The bells, the bells - Portland Square
On Sunday 11 December the bell in the tower of St Paul's Church Portland Square (aka 'The Wedding Cake') was heard for the first time in 20 years or more.
As you probably know, this Grade 1 Listed Georgian building shut as a parish church in 1988. In the sad decline which followed, all bar one bell was removed and although the survivor remains in the record books as one of the biggest in the South West, its pull was lost, rendering it silent.
Today, the church is enjoying a new lease of life as the city centre base of Circomedia, the internationally acclaimed centre of circus-theatre training and performance. But it was only last week that ongoing refurbishments and care by owners,
We recently saw the re-instatement of the missing rope and ringing mechanisms.
The work meant that local bell ringer Matt Dawson became the first in nearly a quarter-century to sound the bell as a call for the local community to come to the church.
The call was being timed to welcome the audience for a Christmas circus-theatre show by the 50 Bristol young people who are members of Circomedia’s City Circus youth circus group (many of whom live in the parish once served by the church).