The bells of St. Mary’s Church, Brading, Isle of Wight, have been restored, and the work was dedicated by the Bishop of Portsmouth (Dr. Neville Lovett) on September 19th.

Some of the bells are between three and four hundred years old, and they were last attended to in 1887, when four new ones were installed and one recast. The present work has included the provision of new bearings, gudgeons and headstocks. After the restoration of 1887 the bells were first rung on June 21st of that year for the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, when an address was given by Archdeacon Haigh. The bells as hung then and still in use include the tenor, dated 1594, weighing nearly 10 cwt., and inscribed, ‘Praise the Lord.’ The other inscriptions are: Seventh, ‘R.B., 1622, J.J., T.O.’; sixth, ‘Benjamin Salter, Richard Daw, churchwardens. Clement Taylor cast me in the year 1709’; fifth, ‘1604, God be our guyd’; fourth, ‘God save our Queen, Jubilee year, 1887’; third, ‘God bless Brading’; second, ‘Gloria in excelsis Deo. E. Summers, Vicar, Clem Pain, W. Seymour, churchwardens’; and treble, ‘In terra pax. If you well ring, I’ll sweetly sing, 1887.’ When No.5 was recast one hundredweight of metal was added to it to balance the peal.

The cross-bearer, with the surpliced choir, accompanied by the Rev. C. W. Hampton Weekes (Vicar) and the Rev. H. C. Stokes (Yaverland), met the Bishop, the Rev. F. J. Bamford (Rural Dean), and the Rev. C. Sumner Stooks (Bishop’s Chaplain), and the wardens at the west door, and the Bishop performed the dedication below the belfry. A short peal was rung as the procession afterwards passed on to the chancel and sanctuary. Psalm cxxii. was chanted, and the hymns were, ‘We love the place, O God,’ and ‘Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven.’

The Bishop preached from Zechariah xiv. 5, ‘Upon the bells holiness unto the Lord.’ That evening, he said, they had dedicated those renewed and rehung bells to the Lord. They were going to be rung to the Lord, for the Lord’s purpose and his glory. The ringers might very well have strongly in their thoughts the joy of assembling people to worship God. They roused up the people to come together and lift up their hearts to God. It was a most beautiful thing for them to realise that they were doing that definite work for God. The ringer should have the right purpose in his heart, to assist in sending God’s summons out over the parish, thus becoming a messenger for God to the parishioners. The Bishop also congratulated the parish on the successful outcome of its task in the restoration of its beautiful church bells.

The work has been carried out by Messrs. Mears and Stainbank.

The Ringing World No. 1124, October 7th, 1932, page 661