The Betty Jane Dimmitt Memorial Bell Tower and Carillon are lovingly dedicated to the memory of Betty Jane Dimmitt
Whose love of art and music and sense of harmony with nature brought joy and enrichment to those around her;
Whose spiritual strength and devotion to the church inspired all who knew her.
The joy in her life will ring out with the sound of these bells.
December 8, 1982
Church of the Ascension (Clearwater, Florida)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Church of the Ascension is an Episcopal church in Clearwater, Florida. Its name comes from the words of one of the founders, "It was a miracle the way our church did ascend from our prayers". The church is located in the Harbor Oaks Residential District and is considered by many locally to be an important historic site. The church also has a 75-foot tall carillon, the Betty Jane Dimmitt Memorial Carillon, which has 49 bells and is one of just four such towers in the state of Florida.
In addition to the organ and the carillon, the church's current building, built in gothic style around 1925, features 28 stained glass windows (the oldest of which dates back to 1895) which feature, among other things, the Ascension of Jesus Christ (in a large window over the altar), the Ten Commandments, the parable of the Good Shepherd, the parable of the Lost Son, and the "war window" where a candle is lit in remembrance of the Iraq war. Many have gone to pray at this window for loved ones involved in the war.
The church was founded 1885, when sixteen people met in a home to organize a new church. As the church grew the still small congregation moved the church into several other buildings before it was moved to its current location near downtown Clearwater. The church nave was extended later to its current size to include a balcony (where the organ console sits) and an increase in the seating capacity.
In 1982, church member Larry Dimmit donated the Betty Jane Dimmit Memorial Carillon, composed of 49 cast bronze bells from the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry in the Netherlands, which was installed on Dec. 5 of that year. The bells are now played at least weekly before or after church services, although in the 2001 Christmas season, the bells were played daily in remembrance of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In 2003 the church installed a new pipe organ by Orgues Létourneau, which is the ninth largest in Florida (by number of ranks) with 4,182 pipes (3,235 in the Gallery and 947 in the Chancel) and 78 ranks.
The church is unique in Pinellas County for offering The Alpha Marriage Course, and is one of few churches that celebrates the medieval Epiphany-oriented Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival, which features the choir and clergy in medieval costume (as, for example, beefeaters) and reenactments in song of popular stories such as the three kings and Good King Wenceslas.