Work has begun hanging the eight new church bells for St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. It has taken 167 years to get to this point, and over the next few days the bells will be lifted into position in the Cathedral bell tower.
Once the bells are in place, they will be tuned by members of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers.
The eight new bells, plus the original bell, St Patrick, will be rung together for the first time in the next few weeks.
The bells were blessed in a spectacular ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta on 8 September 2020 by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta.
Getting to this stage has been a story involving dedicated people from around the world, passionate about bringing the dream of the pioneers of 1800’s Parramatta to life.
Fr Peter Williams, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, coordinated the project with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers, from tracking down suitable bells internationally, to working out the logistics of hanging them and who will ring them.
“Since 1853, the people of Parramatta have been waiting to hear the peal of bells, which, in the early days of our colony would remind them that it was time to attend church” he said.
“This is not only a rewarding project for the parishioners of Parramatta, but, given our parish dates from 1803, it’s an historic moment for the whole of Australia.
“They symbolise persistence, hope and regeneration” he said.
St Patrick’s officially became a Cathedral in 1986 when the new Diocese of Parramatta was formed. It was rebuilt in 2003 after a devasting fire in 1996.