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Anticipation is building as Bathurst prepares for the official opening of the All Saints’ Cathedral Belltower on Saturday, 31st October at 11 am. The bells are in place and have been rung several times now since the inaugural ring on 26th June. Finishing touches are currently being made to the tower in preparation for the big event.

Governor to Open the Tower

We are delighted to have the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, AC, CVO, to officially open the new belltower. Professor Bashir has always been a great supporter of life in regional NSW and we look forward to her participation in this historic event.

The ceremony will be conducted in Church Street at the entrance to the tower. Her Excellency, The Governor, will open the tower by the cutting of a ribbon and the unveiling of a plaque. This will be followed by the Dedication of the Tower by the Anglican Bishop of Bathurst, The Right Reverend Richard Hurford, OAM, who will be assisted by other church leaders. The Dedication will include our local bellringers ‘sounding’ each bell as they are called forth to ring.

Following the Dedication, a select team of bellringers from the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers will ring the inaugural Quarter Peal, which will take around 50 minutes. This will be followed by teams of ringers from across Australia and overseas having the opportunity to ring the bells throughout the afternoon.

The day will be completed in the evening when the famous Australian a cappella ensemble, The Song Company, will conduct a recital in the Cathedral from 7:30 pm of Spanish religious music.

All Saints’ Festival

The following day, Sunday, 1st November, is All Saints’ Day and the Cathedral will be celebrating the occasion in a number of ways, commencing with the ringing of the bells at 9 am. At 10 am there will be a special worship service to celebrate ‘All Saints’ followed by brunch in the Cathedral Hall.

At 4:30 pm the Song Company will lead in a traditional service of Choral Evensong during which we will give thanks for all those, both past and present, who have contributed to the life of All Saints’ Cathedral, Bathurst.

All Are Invited

All members of the Bathurst community are invited to attend these special events recognising the life and history of our community.

The Belltower Project has been an indication of the strength of the Bathurst Community. Designed by a local architect and engineer, constructed by local builders and trades people and funded principally by the generosity of the Bathurst community, it is a sign of what this community can achieve and the skills that are present within it.


History was made in Bathurst on Friday, 26th June when the newly refurbished Cathedral Bells rang out over the City for the first time. The occasion recognised the consecration and installation of the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Bathurst, The Most Reverend Michael McKenna.

A team of bellringers from Sydney came to Bathurst for the occasion, which included Ms June Catchpoole the first Benefactor of the new tower and Mr Ron Shepherd who has been supervising the installation of the bells.


With most of the scaffolding removed from the outside of the tower it is now possible to appreciate its crisp lines and imposing shape. It is indeed a proud achievement for the Bathurst community, being funded principally by the local community (with support from the Federal and State governments and the Bathurst Regional Council). It was designed by a Bathurst architect and engineers, built by a local building company and includes the skilled contribution of many Bathurst trades-people.


Just before 3 pm, those attending the Mayor’s reception for Bishop McKenna walked across the road from the Civic Centre to Kings Parade, (opposite All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral), to join around one thousand members of the Bathurst community who had come to witness this special event. Among them were the NSW State Member for Bathurst, Mr Gerard Martin MP, Mayor Paul Toole, Councillors and staff of the Bathurst Regional Council, Bell and Tower Benefactors, architect Mr Henry Bialowas, principals of Tablelands Builders Messrs Robert Barlow and Steve Ralph, Mr Maurice McNeil chair of the Bells Fundraising Committee, Mr Chris Crowley the Cathedral's Honorary Clerk of Works and other members of the Bells Executive.


At the appointed time the crowed hushed in anticipation, waiting for the bells to commence ringing. The glass walls of the tower allowed people to see the ringers commence their work as the three new Taylor’s bells and five historic Warner bells turned over for the first time in well over one hundred years. Thus they rang out over the city in a spirit of proclamation and welcome. After eight minutes, as the ringers paused, the crowd spontaneously broke into cheering and applause to show their appreciation.


On the 30th June the former tenor bell, now used as the tolling bell, was lifted into its place at the top of the tower. It is named 'Sloman' after Mr Thomas Sloman, a Bathurst businessman of the mid nineteenth century who organised the purchase of the original eight bells from Warner and Sons of London, England.


There is still much to do to complete the tower and its surrounds and the Bells Committee is continuing its fundraising to pay for this wonderful new icon of Bathurst. We encourage people to give generously.



With hold ups in the supplies of materials and a more complex process of construction than first envisioned it has been necessary to change the completion date of the bell tower. The tower will not now be finished until late April 2009. In the light of this it has been necessary to change the programme of events in celebration of the bells.

The revised programme is as follows:

          1st November 2008      11 am              Sealing of the time capsule

          21st February 2009      11 am              Naming and Blessing of the Bells
-          Held in the Cathedral before the installation
                                                                             of the bells in the tower

          26th June 2009            3 pm               First sounding of the bells

          31st October 2009       11 am              Official Opening and Dedication of the Tower

Invitations will be extended to the wider community to attend both the Naming and Blessing of the Bells and the Official Opening and Dedication of the Tower. Once we are clear as to when the bells will first be rung we will also notify the bell-ringing community and invite ringers to a day of ‘ringing the changes’ to celebrate the event.


Construction of the tower for the Cathedral Bells of Bathurst continues, with the piers, footings and slab having been poured. As the concrete cures, the builders now await the arrival of the bricks for commencement of the construction of the walls.

“We are certainly down to the bricks and mortar stage of construction” says Dean Andrew Sempell, Chair of the Bells Committee. “Looking at the slab and the steel reinforcing rods sticking out of it, we can get a good indication of the size and shape of the tower. A good viewing point is from the inside of the Cathedral looking out of the original glass entrance doors toward the street”.

Fundraising Chairman, Mr Maurice McNeil, is also pleased to announce a new phase of the fundraising campaign inviting people, businesses and organisations to ‘Buy a Brick or Lay a Paver’.

Around a thousand pavers will be laid in the two courtyards between the tower and the cathedral as part of the final landscaping. An invitation is extended to members of the wider community to buy a paver on which the name of the donor can be engraved or as a memorial for a loved one. Named pavers can be purchased for $150 each.

There will also be around 50,000 bricks laid in the walls of the tower. With the arrival of the bricks expected soon, people can contribute toward their purchase and laying at $25 each.

All donations to the project are tax deductible. Enquiries may be made to the Cathedral Office on 6331 4711.

Dedication of the Tower and Blessing of the Bells

The Cathedral Bells Committee is also pleased to announce that the official opening of the tower and the blessing of the bells is to occur at 11 am on Saturday, 1st November this year. A special dinner will be held in the Cathedral the night before and the ceremonies will be conducted on the forecourt of the Cathedral.

- 24 JANUARY 2008

The Cathedral Bells of Bathurst Committee is pleased to announce that Tablelands Builders Pty Ltd has been selected as the successful tenderer for the construction of the new Cathedral bell tower. It is hoped that construction work will commence in the next couple of weeks.

“We are most excited to have finally reached the construction stage of the Bells Project” said Dean Andrew Sempell, “We have a design by local architect Henry Bialowas, coupled with construction by a local building company in Tablelands Builders. This is a truly Bathurst community project using local skills and expertise.”

Recently the Bathurst Regional Council presented the Cathedral Bells Project with a cheque for $30,000 as part of its contribution to the construction of the tower. This week we have seen Council workers at the Cathedral forecourt preparing the site for construction as a further contribution to the Project.

The Cathedral will remain open each day during the construction phase of the tower and people can see the model of the tower, its plans and other information inside the Cathedral.

“We still have a long way to go with the fundraising.” Dean Sempell said. “We will be announcing a new phase of the fundraising programme shortly. In the meantime, the opportunity still exists for people and businesses to join the list of 200 Tower Benefactors who donate a sum of $2,000 or more.

The ‘Tower Benefactors’ will be recognised by having their names inscribed on a large bronze plaque to be displayed in the public area of the tower. Donations to the project are tax deductible. Enquiries may be made to the Cathedral Office on 6331 4711.

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