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The Parish Church of

St Matthew Oxhey

 Fr David Shepherd   Vicar

Fr David Shepherd

01923 241420

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Bells

 

Warner and Sons of London cast the peal of eight bells, from treble to tenor, which was dedicated on the 18th June 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's Jubilee. The total weight of bells is roughly two tons. They are inscribed with the opening words of the Gloria. There is another much smaller bell, rung during communion, that came from Oxhey Chapel.

Over the years, the movement of the bells, in a tower not properly designed for them, has weakened the structure and they cannot now be swung safely. In particular, the two tier wooden bell frame had become structurally inadequate.

The complete re-hanging of the bells in a new metal frame was estimated, in 1995, to cost £50-£75,000. An outline scheme to do this was accepted by and registered with the National Lottery, but the congregation were unable to raise their part of the funding.

Instead, the bells have been fitted with a chiming mechanism, connected to a simple carillion. This work was completed in January 1996 by John Taylor of Loughborough at a cost of £6,415 plus VAT.

So the bells still sound, but now only the hammers move, not the bells, or the bell tower!

Below are details of the peal, which is in the key of A flat.

Weight

Diameter

Inscription

Paid for by:

3 cwts 3 qrts 12 lb

24½”

Glory to God in the highest

Robert Carew

3 cwts 3 qrts 24 lb

25”

On earth peace

Mrs Carew

4 cwts and 24 lb

26½”

Goodwill towards men

Thomas Blackwell

4 cwts 1 qrt 12 lb

27½”

We praise Thee

S J Blackwell

4 cwts 2 qrts 24 lb

29”

We bless Thee

Mrs Eley

5 cwts 2 qrts 13 lb

30½”

We worship Thee

Mrs Tooke, in memory of her son W A Tooke d. 1884

6 cwt 2 qrts 25 lb

33”

We glorify Thee

public subscription

8 cwts 1 qrts 15 lb

36½”

We give thanks to Thee for thy great glory

David Carnegie

Part of one of the bell frames

The Bell from Oxhey Chapel (pictures: John Powell)