After 16 years of restoration work on the southern tower, a noteworthy milestone was reached in 2002: the completion of the first level of the southern tower. Thanks to increasingly efficient dismantling methods and improvements in individual performances, the pace of restoration work has steadily risen. A ceremony was held to commemorate the completion of the first large construction area on 7 September 2002, with large participation of citizens and the parish, along with numerous prominent figures, such as NRW State Secretary, Manfred Morgenstern, Director of tv-station WDR, Fritz Pleitgen, the master builder of the Dresden Frauenkirche, Eberhard Burger, Vice-President of UEAPME, Franz Bamberger and many other ecclesiastical and political representatives. On the same occasion, the seven new bells were raised and hung in the belfry. For the first time, all of the Soest bells were heard in the choir. The belfry and bells were completely financed by donations. This fact is gratefully acknowledged by the community and the people of Soest.
The bells that were cast by the Bachert company on 14 June have now arrived in Soest. They look a little different from what we are used to seeing in other churches. They have a matte finish and no oxidation layer like the old historic bells, while their inscriptions and reliefs are engraved, an old technique that has existed since the middle ages. The sound of the bells – as agreed by cathedral building master Prigl and bell expert Claus Peter – is excellent. By the end of August these “newcomers” were upright in the chancel of the church and open to viewing.
Jürgen Prigl: “It is with great joy and gratitude that both the new belfry and the seven new bells and all related work have been made possible by donations from companies and individuals.
GOD HONOR, OUR BEST WORK* ”
Soest, 17 July 2002.
* Motto of the masons’ lodge "Zur dreifachen Treue" – “to devotion of the trinity”