HARWICH — Clearing the way for repairs to the leaky belfry, crews carefully removed the church bell from the First Congregational Church Monday afternoon to applause from a small group of spectators below.
After installing several temporary beams, contractor Teddy Baniukiewicz cut away one of the eight columns surrounding the belfry to allow the bell to slide to the edge on two planks, where a crane lowered it to the ground. The bell will be restored and eventually put on permanent display on the church lawn.
Though the historic bell has been silent since the church installed an electric carillon in 1982, it had one more thing to say before being removed for its restoration Monday. Church member John Bitzer lifted the hefty clapper and gave the bell a final tap.
“What a beautiful sound,” he said.