Historic Church Bell Will Ring Again

first_imgFinegan said that when his great-grandfather gave the organ to the church it cost $750, which was around two years’ salary for a middle class person, Now he said it would cost $150,000 to replace.He said it had to be rebuilt two times, once in 1935 and then again around 2002.The church now holds organ recitals on the third Saturdays of each month.Because of the Labor Day weekend, the next concert will be on Sept. 10, with refreshments served at 10 a.m. and the recital beginning at 11 a.m. In 1892, the church was rebuilt, in brick this time. The bell, produced by the McShane Foundry in Baltimore was made in 1892. According to Wikipedia, the foundry was established in 1856, and made “tens and thousands of bells and chimes shipping them out to churches and public buildings,” including “the 7,000- pound bell that hangs in the dome of Baltimore’s City Hall.”The company has moved to Glen Burnie, Maryland, and is now “the only large Western-style bell maker in the United States,” according to the entry.Another feature of the church is the pipe organ, which was donated by E.S. Nesbitt in 1893 after the fire that destroyed the church. By Liz SheehanSEA BRIGHT – On Sept. 11, the 124-year-old bell at the Sea Bright United Methodist Church will once again ring four times, marking the time one of the four planes involved in the 9/11 attack crashed.The bell has been silent for the last three anniversaries of the terror attacks, said George Finegan, the lay leader and musician at the church. It had ceased to function when the wheel broke that supported the rope that pulled the bell.The mechanism was repaired by John Conway of Navesink. Conway, a master carpenter, donated his services and constructed a new wheel that placed the bell back into service, said Councilman Charles Rooney, III. “John and I brought the wheel up in six pieces,” Rooney said Friday. “It was a tight squeeze’” getting the pieces through the small opening at the tower’s entrance, he said. But once the pieces were there, Conway was able to join the pieces together.Finegan said the bell is rung on Sundays at 9:25 a.m. before church services as well as on New Year’s, Memorial Day and other national holidays.The church also has a carillon bell system that plays on Saturdays at 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., he said.He is the one who will ring the bell. There is an art to it, he explained. “The bell will ring itself. You got to feel the rope. If you fight the rhythm it will break,” Finegan said.Finegan’s great-grandfather, who came to Sea Bright in 1863, was one of the original members of the church, which held its first services on the beach.In 1887, the group built a church on the site it now occupies at 1104 Ocean Ave. in the center of the town, Finegan said. Four years later, a fire swept through the town, from where the 7-11 store is now located to the site of the present Sea Bright-Rumson Bridge, and “most of Sea Bright was destroyed,” he said.last_img

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