In 1977 this beautiful city centre church passed into the guardianship of the Churches Conservation Trust to ensure its survival for the enjoyment of future generations. The Trust is a national charity which cares for historic churches at risk when they are no longer needed for regular worship. More than 340 special buildings in their care attract more than 1.5 million visitors each year.
The present clock was made and installed by Smiths of Derby in 1932. It is a three-train pendulum clock with a gravity escapement, driven by automatically wound weights.
It has two dials, one on the west face of the tower and one above the east window. The latter is driven by a rod that runs through the roof for the whole length of the church.
Before the bells were rehung in 1973, it used to chime the Westminster Quarters and strike the hour. Insufficient space was left in the new bell frame for the refitting of the clock hammers, so it has not been heard since 1972.
Following recent investigation it was decided that the hour hammer could be re-connected, but not the chimes without expensive modification to the clock.
The hour striking was recommissioned by Joyces of Derby, in time for the St Swithun's Festival in July 2007, following a fundraising effort by the Friends of St Swithun's and with the assistance of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is hoped to re-commission the striking of the quarters as a ting-tang at some time in the future when funds allow.
The remains of a previous 18th century wooden-framed clock are still in the tower. It would have been similar to the one now on display in Old St Martin's church, Worcester. Also in the tower are the remains of a wooden chime barrel that once played a tune upon the six bells.
St. Swithun's Church is situated in the very heart of the City of Worcester, a stone's throw from the pedestrianised High Street. We are within easy walking distance of all the main attractions, shops, restaurants, rail and bus stations and are open to visitors free of charge:
30 April to 22 October 2011 - Fridays 11.00am to 3.00pm and Saturdays 11.00am to 4.00pm.
St. Swithun's Church, Church Street, Worcester, WR1 2RH
Church Street runs off the north end of the High Street (opposite Debenhams). It is a five minute walk along the High Street from the Tourist Office in the Guildhall, where a key can be borrowed to visit the church when it is not opened by The Friends.
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