On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
The Moravian Church was the first denomination to begin with missionary work among the indigenous people in South Africa and today the church still has a very strong presence in the country. After opening their first mission at Genadendal in 1738, a number of further mission stations were established during the nineteenth century in the Western Cape. These missionary stations played an extremely important part in the lives of their residents, both spiritually and socially. In the Moravian Church, as in other churches, their church buildings and the bells accompanying them form an integral part of their heritage. Despite the research that has been carried out on the mission stations per se, no systematic research has been done on the bells at these stations. In this article we discuss these bells, when and where they came from, and who made them. Due to the historical value of these mission stations, we cannot consider the bells without some background discussion of the stations' history. A brief historical background is provided for each station before focusing on the bells at that station and who cast them. Finally, a number of areas for further research are touched upon.
Keywords : heritage; Cape Colony; church bells; bell makers; mission churches.