Communion service in C (no Kyrie)
Psalm 112 (1-6)
Teach me, O Lord
15:00 150th Anniversary Choral Evensong
Introit – One thing have I desired of the Lord
Canticles in Ab
Anthem – Blessed city, heavenly Salem
Missa brevis in D minor (K65)
Awake us, Lord
Communion service in Ab
Psalm 51 (1-6)
Almighty and everlasting God
Communion service in F
King of Glory
Communion service in Eb (no Kyrie)
Psalm 103 (19-22)
My eyes for beauty pine
Inverness Cathedral has a ring of 10 bells with the tenor weighing 16cwt 3qts 12lbs, in the key of Eb. There is also an eleventh bell, a flat fourth, used for chiming only. The bells were casted by John Warner and Sons of Cripplegate, London, the tenor in 1869 and the other ten in 1877.
The out of tune 9th was recast by Whitechapel Foundry in 2012.
At the start – when the cathedral was first opened for public worship in 1869, it had only one bell, the tenor. During the consecration service in 1874, Bishop Eden appealed for a ‘full set of bells’. As a result, within three years eleven bells were hanging in the South tower. Eight were hung for chance ringing and the remainder for chiming only.
The present 9th (the Inverness bell) was given by the provost and Citizens of the town and the 5th (Bishop Eden’s bell) was given by the Bishop and his wife, See details of the bells.
In Victorian times Bishop Robert Eden’s name was synonymous with the erection of the cathedral as the seat for the newly combined diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. The old cathedrals at Elgin and Fortrose were in ruins and Dornoch was in use by the Presbyterian church. The Bishop lived in the Bishop’s palace, now incorporated in the Eden Court complex. His name lives on in the Bishop Eden Primary School which he founded in the town.
First Peal – The opening peal on the bells known as ‘The True Peal of Kent’ or ‘Tremble Bob Major’ was rung on Thursday, 28th September 1877 by members of the Ancient Society of College Youths from London. 5184 changes were rung in 3 hours 14 minutes from a 09:35am start. It was the first time a peal in this method had been rung in Scotland.
Local Band – Attempts to form a local team of bellringers did not bear much fruit until 1887 when the clergy promoted a society of bellringers. Eighteen men enrolled and drew up the “Rules of Inverness Cathedral bellringers Association”. Mr Donald Davison became leader but resigned after six months and Mr Henry Stafford was elected in his place. In 1890 Mr Stafford requested a set of handbells to help with the learning of change ringing methods. The congregation subscribed £5 and the bells were purchased. They were identical in key to the 8 tower bells at that time. Eb (tenor), F#, G#, A, B, C#, D# and E, in the upper octave.
First rehang – In February 1914, the bells were returned to the Warner Foundry for retuning and new fittings, while the frame was strengthened and braced. As the work was not finished until after the start of WW1, no insurance company would cover the return journey by sea, so at extra expense to the Foundry, the bells were returned by rail.
Chiming the bells – The bells can be chimed by an Ellacombe chiming apparatus, the original 8 bell frame was given by the cathedral’s Guild of St Margaret. This was used mainly after WW2 when an air-raid siren placed on the roof of the bell tower in 1939 was supported by wooden beams from the bell frame which prevented full circle ringing.
Sound of the bells exported – In 1951, Miss Margaret O. MacDougall, a former Burgh Librarian & Museum Curator, expressed regret at the silent bells, in a talk given to the youth fellowship. This led to the revival of chiming, especially by Mr Alistair Davidson. In 1956 a visiting priest from Cape Province, South Africa, heard the bells and two years later requested a tape recording which could be played from loudspeakers in his church tower. With the co-operation of Mr Henderson of the Music Shop, Inverness – this was made and dispatched to South Africa. A second copy was sent to the Rector at Stonehaven.
Active ringing and second rehang– The formation of a local team of ringers in the 1960s led to the revival of change ringing at Inverness. In 1973, as a memorial to Bishop Duncan MacInnes, John Taylor & Co, of Loughborough returned and rehung the bells as a ring of 10 on ball bearings in a new frame lower in the tower. The remaining bell was hung dead as a chiming service bell. The Ellacombe apparatus was increased to include all ten bells.
Finally in tune – Ever since Warners attempted to tune the bells in 1914, the 9th bell has had two conflicting harmonics and sounded very poor. A determined band of ringers persuaded the authorities to approve a project for a recast replacement. Cast at Whitechapel this was installed in time for Christmas 2012 by Whites of Appleton.
At the most Northerly tower in the world – we ring Sunday mornings (please check in the porch for times or get in touch with the office to check times in advance) and practice on Thursday evenings 7.30pm to 9.00pm. Our nearest church neighbour is 100 miles away.