The bells we ring in Christ Church Taney today came from St George’s Church In Hardwicke Street.
The architect, Francis Johnston (1760-1829), who designed St. George’s Church lived with his wife, Anne, in nearby Eccles Street. Francis had built a Gothic church tower in his garden and enjoyed ringing the bell in that tower. His neighbours persuaded him to donate the bell to St. George’s in 1828 and that year, Francis and his wife presented ringing bells to St. George’s. In 1828 St. George’s was numerically the largest parish in the Diocese of Dublin. With parishioners moving from the city centre to the suburbs, St. George’s church closed in 1990.
The bells were not included in the sale of the church and were dismantled and moved elsewhere for safe storage.
The rector of Taney at the time, helped with the dismantling of the bells. He had been approached by some bell enthusiasts about the possibility of using the Christ Church Taney tower as a new home for the bells. There was a major commitment to the development of the Parish Centre in Taney in the 1990’s and so the re-hanging of St. George’s Bells was put on hold while the bells continued to remain safely in storage .
In 1997 a committee was formed to look into the issues involved in installing the bells in the tower and as the Millennium was approaching it was seen as the time when the dream could become a reality. A fund raising scheme was launched by the Bells Committee in May 1999. The aim was to have the bells installed in the church tower at Taney in time to ring in the year 2000.
There was a lot of work involved to raise the funds necessary for the project and also to have the actual work of installing the bells done in time. On Sunday 26th November 2000 a service of dedication was led by the Archbishop of Dublin for the St. George’s bells in Christ Church Taney and on the 31st December 1999 over a thousand people came to the church grounds and Parish Centre to see in the year 2000. A huge cheer went up as the bell ringers went into the tower to bring in the Millennium ringing the bells.
HISTORY OF OUR BELLS
CHRIST CHURCH HISTORY
In 1802, Taney still held the status of a Rural Deanery, including the churches of Taney itself (St. Nahi's), Kilgobbin, Rathfarnham, Stillorgan, Crumlin and Tallaght. As the local population (notably of Dundrum and Churchtown) and the parish membership grew, the old church became too small, and by 1809, discussions were well underway on replacing the parish church with a new and more spacious structure.
The first formal proposal, for the site now occupied by Christ Church, was considered by the Select Vestry on 22 October 1809, but failed. However, after discussion with the leaseholder and the landowner, and other representations, moneys were sought from the Board of First Fruits, and £4,300 were lent. The decision to build was finally made in 1814, after a visit to the new church at Monkstown, which design was used as a model.
Christ Church was completed and opened for worship in 1818, with a licence issued, unusually, by the Archbishop of Cashel, and an initial consecration took place on 21 June 1818. It should be noted that this original Christ Church was rather smaller than the current building.