Caterham, St Mary the Virgin
Practice Night: Friday
Ringing Times: Sunday Service: 9.00-9.30am. Practice: 8.00-9.30pm
Entry: To the left of the west door of the church (facing the road), is a small door leading up steep steps (with handrail) to the ringing room
Contact: Tower Captain: firstname.lastname@example.org Frances Clementi
Originally, St. Lawrence’s Church (11th Century) directly opposite St. Mary’s was the parish church for a large rural area. However, following the opening of the railway to Caterham in 1856, much building took place and St. Lawrence’s small building became inadequate. Therefore the new St. Mary’s Church was started in 1862, and was consecrated in 1866. It is Victorian Gothic style with traditional Surrey flint facing. Tubular bells were installed in 1891 but mainly only used for weddings.
The present ring of 8 was installed in 1993. Six bells were sold by All Saints Church, Hamer, in Lancashire, to help fund the rebuilding of their church after a fire and were purchased with a grant from the Surrey Association Belfry Repair Fund to St. Mary’s. The new Treble and No. 2 were cast at Whitechapel Foundry to complete the octave. The installation was undertaken as a community project involving the church, local ringers, and pupils from Warlingham School with the project managed by Keith Gatman. The bells were rung for the first time on Mothering Sunday in March 1994 and dedicated on October 2nd in the same year.