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Belltower

The great tower of St. Ignatius contains the only bell worth mentioning in Wishaw and probably the best bell in the whole of Lanarkshire. Twice daily it proclaims the Angelus as well as the Consecration at all Masses in the Church. It summons the Catholic people to Sunday Mass and formerly sent a last message of sympathy when any member of the congregation left the church for the last time. An ancient Latin verse tells us the duties of a bell;

I am the Bell! And no vain message do I tell.
The true God I praise, summon the flock and call the priests;
I mourn the dead, expel the plague and gladden feasts.
Funerals I knell, lightnings quell and Sundays tell.

St. Mungo had his bell as had all the missionaries of his day. Our bell was cast in Glasgow by Messrs. John C. Wilson of the Gorbals and put into the tower in November 1883. 4 feet 2 inches across the mouth, the entire swinging weight is almost 2 tons (37 hundredweights to be precise.) The bell itself is almost one and a quarter tons while the crank or stalk is half a ton. It was rung for the first time on Christmas Eve 1883 as part of the re-opening ceremony.

The cost of the tower steeple and the bell came to 1200.

It should be noted that the above picture shows the outside of the West Aisle, which was added in 1906.

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