This week we had a set of digital bells installed at the Church. The speakers are discretely located on the outside of the Church, and I am impressed myself by how authentic the bells sound.
They were working for the weddings which we had this Saturday afternoon, and after the morning masss of Our Lady we had Immaculate Mary (the Lourdes Hymn) floating out into the city air.
I've been a little concerned that the neighbours might object, but it seems the bells are hardly audible indoors (we are being cautious, keeping the volume down at the moment) and some have actually said they like them. I suppose next to the sound of emergency vehicles, more general traffic, drunken shouting, screeching tyres, the bells sound fine.
Almost everyone in the parish was delighted. There are always one or two, of course, who are wet blankets. One couple pulled a face and said 'It's all very well in a little village, but what it the point in a city?'
Well, my response is 'More to the point'! Sometimes people locally don't even realise that the Church is open - in fact, we are the only major denomination with a major presence in the city centre. The anglican church is a ruin, the old methodist church is surrounded by scaffolding, besides the catholics there is only a small baptist and salvation army building.
Let the bells ring out in the heart of the city!