Bells and Bell-Ringing
In the year 2000, a group of people started to look into putting in a ring of bells at the behest of the then Rector, Richard Hurford. The tenor for the church was donated through the Keltek Trust. This bell, a 10cwt 1785 Rudhall casting, had previously been hung in the former church of St Paul, Bristol. Bristol was notably the former home of St James’ architect, Francis Greenway, and has always been a noted centre for bell-ringing. The remaining seven bells were cast by Taylor’s Bell Foundry in Loughborough, Leicestershire. Due to the configuration of the steeple, the bells could not be hung in what normally would have been the belfry. Instead, the bells were hung one level lower, behind the roof of the church, in what would have been the ringing chamber. The ringing room is in the antechamber to the gallery. A nicer environment for ringing, this level has stained glass windows and doors into the church so the ringers can see what is happening in the service. It is one of the most accessible ringing chambers in Australia with a lift to the church level, and a staircase to the ringing room. The bells are named after people of the early settlement and the early days of the church. The names and weights of the bells are as follows:
On Sunday, 27 July, 2003 on the Sunday in the Octave of St James’ Day, in the presence of His Grace, the Most Reverend Ian George, Archbishop of Adelaide, the Rector, Father Peter Kurti, dedicated the Bells to the glory of God. Later, at a Parish Luncheon, certificates were presented to major donors to the project. Following the luncheon, a quarter peal of St James the Great Delight Major was rung.
The bells are usually rung prior to the 9:00am and 11:00am (pre-COVID-19), or 10:00am (during COVID-19) Sunday services, at some Evensong services, and at special festival services. The bells can be booked for weddings, funerals and other special occasions by arrangement.
The St James’ Guild of Ringers is growing and practises regularly. Beginners and experienced ringers are always very welcome.