Historic Bells Will Be Ringing at Church of the Ascension by September's End
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Last month, Time Warner Cable News shared a story about a Rochester church's plans to install a rare set of bells. That project is moving along.
In the bell tower of Rochester's Church of the Ascension, Neil Thomas is setting things right. There are only about 50 churches with change-ringing bells in the U.S. Thomas has had a hand in many of them.
"I can't think of another single individual bell hanger who's done as many towers as I have in the states," said Neil Thomas, bell hanger.
Thomas works for London-based Whitechapel Bell Foundry which began casting the ten bells which will ring loudly in Ascension's bell tower.
"It's attention to detail and obviously knowing in depth how the bell works and how it should feel," said Thomas
"I thought from what I could tell the overtone profile would be just as good, maybe better," said Chris Haller, Church of the Ascension.
Haller has led the church's effort to bring the bells to Rochester. The bells will be rung by a team of ten, working in tandem, using ropes to make heavenly sounds.
"We as a team are trying to do what a computer can do just like that, and that's get perfect interval between the strike of each bell," said Thomas.
"I've been in a great many bell towers so it's not too hard to envision this. But I am surprised at how well the installation is going," said Haller.
Those in charge of the more than $500,000 project say if all goes according to plan they will be ringing the bells at Ascension in less than two weeks.
Setting the 10 bells, which weigh between 400 and 1,000 pounds, is actually the easy part.
"Once you lot are out of the way I've got a lot of setting up to do. That involves making noise. You wouldn't want to be in here then,” said Thomas.
Supporters of the Church of the Ascension's bell tower figure the project will make it a tourist spot. Until then they'll have to just imagine what it'll sound like.
"It's something we all strive to do. When it sounds right it's just fantastic," said Thomas.