High Winds Dislodge Harwich Church Bell

Mike Sekerak

HARWICH – The Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port saw its church bell break free from its hinge at the steeple’s top amid the strong winds and rain that rocked the Cape Cod and Islands region this week.

The heavy metal bell weighs around a thousand pounds, though luckily only fell a few feet before being caught by the steeple’s top floor.

No injuries were reported.

Though it left a hole in the floorboards that allowed water to rush in and cause damage of its own, the bell could have fallen several dozens of feet and potentially caused much more harm to the historic building—originally built in 1854.

“That’s why we were very lucky. If it had fallen any great distance, it could have gone right through the floor and gone through several floors on the way down because it’s a thousand pounds or more,” said church member Mike Sekerak.

“It would have gone straight through to the basement.”

Sekerak said the single bolt that keeps the bell in place had rusted and couldn’t weather the strong winds the high steeple top was likely seeing during the height of the nor’easter.

Considering the bell’s descent was stopped so quickly by the floorboards before more serious damage could occur, Sekerak said the event is a testament to the old tower’s sturdy construction and the church’s caretaker’s diligence.

Repair work is underway on the bell and its tower, and Sekerak was confident that the church’s insurance will likely cover most of the costs.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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