|St Patrick - Ballymena|
There is a square tower at the south-east corner of the Church with a circular staircase turret. The present building dates from 1879, after the previous Church was destroyed by fire. The later building was consecrated in 1855, and in 1866 a bell was provided. It was 40" in diameter, has canons inscribed thus:
St Patrick A.D 1866 Sheridan Eagle Foundry Dublin
And on the opposite side, a crest consisting of a harp and Erin Go Bragh
When the new bells were installed in May 1895 the old bell was sold to Lambeg Parish Church, where it remains in service at present. Its weight is given by Matthew O'Byrne of Dublin as 12 cwts. These eight bells of St.Patrick's were put in the tower as a memorial for Dean Murray, Rector from 1865 to 1883. The bells were supplied by Mears and Stainbank of Whitechapel, London, and is in their Daybook entry for the 15th May 1895. The Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette noted this fact when reporting the dedication, giving details of the bells as follows:
"The bells have been hung with the usual fittings for ringing, .. Elm headstocks with steel gudgeons, gunmetal bearings in iron carriages, wheels and ropes. The framework in which they swing is of massive English oak, well constructed and every joint secured with double bolts or corner plated. A chiming apparatus has also been attached to enable one person to chime the bells"
The recast peal of bells arrived at the end of October 1987 and was put on display in the Church for two weeks. They were Hallowed at Evensong on Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 8, in a ceremony conducted by the Rector, Rev Canon F J Rusk. The bellhanger Mr T N J Bailey, arrived from Whitechapel the following day and the work of re-installing the ring in the tower began, to be completed just over three weeks later. The bells were rung for service for the first time for the Midnight Communion Service on Christmas Eve, when all twelve bells were rung in rounds and call changes. The bells were rung again for the 10.am Service on Sunday and on New Year's Eve the Old Year was rung with half muffled call changes on twelve, and the New Year welcomed with the bells open.
Practice Night: Friday Night - by Appointment only
Sunday Morning 11.00 - 11.25 Sunday Evening 18.00 - 18.25
Tower Contact: Tower Sec Ballymena