Handbells

Bells have become an integral part of the music ministry at First Baptist Moncton. The Adult Bell Choir presently has twelve ringers under the direction of Mrs. Peggy Mullin. Their repertoire is varied in musical style as well as in level of difficulty but never ceases to add to the worship experience of the listener.

According to E. Carroll and J. Tingley in their book, “Years of Pilgrimage”, bells arrived at First during the 1960’s under the leadership of Dr. T. Elgar Roberts with their first rendition being “Holy, Holy, Holy “. The choir was the first in Atlantic Canada and one of the first nationally. The leadership soon fell to Dr. Ralph Fitch, who led a choir of youth ringers. He developed his own notation system and instilled in each member a sense of responsibility and mission.

We have been blessed to have musicians who have been gifted in leadership and development of those willing to give in this ministry.

Building on the original set of 25 Schulmerick bells, we now have 4+ octaves (53 handbells) as well three octaves of handchimes. Over the years, there have been senior ringers, adult choirs, youth choirs and children’s chime choirs. There have been soloists and duet and ensembles. The Adult Handbell Choir has attended workshops as far away as New Hampshire and has had the pleasure of hosting four Bellfests over the years. They have not only brought joy to our congregation but also have been enjoyed in hospitals and nursing homes; by street people and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; in Moncton and in Ottawa; by service clubs and wedding guests. They have received trophies and applause.

In spite of all the acclaim, they have remained true to their mission: to ring to the best of their ability to bring honour and glory to God.