Listen for church bells at tonight’s Alive After Five


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Church bells will be ringing out during Patchogue’s first Alive After Five event of the summer tonight.

And with any luck, the sound will be pretty constant.

For a monetary or food donation of any amount, the Rev. Dwight Wolter will be opening the doors of the belfry in the Congregational Church’s clocktower for people to ring the church’s 149-year-old bell.

“People will be able to ring the bronze bell by pulling a rope,” Rev. Wolter said. “This is a benefit for our food pantry, and the idea is, each time you hear the bell ring, that will be one less hungry person on Long Island.

It’s all about awareness and gratitude, he said.

“What struck me,” he said of the fundraising idea, “as people are eating goodies from the food trucks, vendors, restaurants, there will be other people who are looking on enviously as they toss a half a sandwich into the garbage.”

He said the church building, which dates to 1892 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been running a soup kitchen out of its basement for the past 28 years with “very little financial support.”

So every ring of the bell will help.

The brass bell itself predates the building. It was built by Jones & Co. in Troy, N.Y. in 1866, said Jeff Lewis of Verdin Bells & Clocks, who was up in the three-story tower earlier Thursday inspecting the bell.

The stairs leading up to the Congregational Church’s bell are steep. (Michael White photo)