton.wordpress.com/.
Call or stop by the Church Office for info on how to buy tickets.
Prices: 1 ticket for $2, or 3 tickets for $5.
Drop into our chapel and drop an envelope or check into our Donation Box, up at the front of the church...
You’ll know it because it’s shaped just like our lovely tower!
This is the place to make donations if you want a tax receipt, so be sure to write your name on your envelope if you are donating cash.
(Loose loonies and toonies welcome, too, of course!)