St Peter’s Harrogate

Ringing at St Peter’s

Ringing arrangements are subject to change to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or other services and activities in church. Please check the calendar for updates or contact us for further information.

8 Bells, Tenor 1212cwt in F
Sunday Service Ringing: 9am and 10.30am (6pm by arrangement)
Practice: Friday 7pm to 8pm
Contact: Hannah Beck

We are an active and welcoming band. We ring for both the Family Communion Service and Mattins on Sunday mornings. Our repertoire includes call changes, Plain Bob, Little Bob, Grandsire and Stedman. Friday night practices cover everything from bell handling to method ringing.

Visitors and potential recruits are most welcome to attend Sunday ringing and practices.

St Peter's Church, Harrogate
St Peter’s Church, Harrogate

History

St Peter’s church in Harrogate town centre was built in 1870 by J.H. Hirst of Bristol and consecrated in 1876. Due to a lack of funds at the time, only the first stage of the tower was completed.

The tower was completed in 1926 by A. A. Gibson and was intended to carry a full peal of bells but it was not until 1963 that the bells were installed. The tower contains many statues and carvings, most notably St Peter carrying the Keys to Heaven.

The tower consists of five storeys. The ringing chamber is on the second floor and is reached by a spiral staircase followed by a wooden ladder. Further ladders give access to the bell chamber and an iron spiral staircase gives access to the top of the tower. There are excellent views from the top and it is possible to see York Minster on a clear day. Until the redevelopment of 2011, the tower also served as the main church entrance.

Originally St Peter’s had only one bell which bore the inscription

O THE GLORY OF GOD
AND AS A THANKS OFFERING TO HIM
FOR THE RECOVERY OF HEALTH
THIS BELL IS PRESENTED TO
ST PETERS CHURCH, HARROGATE
BY ELIZABETH TIMM, EASTER A D 1879

The clapper of the old bell is preserved in the ringing chamber and the inscription is preserved on a plaque on the tower staircase door.

Clapper of old bell
Clapper of old bell

The peal of 8 bells were installed in 1963, through the initiative of the vicar, The Reverend Roger Holford Baines. They were cast by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough in 1963 and were dedicated on 22nd September 1963 by the Bishop of Knaresborough. The bells hang in a cast iron frame; the tenor being in the centre of the frame.

St Peter's Bells
St Peter’s bells set ready for ringing

The colours of the sallies follow a unique colour scheme following the liturgical colours of the Christian calendar: blue for Advent (1), gold for Christmas (2), green for Sundays after Epiphany (3), violet for Lent (4), gold for Easter (5), red for Whitsunday (6) and green for Sundays after Trinity (7). The blue sally on the tenor is for the Patron Saint – St Peter;  it has always been blue even though red is normally used by the Western church for feasts of the Apostles.

The spider on which the bell ropes are hooked is made from half of a rolling pin. The other half serves as the spider at Beckwithshaw!

The liturgical coloured bell ropes
The liturgical coloured bell ropes

Bell Details

The ringing peal was cast by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough

BellWeight (CWT-QTR-LB)NoteDiameterDate
13-3-2F25″1963
24-0-4E26″1963
34-1-2D27″1963
44-2-6C28121963
55-3-7B31″1963
66-1-24A32581963
78-2-22G36″1963
812-1-19F40″1963

All the bells bear the inscription

JOHN TAYLOR & CO. * FOUNDERS * LOUGHBOROUGH * 1963 *

The tenor also has the names of the Vicar and churchwardens inscribed on its waist:

ROGER HOLFORD BAINES   VICAR
JACK DRURY                             CHURCHWARDENS
GILBERT ARTHUR STONE

Links

St Peter’s Parish Website

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