Completion of the first level of the southern tower and consecration of the new bells

A report by Heinz Lenz

After 16 years of restoration work on the southern tower, a noteworthy milestone was reached in 2003: 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 2003, 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 last stone of the Wimperg, decoratively garlanded, in front of the Wiesenkirche altar.

Preparations for the mounting of the last stone of the Wimperg, with Fritz Pleitgen to the left, Director of WDR, who accompanied the actions of the builders with humorous remarks and clever questions, to the joy of all present on the scaffolding.

The stone floats down.

Last check of the texture of the mortar.

The cornerstone fits perfectly, the work is completed.

The new bells

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.

The new bells were unloaded in front of the south portal and immediately marvelled at by visitors.

A team from WDR is also in attendance.

Bell experts and the building master prepare the largest bell for a sound test.

Claus Peter, the bell expert, checks the sound of the bell.

The tools of the bell expert.

The inscriptions and reliefs are carefully checked with the finishing touches applied to the chasing.

A relief with three angels, the Hagia Trias, on the sacrament bell.

The throne of mercy depiction of the trinity in the Wiesenkirche was a model for the relief on the largest new bell.

The Sunday bell.

All new bells remained in the chancel for 4 weeks and were open to visitors.

The last of the new bells of the baptisimal font.

The welcoming address by Mayor Ruthemeyer.

Dean G. Breker (left) und Deputy Superintendent M. Sinn (centre).

One of the new bells in the belfry.

The Wiesenkirche bells

B0°
Gloriosa (approx. 2500 kg)
Our God comes and does not remain silent
D1'
Sunday bell (approx. 1600 kg)
Glory to God...

(were available)

Based on the design of bell expert, Peter Claus
G1'
Sunday Bell (throne of mercy) (approx. 950 kg)
Come o my Saviour Jesus Christ, my heart’s door is open to you. Oh, move in with your grace. Your kindness also appear to us.
A1'
Sunday bell, death bell (approx. 700 kg)
Your Holy Spirit guide us and lead the way to eternal bliss (Relief: Pieta)
B1'
Sunday bell, Our Father's bell (approx. 550 kg)
Your name, O Lord, is eternal praise and honour
D1''
Sacrament bell (Hagia Trias) (approx. 390 kg)
We announce your death, O Lord, and we honour your resurrection until you come in glory
E2''
Bell of God the Father (approx. 300 kg)
Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus Deus Sabaoth, pleni sunt coeli et terrae gloria eius (with f sharp and g sharp as partial and extension bells). Also: ad signandum et cantandum gloriam dei aeternie
F sharp 1
Bell of the Son of God (approx. 250 kg)
Christus est imago Dei invisibilis, primogenitus omnis creaturae. Also: nocte dieque vigil depromam carmina christo (partial and additional bells)
G2''
Bell of God the Holy Spirit (approx. 210 kg)
Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum. Also: cum sex sorroribus fusa sum ut laudem Dei aeterni tantummodo signem (partial and additional bell)

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 2003.

* Motto of the masons’ lodge "Zur dreifachen Treue" – “to devotion of the trinity”