Our Church Bell
Many of us have had the pure joy of ringing our church bell over the years. Pulling on that rope, listening for the melodious song playing overhead as that bell called out to our neighbors to come and worship with us.
The bell became part of our church that was built at 12 Stafford Street and dedicated on February 23, 1894. It was made by the Clinton H. Meneely Bell Co. of Troy, New York. The company began in 1870 and closed in 1952. During that time the company made 65,000 church bells. Our bell was dedicated to Rev. Frank A. Everett, Pastor, who served from 1890 to 1894, during the time the church was being built. The bell is inscribed with the words “Holiness unto the Lord”. For 108 years that bell was rung faithfully every week.
In 2002 it was agreed by our congregation that a larger church was needed and our old church was sold to the Charlton Sewing Center. In November of that year a ground breaking walk was held from 12 Stafford Street to the site of our new church at 72 Stafford Street. The consecration of our new church was on May 22, 2005.
Things were not quite the same as we had left behind our Reed Pipe Organ, some of our stained glass windows and our church bell. In 2010 thru a Memorial Gift to Herbert Anderson, a request was made to see what the cost would be to bring the bell to our new church location. There were many hurtles to work through as our new church was not built to house a bell. Jim Hall volunteered to become the Project Manager to find a way to bring this precious bell home. There were some scary moments in removing the bell, but Jim persevered. A new wheel and base had to be built for the bell and Larry Clough, a master carpenter from Barre, volunteered his time to make this happen. What began as a tarnished pigeon droppings bell was completely refurbished under Jim’s watchful eyes and became Cinderella at the ball, wonderfully beautiful.
It was decided to build an outside enclosure for the bell near the sanctuary windows with a remote control ringer. On November 24, 2013 our bell was rededicated. Every Sunday our Sexton, Al Sergel has the pleasure of ringing our bell and once again it reminds our neighbors to come and worship.
Excerpt from the “Spirit Song”
Our bell was removed from our old church by our own daredevil Jim Hall and lovingly refurbished at WireFab by Jim and a host of wonderful people who donated many hours to taking off one hundred years of grime and corrosion and giving us a beautiful new looking bell and wheel. We have all admired its’ beauty as it sat in our narthex. But the bell needed a new home.
On October 16th the bell was moved to its new home. There was a brief prayer said by Pastor Taesung and Jim rang the bell three times in honor of Herb Anderson, whose Memorial Fund built the bells’ new home. The formal dedication was held outside on November 24th prior to our 10:30 Worship Service. This time our bell was rung to let our neighbors know that we are inviting them to come.