St Peter’s on Willis would like to invite Wellingtonians and the public to an Open Day that will include a tour of the church’s ringing room and an opportunity for visitors to ring the bells.
St Peters on Willis was built 136 years ago to act as a temporary building to replace the original church which was destroyed by fire until a permanent structure could be built. We think they had visions of a traditional stone church. The temporary building is still going strong.
The original project included a bell tower and a ring of 8 bells, which were the second ring of bells installed in New Zealand. However, it was discovered that when the bells were rung vigorously the building shook. They have not been rung in full peal (that is turned over in the traditional English bell ringing technique) since.
Recent technical investigations show that the problem, thought to be the bell tower, is in fact the building which is partly supported by the bell tower. Engineering is in progress to design a fix for this. In the meantime, and for the last 135 years the bells have been chimed by an Ellacombe board that allows tunes to be played as well as any free form of ringing that the ringer wants to do.
Entry will be free but a Koha to assist with the restoration of the ringing mechanisms and bell frame of the bells which are showing their age.
No booking is required.
Location: 211 Willis St, Te Aro, Wellington
Cost: Koha requested towards to restoration of the church and tower