Barry Masters remembers preparing for church at Trinity Parish on Sunday again when he was 11 and 12 years previous, together with ringing a historic church bell as a part of a service that passed off after his paper route.
“They didn’t simply allow you to ring the bell. You needed to be right here a few years,” he stated.
That point in Masters’ life was many years in the past, and his household attends one other church now. However as he sat within the sanctuary on Friday, he recalled his time on the parish fondly.
“I really like the church, you realize,” he stated. “It is bought a variety of sentimental worth. I used to be baptized right here. I used to be confirmed right here. Spent a variety of time right here.”
Trinity Parish in St. Augustine, the oldest Protestant church in Florida, dates again to 1821 when “a priest named Andrew Fowler was despatched from Charleston to open up an Episcopal church,” in line with a press launch. It is on the nook of King and St. George streets.
Building on the church constructing in downtown St. Augustine was accomplished in 1834. The bell, which was manufactured by a Massachusetts foundry, got here to the church eight years later.
It stopped ringing about 50 years in the past.
As a part of celebrating the church’s historical past, parishioners labored collectively to get the historic bell restored and in form to ring once more. The bell was returned to the church on Friday.
“The 401-pound, 21-inch-tall bell was eliminated by crane final August and was transported to The Verdin Firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, to be restored and refurbished,” in line with a press launch from the church. “Trinity Parish is planning to ‘Ring within the Bicentennial’ on Jan. 3 with the primary ringing of the renovated bell. Each Sunday of 2021, the bell will likely be rung for all providers and events.”
Within the interim, the church has been utilizing a calliope to do the bell’s job.
The Rev. Matt Marino, who leads the church, stated that previously, church bells performed a key function.
“The city sq. church bell is that factor that beckons a complete group ― to worship on Sunday, absolutely, however at different instances as effectively,” he stated within the launch. “Celebrations, emergencies, deaths and lives have been all marked by the ringing of the church bell. Catholics rang their bell and the Protestants rang ours, and once they each rang, all of us knew to return operating to the city sq..”
Marino stated he is trying ahead to having the bell up and operating once more.
“We’re enthusiastic about having the true bell again and ringing precise brass. … It has a very pretty form of 200-year-old bell sound to it,” he stated.
St. Augustine’s Cathedral Basilica, a Catholic church simply throughout the Plaza de la Constitucion from Trinity Parish, had historic facade bells restored and reinstalled a number of years in the past. The oldest facade bell dates again to the seventeenth century.
― St. Augustine Document Reporter Colleen Jones contributed to this report.