Well, turns out I was wrong. There is another church in Hyde Park (ok, bordering Hyde Park in nearby Kenwood) with a real, honest-to-goodness bell! St. Paul & the Redeemer Episcopal Church has one rung on Sunday mornings and for special services. The Rev. Peter Lane showed me and my bell colleague Jim Fackenthal the bell one rainy summer morning.
It’s a lovely Meneely Watervliet bell cast in 1923 with an inscription that reads “Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Not sure if a donor or sponsor was involved.
At one time the bell must have been rung with a rope, since you can see the wheel on the side of the bell that would have swung it back and forth. We even found the old swinging clapper on the floor. These days, it’s rung by a clapper held close to the bell wall, controlled by computer down in the sanctuary.
This tower gets bonus points for creative entrance. It requires a ladder on the outside of the tower to access the door off the roof!
Thank you, Peter, for showing us your bell!