The Bells of St Andrew’s

Ring the bells for christmas

St Andrew’s Canberra is open every evening for the 10 days before Christmas from 7.30pm to 10pm so members of the public can ring in Christmas by playing Christmas carols on the church bells.


No need to rsvp – simply arrive and line up for a turn to ring tunes on the bells. If there are people ahead of you, take some time to walk amongst our life-size nativity scenes, do family activities inside the church, and view our Christmas lights.



Around 500 to 700 people ring the bells in the 10 days before Christmas with many families having it as one of annual their Christmas traditions! The bellringers and members of the church have been open St Andrew’s at Christmas time and welcoming people in to ring the bells for over 20 years.

Odd jobs: Ringing the bells at one of Canberra’s oldest churches

“Over the past 20 years, thousands of Canberrans have stood in the same small wooden cubicle in the Presbyterian Church of Saint Andrew. Eight white ropes, mounted in a metal frame, run through pulleys up the brick wall and into the ceiling far above. Give a rope a swift but strong pull and the unmistakable sound of a bell is sent out across the suburb of Forrest. In the 10 days leading up to Christmas, members of the public, no matter the age, are invited to try their hand at ringing the eight bells that sit inside the spire of the inter-war gothic-style church. After all, few things are as synonymous with Christmas Day as the sound of church bells pealing.”

Read the rest of James Coleman’s (of Canberra news outlet ‘Riotact’) article about the bellringers and bells of the Church of St Andrew here:



View from up the belltower

The Church of St Andrew has a peal of eight bells, which ring out over the surrounding suburbs. The bells are played before our church services to call people to worship and after most weddings as part of the celebration. During the 10 days before Christmas members of the public are welcome each evening to come and ring the bells themselves.

The peal of bells was donated to St Andrew’s in 1968 by Roy Rowe. He donated the bells in honour of motherhood and in memory of his own mother. The bells were cast at the Bell Foundry of John Taylor & Co in Loughborough, England. This foundry also cast the bells of St John’s, Reid and the Carillon in the ACT.

The bells vary in size from the smallest bell of 20” in diameter and weighing 89kg to the largest bell of 38” in diameter and weighing 535kg.

Bells high in the Bell Tower


Another view of bells from above

The bells are rung by ropes which cause the bell clapper to strike the inside of the bell.

The bells are mounted under steel beams in the tower and do not swing.

Bell box showing pullers


Bell cords coming from below in the Bell Box

Each year for the 10 evenings before Christmas everyone is invited to visit St Andrew’s to view our nativity scene, see our Christmas lights and to ring our bells.

Bell Box showing numbers to pull


Bells number 8 clapper

The bells are rung by two people each ringing four bells.

For further information please contact the church office on (02) 6295 3457 or via email on