Bells 2024-02-03T18:39:30-05:00


Follow the sound of the bells and find yourself here at Christ Church. This is the sound of wonder, clanging and rumbling from its historic “chime” – a call to worship at the noonday Eucharist and special services, and a call to mindfulness whenever you chance to hear the sacred notes from out of the blue resounding through downtown Reading.

This full chime of ten bells was cast in West Troy, New York by the Meneely Bell Foundry, and installed in its tower in 1874. They are played manually by two chimers throughout the year.

♫Contact our chimers at:

Article from the June 9th, 1874 Tuesday morning edition of the Reading Times and Dispatch:

“Christ Cathedral Chimes: The work of placing them in the belfry – their number and weight – a trial of the chimes expected on Saturday afternoon.

As already announced, the bells for Christ Cathedral Chimes have arrived, and the work of placing them in position in the steeple of that edifice was begun yesterday. They are ten in number, and the weight of each is as follows: No. 1, 2,559 lbs; No. 2, 2.000; No. 3, 1.400; No. 4, 1.200; No. 5, 850; No. 6, 600; No. 7, 500; No. 8, 400; No. 9, 350; No. 10. 250. Total, 10.109 pounds. On Bell No. 1 is the following inscription:


The bells were manufactured at the Meneely Bell Foundry, West Troy, New York, and are among the finest ever turned out from that extensive establishment. They are being hung in the belfry, which is 13 feet square. The work of hanging them is in charge of Mr. John O’Connell, who has been in the employ of the Meneelys for more than a quarter of a century, and who superintends this particular branch of their business.

The key-board will be placed in the small gallery just inside the entrance to the Cathedral, and which is 34 feet below the belfry. Mr. O’Connell feels confident that he can have the bells in position and ready for ringing by Saturday morning.

The Messrs. Eckert desire that the bells will be ready for testing by Saturday afternoon, and Mr. O’Connell will make every endeavor to have them ready by that time.

The first performance on the bells will be by Prof. P. J. McGoldrick, of Albany, New York, who is one of the most noted bell ringers in the country. He will make a through test of them, and if they prove satisfactory they will then be turned over to the Trustees of the Cathedral.

There is a general desire to hear the bells, and from the long-established reputation of the Meneelys there can hardly be a question that Christ Cathedral Chimes will prove one of the most agreeable features yet introduced in Reading.

The appropriateness of this gift to Christ Cathedral by the children of the late Isaac Eckert is appreciated not only by that congregation, but by the community generally. A number of suggestions are made by correspondents as to how these Chimes should be dedicated, and a prominent citizen recommends the playing of Old Hundred before the secular pieces are performed, at the conclusion of which all the other church bells should unite in a chorus of salutation. The suggestions are worthy of consideration.”