Just in time for Easter: The sound of church bells returns to Edmonds

After a long silence, the sound of a real ringing church bell will once again fill the air in Edmonds. Starting Easter weekend, the newly refurbished bell in the tower of Edmonds’ Holy Trinity Church at the corner of Daley Street and 7th Avenue North will begin ringing out its message of hope and rebirth.

Still a regular part of life in Europe and other parts of the world, many churches in North America have chosen to cut the expense and maintenance of traditional large metal bells, removing them from church steeples and substituting speakers and recorded chimes. Other church bells that once rung out over Edmonds include those in the now-demolished Edmonds Congregational Church at 6th and Dayton, and Hughes Memorial Church at 5th and Dayton.

According to Aaron Patterson, who oversaw the bell’s renewal, the Holy Trinity bell had hung unused for decades in the church’s bell tower, where it became rusty and corroded. Worse, the safety of using it was in question as the pull and control ropes were old and frayed, and the pulley system was badly out of alignment.

“The history of the bell is a bit murky,” explained Patterson. “We know from the inscription on the bell itself that it was made by the CS Bell Company of Hillsboro, Ohio, but there’s no date to go along with this.”

He also has no information about whether the former occupants of the building — the Edmonds Open Bible Church and Holy Rosary Catholic Church — ever used the bell.

Patterson and fellow church member Jack Ireton took on the task of completely refurbishing the bell and the system of ropes and pulleys that control it. With that task now complete, the bell is back in its place of honor in the church’s bell tower, and ready to mark the Easter celebration.

The bell will first ring out Saturday evening at the close of the church’s Easter vigil, and again on Sunday morning to celebrate Easter Day.

“Ringing the bell will become a regular part of the church’s Saturday and Sunday services,” added Patterson.

— By Larry Vogel

  1. Looking forward to hearing the bell this weekend. Easter is the perfect time for this beautiful tradition to return. Happy Easter Edmonds! He is Risen, Alleluia!

  2. For me, as a child in Edmonds, the sound of the church bells ringing out on Sundays was a reminder that there was still hope for a better world for everyone–just around the corner. We knew that in many places people faced evil each day. There were wars, poverty, hunger and crime. But Sunday was a day for giving thanks to our Creator that we were blessed to be able to live in such a special place. Sunday was also a day set aside for family. Later, when the sound of the bells was stilled, Sundays were never quite the same.

  3. I remember the church bell ringing when the Catholic Church was at that location. Later Edmonds Open Bible rang it too.
    Sometimes when someone was getting married also. As a child we always heard the church bell ring. I also miss the noon siren from city hall. Memories for sure. Traditions are special in this unsure time in history.

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