The Church Bell
The church bell, weighing four and a half hundredweight, was cast in bronze by the John Taylor & Co Bell Foundry in Loughborough.
The Bell at St. Mary of the Angels can be sounded using two different methods, and if you listen carefully when the bell is being rung you can hear the difference.
Firstly, the bell can be swung from side to side allowing the clapper suspended in the middle of the bell to strike the sides of the bell as it swings.
Secondly, to allow for a more regular, timed, strike of the bell, our bell is also fitted with a 'Striking Hammer'. The striking hammer is used for the ringing of the Angelus, the Regina Cæli, the consecration bells during the celebration of Mass, and for the funeral toll, also known as the Death Knell.
The Bell carries the date 1962, which is the date not only of its being cast and hung, but also the year in which the bell was tolled for the first time. The parish history records that the bell was rung for the first time, from the newly built tower of St. Mary of the Angels, on Thursday 11th October 1962, marking the opening of the Second Vatican Council in Rome by Pope Saint John XXIII.
The bell also carries the inscription 'Vox de Caelo' which translate as 'A voice from heaven'. This inscription reminds us of the principle function of any church bell, that when we hear its 'voice' it is a call to prayer.
The View from the Tower
This photograph looks in an easterly direction from the front of the tower here at St. Mary's. In the distance you can see St. Francis of Assisi Catholic College.