Bells Ring Out Again

Bishop At Sheffield Ceremony

Church's Voice of Joy and Sorrow


The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent,
Mon 2nd April 1934

Is the ringing of church bells for victory right?

  This question was raised by the Bishop of Sheffield when re-dedicating the bells of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Ranmoor, Sheffield, on Saturday.

  Dr. Burrows was speaking of the various occasions on which it was still the custom to ring the church bells. Such an occasion was during a time of great national joy and thanksgiving.

  " I still think," he said, "that the ringing of church bells for victory is right. If you have entered into such a terrible thing as war with a good conscience and with a desire to do the right, and if God gives you the victory, I think it is right to ring the bells."

  Dr. Burrows said that it was quite clear from history that the sound of the bells was their original value. He thought that sometimes in England we had lost a good deal in dropping some of our age-old customs which reminded us of the past and served as a link with it.

Glad Marriage Bells

  There were still great occasions when the bells were sounded. He said marriage bells were one of the best and truest uses of the bells of the church, because they showed to the whole parishioners that marriage was a solemn and sacred thing when performed in the church.

  The Bishop also spoke of the moving effect of the muffled peals of bells sometimes used at funerals. The most common use of the bells was to call people to worship.

  The Bishop described the development of bells as the Church had grown, and how science and music had come in through change ringing and the tuning of bells.

  He paid tribute to the late Sam Thomas who devoted much of his time to the perfecting of change ringing, which he introduced in the district. Two new bells at the church were dedicated to his honour.

Impressive Service

  The Bishop also re-dedicated the eight bells which had been recast and rehung making a peal of ten bells in all.
An impressive part of the ceremony was when the Bishop, accompanied by the Vicar (the Rev. H. C. Foster) and Churchwardens, Lieut.-Col. R. O. Wever, and other members of the Bells Committee went to the bell tower, where Mr. Cyril Johnston, representing the bell founders, handed over the bell ropes.

  This ceremony was broadcast to the church through loudspeakers. The Bishop returned to the church during the ringing of a short peal on the bells.

  Provost A. C. E. Jarvis and Canon Bracewell also officiated in the ceremony.

Changes rung

As the people left the church special changes were rung by a band of specially picked ringers, all of whom had rung under Mr. Sam Thomas or had been associated with him.
 Tea was held, the company including the Bishop of Sheffield, the Provost, Canon S. T. G. Smith, Canon Bracewell, Mr. F. J. Smallwood of Bolton; Mr. W. Dransfield of Almondbury, and Mr. Thomas, the brother of the late Mr. Sam Thomas, and about 100 ringers and friends.

End of Article

 Back to Historical News Index

 Go back to Homepage