Bells ring in 90 years of United Church of Canada

Church bells rang out longer than usual across the country on Wednesday celebrating the 90th anniversary of the United Church of Canada.

Jean Mitchell

Jean Mitchell

Church bells rang out longer than usual across the country on Wednesday as some of Canada’s 3,000-plus congregations celebrated the 90th anniversary of the United Church of Canada.

Each participating church rang its bell 90 times to mark the special occasion.

In Chilliwack, it was especially important to Jean Mitchell. She’s been part of the congregation at Carman United Church her entire life. At 89, she’s been alive almost as long as the United Church of Canada (UCC) has existed.

Mitchell was the first of 30 Carman parishioners who each rang the bell three times.

It began at precisely 10:30 a.m. That time, 90 years ago, marked the inaugural service celebrating the formation of UCC.

UCC was formed on June 10, 1925 in Toronto when the Methodist Church of Canada, the Congregational Union of Canada and 70 percent of the Presbyterian Church of Canada united.

The bell tower at Carman United Church rang in its 40th anniversary at the same time on Wednesday.

In 1975, after 17 years of the church’s bell being in storage, it was dusted off and hung in the new outdoor tower. The bell tower was built by Don Kickbush in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the UCC.

Chilliwack United Church and Rosedale United Church also celebrated by ringing their church bells 90 times.