Thursday, February 21, 2019
St. Matthew's Anglican Victoria Jubilee Church Bell, Heart's Delight-Islington
At a recent heritage meeting in the town of Heart's Delight-Islington, I had a chat with Mr. Stan Reid about the old St. Matthew's Anglican Church, and specifically about the old church bell. The church was deconsecrated January 6, 2016, and the future plan is to move the bell to a new bell tower, yet to be constructed in the community. After the meeting, he sent me a historic photo of the old bell (above).
The bell was cast with the following words:
WEST TROY, N.Y.
AN OFFERING FROM THE WOMEN
OF HEART'S DELIGHT, TO THE
GLORY OF GOD IN MEMORY OF
VICTORIA JUBILEE 1836-1897
HENRY C.H. JOHNSON (RECTOR)
LLEWELLYN JONES (BISHOP)
On the day of the church's 2016 deconsecration - or secularization - Bishop Geoff Peddle wore the pectoral cross that Bishop Jones would have worn. Also used for the ceremony was the same the diocesan crosier — or bishop’s crook — that would have been used by Bishop Jones.
The place of casting indicates the bell was manufactured by the First Meneely Bell Foundry, of New York, which had been established in 1826. There were two competing Meneely bell foundries, across the Hudson River from one another, run by members of the same family.
The ad below for the foundry was printed in the Troy Daily Times May 20, 1891.
According to Sheila MacKenzie Brown's 1981 MA Folklore thesis on bell traditions in NL, there were at that time at least 34 other Meneely bells in local churches, including St. Paul's Church, Harbour Grace, and All Hallows Church, North River. One of the Meneely foundries also cast the fire bell for St. John's, dated 1878.
For more info on Meneely foundries, you can visit the Meneely Bell Online Museum!
Do you have a memory of the church bell in Heart's Delight ringing? Comment below, or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org