Our Lady of the Rosary and St Therese
The church is steeped in history. In summary the church has SIX alters the main one being constructed from marble imported from Italy. Father Power had to haggle with Mussolini himself to strike a deal on the price and delivery!
One of the main features of the church is the Carillon Bell Tower; in the USA for example there are only 164 Carillon towers, that’s 1 tower per 59,000 sq kilometers! Our Carillon Bell Tower consists of 23 bells design to cover two complete octaves and there are only twelve others in the United Kingdom. The carillon is the heaviest of all musical instruments with total weight of bells alone being around 100-200 tons in large instruments.
The total weight of the Bells and the associated steel support structure in our church is about 12 tons. The interesting thing about these bells is that they are played with what looks like a piano although; you have to press the keys slightly harder!! It is sometimes referred to as the "duke" of instruments (the organ is "king") the organ has the widest range followed by the Carillon and piano. Though some claim the harpsichord to be the ancestor of the piano, in reality the carillon is. The action of the Carillon is very similar to that of the piano as well as the tracker organ.
If you are lucky enough to visit Niagara Falls in Canada you will find a Carillon Tower. There are 55 bells at the Rainbow Tower Carillon. These days it is rare for it be played by an actual person. It was automated around 2002 in order for it to be played more frequently. There are fewer than 10 people in Canada who have passed the exam in order to play a Carillon. (Source: The Niagara Falls Review. August 28, 2007. Author Melissa Churly)
The only other set of Carillons’ Bells in Birmingham is in Bournville. Please visit our school church as we are very proud of its history. Father Kelly will be more than pleased to see you.