Saint James



The Parish of

St. Peter,

Bushey Heath

July 2017


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 Benediction.


‘Songs from the Shows’

Drama Spectrum presents a

Singing School Charity Concert

at St. Peter’s Church on Sunday 2nd July at 7.30pm

in aid of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice

Tickets £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.


From the diary…

Thursday 29th June, 10.00am               Requiem

       12 noon                SSC Chapter mass (postponed)

Sunday 2nd July, 7.30pm                     Drama Spectrum concert at St. Peter’s

Wednesday 5th July, 10.00am              Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion


Songs of Praise

Sunday 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 Adamson

                          9.30am                      Celebrant: Fr. Neil Kelley

Wednesday 19th July, 10.00am            No service

Sunday 23rd July, 8.00am & 9.30am    Celebrant: Fr. Benjamin Weitzmann

Wednesday 26th July, 10.00am            Mass (St. James the Apostle, tr.)

Wednesday 2nd August, 10.00am         Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion


The Annual Richborough Mass

Saturday 5th August, 12noon

St. Albans Abbey


You are invited to bring a picnic to the Bishop’s garden after mass. Drinks will be provided.


St. Peter’s-at-the-Pub


The Pub Night at the Three Crowns, Bushey Heath

Saturday 5th August


See the weekly pewsheet for full details

Book this evening in your diary now!


Wednesday 16th August, 10.00am        Mass (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, tr.)


Mother 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


Contact details:

Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.

Churchwardens: Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).


The 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.


Text a prayer request to our Prayer Line on 07939 379018. Private prayer will be offered for 2 weeks.