Tower Carillon

The Blanche Brown Coltrane Memorial Carillon was given to St. James and the glory of God by her husband and children, L. D. Coltrane, Jr., L. D. Coltrane, III, and Betty Gay Bivens. The 28 cast bronze carillon bells were designed and cast in Holland at the vanBergen Bellfoundries Inc., and were installed here by H. T. vanBergen, a brother to the owner of the vanBergen plant in The Netherlands. The foundery in Holland was established in 1795 and the bells are cast in the same buildings as they were centuries ago. The first 23 carillon bells were installed at St. James in memory of Mrs. Coltrane in 1966. In 1970, five additional carillon bells, which completed the entire set, were carefully placed in their proper location in the church steeple. This Carillon is a fitting tribute to one whose life was devoted to her God, her family, and to those who lived about her. In life she gave generously of herself in a spirit of Christian love and devotion. None will ever know the extent of her graciousness.  The Carillon may be heard daily as it rings the Westminster Chimings at 9, noon, 3, and 6:00 and before every worship service as they call the congregation to prayer and praise.  There is also a bell peal that is played following each worship service that fills all of downtown Concord with sounds of praise and proclamation just as our prayers rise as incense.  In addition to all worship services, the Carillon may be heard in festive peals at weddings as we celebrate a new Christian union and in the solemn tolling at funerals as we remember the life of the departed. In 2015, The entire Carillon underwent an extensive resoration and renovation by the Verdin Bell Company of Cincinatti, Ohio.

 “The bells themselves are the best of preachers.
Their brazen lips are learned teachers,
From their pulpits of stone, in the upper air,
Sounding aloft without crack or flaw
Shriller than trumpets under the law,
Now a sermon, and now a prayer.”


Last Published: July 21, 2015 12:01 PM