11:30 a.m., May 27)
Thieves steal 250 lb. bell from Bearbrook church bell tower
By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star
For the first time in more than 90 years parishioners at
Trinity Anglican Church in Bearbrook won't be called to
Sunday service by the church's cast iron bell. That's because
the 250-pound bell was stolen from the church belfry likely
in the early morning hours on May 21.
Lowe and Rev. Margo Whittaker, holding the
missing bell's clanger, stand in front of
Trinity Anglican Church in Bearbrook with
the bell tower in the background. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Armstrong was called in to replace a part on the bell
mechanism that was found on the lawn last Monday. When
he went up into the bell tower to replace it, he noticed
that the bell was no longer there.
went up and stuck my head up through the hole and I'm
looking... where's the bell? There's no bell," recalls
Armstrong. "So I called Merle (Jackson) -- he's the
groundskeeper -- and he said that he had filled a hole
in the lawn on Monday. 'Come to think of it, it was the
shape of a bell', he said."
also called his sister Sharen, who is the people's warden
at the church and she reported the theft to the police.
She also informed the church's pastor Margo Whittaker
who reacted to the news in total shock.
was curious and stunned at the same time. There's no bell,
what do mean no bell? I've heard of church bells being
sold at flea markets for a couple thousand dollars or
more. I suspect it was someone looking to sell the material
of the bell," opines Whittaker.
theory most people are working on is that two or three
men pulled up to the church in the early morning hours
on May 21 and used a ladder to gain access to the belfry.
in the tower, they took the bell from its cradle and dropped
it over the edge to the ground below before loading it
into a truck and making their getaway. The only thnig
they left behind was the bell's clanger.
warden Marilyn Lowe also reacted with disbelief when she
heard the news of the bell's disappearance.
feel shocked and very sad that someone would stoop that
low. Is nothing sacred anymore," Lowe asked rather
church was built in 1900 and the bell tower was added
25 years later in 1925. The bell has been rung for Sunday
service and special events, including VE Day when it was
rung to signal the end of the Second World War, ever since
stone gothic church sits at the corner of Russell and
Dunning Roads. Services for the 30 or more parishioners
are held every Sunday morning at 8:15 a.m.
theft of church bells is mone common than you would think.
Last August two men were arrested in New Brunswick and
charged with allegedly stealing bells from two rural churches
including St. Paul's Anglican Church in Kirkland. And
in May two men were charged for stealing a bell from a
church in Springfield, Illinois.
three individuals were rushed to the hospital for treatment,
while two other siblings, an 11-year-old and a 20-year-old
male, escaped uninjured.
the wife and daughter, who suffered superficial injuries
to her head and lower body, were treated and later released,
while Lambert's injuries were upgraded from life-threatening
was arraigned in absentia on Tuesday while still recovering
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)