The Bells of Mandurah

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The history of the Bells

The peal of historic English Bells housed in the bell tower in Christ’s Church, Anglican Church, Mandurah have an incredible history. They came from St Mary Magdalene in the City of Oxford in England. They have come to be known as the Martyrs Bells as three famous Bishops, Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were all martyred near the tower where they were rung in 1555 and 1556.

In their current life they date from 1874 but these bells were re-cast from a previous ring of five that were cast between 1618 and 1717. The two trebles (the two lightest bells), were new bells cast by the Whitechapel Foundry in 1997 to complete the octave. The six heaviest bells were a gift from Laith Reynolds, Western Australian bellringer and philanthropist.

The frame was made locally and the bells were installed by a team of local bellringers, led by Roger Lubbock the Tower Captain. Together the bells sing out in the key of A and are a really delightful ring of eight, the heaviest weighing 7cwt 2qtr 8lb, or 385kg.

The building of the Bell Tower
Having just completed the huge 1994 project of building a church, the parish of Christ’s Church embarked on the project to build a bell tower. The project was driven by a couple of Joe’s! Joe Reeves is an Englishman by birth who had always loved the sound of bells and was the inspiration and driving force behind the project. He had strong support from Father Joe Hopkins the incumbent at the time, as well as from John McAlpine, a parishioner and local builder.

Installing a ring of bells is a significant enough project but to have to build the tower first was a major task for the parish and it is to the credit of the key people that it was successful. This was truly a community project and to everyone’s delight on April 5th 1998, the bells were heard ringing out for the first time.

Ringing the Bells

They are rung full-circle in the manner developed and perfected in the English countryside in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Historically bells have called the faithful to worship, defined the working day, rung joyously for weddings, muffled to celebrate the lives of those who have died and have loudly proclaimed occasions of national importance. They no longer clamour in times of danger, although very occasionally our ringing may sound as though we’re practicing for such an event! Most of Christ’s Church’s bell ringers have been ringing here since the bells were installed and are a very dedicated band, there are very few Sundays when the bells don’t ring.

Would you like to become a bell ringer?
Bell ringing is a stimulating activity, requiring good ear, eye and hand coordination and can be learned at almost any age although the physical requirement (though not excessive) would usually preclude those under 10 and over 80, having said we have taught people outside that age range.

We are always happy to explain our Art and Science to anyone who is interested and new recruits are always welcome. We practice on Tuesday evenings from 7pm – 9pm and ring for Sunday service from 9:25am to 9:55. We can be contacted by phone or e-mail;.

Roger – Tower Captain
08 9537 3004
0412 199 956

Janine – Deputy Tower Captain

08 9534 5259
0417 986 562

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Contact Us

Parish Office: 08 9535 6152
Postal Address: PO Box 203
  WA 6210
Physical Address: Corner of Sholl and Pinjarra Road
  Mandurah 6210
  Western Australia


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