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Brasted Church

Please Click the picture above to enlarge it

Services at St Martin's Church Brasted

The Church is probably Saxon in origin and has a medieval tower. It was
extensively rebuilt by the great Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse, and
restored and modernised between 1989 and 1992 following a serious fire.

Some excellent modern stained glass was installed after the fire. There is a fine
Walker organ and the Church boasts a strong choral tradition. The choir
practises weekly on Thursdays at 8.15 p.m.

A new lych gate is to be built at the entrance to the churchyard to celebrate
the Millennium.

St Martin's Church is here to represent the presence of God in the life of the
village. Everyone is warmly welcomed to all services, celebrations and
activities.

Sunday service times are 8.00 Holy Communion

10.15 1st and 3rd Sunday: Sung Communion

10.15 2nd and 4th Sunday: Mattins

6.30 Evensong

The first Sunday is a Family Communion, the third Sunday is Alternative Service Book, and all other services are from the Prayer Book.

On Thursdays there is a 10.00 Holy Communion.

The Priest-in-Charge is Simon Bannister (01959 563491)

 

The bells of Brasted

There is a ring of six bells at Brasted, and they are rung in what is known as an anticlockwise circle. This means that, when ringing in "rounds", ie down the scale from the treble (lightest) to the tenor (heaviest) the bells are rung in an anticlockwise circle. This is fairly unusual (only eight ringable towers in Kent are hung this way), but we like our bells the way they are. Details of the bells are as follows:

 

Bell Weight Diameter Inscription
I 4-2-14 28" GILLETT & BLAND CROYDON

THIS PEAL (1730) WAS RECAST IN 1881

II 5-1-14 30" GILLETT & BLAND CROYDON 1881
III 6-0-13 32" GILLETT & BLAND CROYDON 1881
IV 6-3-7 34" GILLETT & BLAND CROYDON 1881
V 8-2-13 37" GILLETT & BLAND CROYDON 1881
VI 10-1-16 40" GILLETT & BLAND CROYDON

THIS PEAL WAS RECAST IN 1881

J. W. RYND RECTOR

W.FEARON TIPPING and T. WELLS - CHURCH WARDENS

 A bit of history

Records do not tell precisely when bells were first installed at Brasted, but probably there was a heavy four there by about 1530. The frame holding the present back four dates from this sort of time and, judging by the way the beams surrounding the tenor pit have been cut out, the wheels must have been enormous - some 10 feet in diameter compared with the present average of about 5 - 6 feet. In 1730 the old four were recast by Richard Phelps of Whitechapel, the frame being extended to carry the two extra bells. It looks as though some of the "new" timbers added at that time were in fact secondhand, since they show signs of previous use. In 1764 the tenor was again recast, this time by Thomas Janaway of London. The details of these bells were as follows (inscriptions from Stahlschmidt, weights from Gillett’s, courtesy of Dickon Love):

Bell Weight Inscription
I 4-2-0 R:PHELPS FECIT 1730
II 5-2-9

same

III 6-3-13

same

IV 7-2-17

same

V 9-2-20

same

VI 11-0-11 THE REVD GEORGE SECKER D:D RECTOR :

IOHN YOUNG & ROBERT SMITH : CHURCH WARDENS 1764

THOMAS JANAWAY OF LONDON FECIT

A hundred and fifty years passed before any more major work was done, until 1881, in fact, when the bells were recast by Gillett & Bland into the present six (tenor 10cwt 1qr 16lb). In 1932 the bells were again taken out and sent to Mears & Stainbank at Whitechapel, this time for retuning, removal of the old clapper staples, installation of new clappers and rehanging on ball bearings. In 1957 and again in 1989 the clappers were rebushed. As part of the 1989 work all the wheels, which were over 100 years old and starting to fall apart at the slightest provocation, were replaced. Although the Whitechapel Bell Foundry did the rebushing and made the new wheels, all local site work was carried out by the ringers themselves.

In November 1989 fire destroyed all but the walls of the choir and nave, but we were very fortunate that the flames did not reach the tower and the bells were unharmed. It was a very memorable occasion when we rang out on the day after the blaze, with the odd wisps of smoke still showing, and with the acrid smell of burnt timber all around.

 

The ringers and ringing today

We currently have a band of about eight ringers and it is very rare for us not to have enough people to man the bells each Sunday - although we could always do with some more recruits. Our practice night is Friday from 8pm to 9.30pm and visitors, ringers or not, are very welcome. On Sunday mornings we ring from 9.30am to 10.15am. The Tower Captain is Bob Sherlock, who has been a ringer at Brasted since about 1936. He may be contacted on 01959 563654.

All the current members of the Brasted band are members of The Kent County Association of Change Ringers, which is the body co-ordinating ringing activities in the county of Kent. The KCACR has its own web page on www.kcacr.org.uk  If you would like to find out more about ringing in Kent, please try this site - it has a lot of information about all aspects of ringing.

 
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