From the vicar
One of the pleasures of being at St. Peter’s is that our worshipping
life is frequently punctuated by the sound of bells both great and small. The
great bells in the tower ring out across Bushey Heath whilst the liturgical
bells lift heart and soul heavenwards as the presence of Christ amongst his
people is celebrated in word and action.
Since 1921 St. Peter’s has been blessed with a peal of eight bells which
were given to the church by the parents of Lieutenant David Rutherford who had
been murdered by terrorists in Ireland the previous year. The bells were cast
at the Whitechapel Foundry and range in weight from just over 3cwt to just over
11cwt. Further details can be found in ‘St. Peter’s – the Church on the Heath’
by Bryon Parkin. The bells are customarily rung before the main service on a
Sunday and sometimes at special services like weddings. The main variation
occurs on Remembrance Sunday when the bells are muffled as a sign of respect
for those who gave their lives in the service of freedom.
In addition to the ringing of the full peal, a bell is tolled before
divine service as a reminder to the parish that worship is about to begin and
again a bell is chimed thrice at the elevation of each of the consecrated
elements at mass. It is also the custom to toll the bell after a funeral
service as the deceased is borne out of church. In some churches there is a
separate bell for these functions which is known as the sacring bell. In some
places the sacring bell is used to ring the Angelus or the seasonal variants
and it is traditional for a new incumbent to ring it at his induction.
Bells are also rung inside a church to mark particular points in the
service. A vestry bell is sometimes rung at the entrance of the priest for
mass. This bell is fitted with a bell-pull and is usually situated by the
vestry or sacristy door.
The principal bell used during mass is the sanctus bell. This is a small
hand-bell with a single tongue although there are variants which might include
a gong or a set of chiming bells. All three types of sanctus bell can be found
at St. Peter’s. The bell may be rung gently on four occasions during mass.
First, it is rung three times at the Sanctus. Secondly, it is rung once at the
epiclesis in the prayer of consecration which marks the invocation of the Holy
Spirit. Thirdly, it is rung three times at the elevation of each of the
consecrated elements. In practice this means that the bell is rung to coincide
with the first genuflection, the elevation and then the second genuflection
although if there is only one genuflection then all three rings are at the
elevation. Fourthly, the bell is rung once before the priest’s communion so
that the people know when to approach the altar.
The most notable variation of these practices takes place during the
Triduum Sacrum when bells are forbidden between the Gloria in excelsis on
Maundy Thursday and the same at the Easter Vigil, assuming that the Gloria is
at the beginning of these rites. If a bell is required between these times a
wooden clapper may be substituted for it. The sanctuary bell is also used at
‘Songs from the Shows’
Drama Spectrum presents a
St. Peter’s Church on Sunday 2nd July at 7.30pm
aid of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice
£12 available from Anne Swerling after services or by email from
Pray for those who
are persecuted for their faith, that all Christians may be free to worship and
proclaim that the Lord is risen.
Thursday 29th June, 10.00am Requiem
12 noon SSC
Chapter mass (postponed)
Sunday 2nd July, 7.30pm Drama Spectrum concert at
Wednesday 5th July, 10.00am Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion
Songs of Praise
9th July at 6.30pm
‘Faith, Hope and Love’
Preacher: the Bishop of Hertford
Bring a friend…
Wednesday 12th July, 10.00am No service
Sunday 16th July, 8.00am Celebrant: Fr. Graham
Fr. Neil Kelley
Wednesday 19th July, 10.00am No service
Sunday 23rd July, 8.00am &
9.30am Celebrant: Fr. Benjamin
Wednesday 26th July, 10.00am Mass (St. James the Apostle, tr.)
Wednesday 2nd August, 10.00am Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion
5th August, 12noon
You are invited to bring a picnic to the
Bishop’s garden after mass. Drinks will be provided.
Pub Night at the Three Crowns, Bushey Heath
the weekly pewsheet for full details
this evening in your diary now!
Wednesday 16th August, 10.00am Mass (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
and Toddler Group
From September the group will need volunteers
to assist with setting out and putting away equipment. If you think you might
be able to help please speak to Fr. Andrew
Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off
Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).
vicar welcomes enquiries about Baptism, Marriage and Confirmation. The
Sacrament for the Sick, the Churching of Women, the Blessing of Houses and
Confession are available by appointment.
prayer request to our Prayer Line on 07939 379018. Private prayer will be
offered for 2 weeks.