St Patricks Sunday School
The Parish Centre
50 Brook Street, Coleraine,
The St Patricks Bell Ringing Society is lead by Mr Trevor McCandless whose dedicated volunteers call out on a regular basis to Coleraine. The reason for ringing the bells is that it forms part of the churches link to the general public by announcing that a service or some other important event is about to begin.
Sometimes the bells are also rung at the end of a service, especially weddings. Many people are genuinely surprised to see that in this hi-tec age that people and not machines ring these bells. Some are even more surprised to find it is an activity carried out by ordinary people with nothing else in common than the desire to enjoy something that is different, enjoyable and a service to their church. We are always looking for new enthusiasts.
St Patricks are members of the Irish Association of Change Ringers (IACR). The IACR web site is dedicated to the art of change ringing in Ireland. This covers both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Click this link to visit their site... www.bellringingireland.org
THE BELL TOWER
The Bell Tower is 114 feet high. It contains five levels. According to the broadsheet of the Rudhall Bell-Foundry of 1751, one bell was cast for "Coleraine". In a letter, Mr.Robert.Simpson, Hon. Secretary of the Select Vestry, reports that there was an old bell in the church when it was rebuilt in 1884 - 85. It was sold in 1893 when the present ring of bells was installed. The eight bells hang in a square tower at the west end of the Church. They are without canons, have steel headstocks with roller bearings, and hang in a steel frame.
The ground level is the main entrance to the church. Above the entrance to the tower porch are the Coats of Arms of the City of London (left) and Coleraine (right). The original Coat of Arms for Coleraine had to be changed as it was too close to that of London's. The porch contains a Floor Mosaic of St. Patrick. To the left is a wooden door leading to the upper floors. This set of stairs leads up to the second level which takes us to the Bell Ringers room.The second level takes us to the Bell Ringers room. The third level is a store room. The forth level contains eight bells which were installed in 1893. The bells hang upside down. The fifth level is the area of the spires. In the renovation work carried out in 1995 steel rods were placed between the spires for safety reasons. This level gives spectacular views of our surrounding town.
When the decision to rebuild St. Patrick's was taken in 1883, the congregation insisted that the new church should have an imposing tower containing a peal of bells. It was not until 1892 that funds for the bells were available. A special fund was opened, and by the will of a former Churchwarden, James Coyle, a saw mill was bequeathed to the church; the mill was to be sold and the proceeds devoted to the cost of the bells. The sale raised £200. This, along with gifts from other individuals and resources provided by the Bell Fund, enabled the parish to buy eight bells and their accompanying apparatus: headstocks, clappers, roller boxes, runners and so on. The contract went to John Taylor & Co. (Bell founders) Ltd. of Loughborough. The bells were cast and hung in 1893; major repairs occurred in 1947 and again in 1991-2.
BELL SPECIFICATIONS Bell Note Dia(cms) Wgt(kgs)
No.1 TrEft 71cms 254kgs
No.2 D 74cms 254kgs
No.3 C 79cms 305kgs
No.4 B Flat 84cms 305kgs
No.5 A Flat