Colloquy Cymraeg‎ > ‎

Call to Worship

“Oranges and Lemons,”
        Say the bells of St Clement’s
“I owe you five farthings,”
        Say the bells of St. Martin’s.”

So starts the old nursery rhyme. The different peals of the London church bells seem to convey certain words.

On a Sabbath day in Basel, Switzerland, one hears the single, sonorous deep bellring resounding over the city. The bell on each church peals out as a call to worship. A friend was telling me of a church in the U.K., of which he is the ex-minister. The bell there had been hanging for about 100 years. It had not been rung for about 40 years. Builders have been called in to examine the bell tower, and they have found that the pedestals on which the bell rested needed urgent repairs. He was told that it bore an inscription which, being translated reads, ‘I am calling you.’

The friend recounted of an instance in past days, where an old man in the village, who was a disdainer of the church, violated the Sabbath by going out and working on the moors with his sheep and peats. But one Sabbath whilst working, he heard the bell calling the people to worship. It so stabbed his conscience that he was found in church the following Sabbath, and thereafter.

Then this week a news item reported that a 10-ton bell was stolen from a local church in Oxford. The metal composition of bells nowadays fetches a high price. It was a remarkable, though unscrupulous, criminal act. Such is the present hardened conscience of the day that would desecrate a church, and pilfer something that would call people to come and worship God.

Now whether you believe in the use of a church bell or not, the call to worship comes to everyone of us as a duty, an obligation, but above all as a privilege and blessing.