We can all remember hearing bells ring.
Whether it’s the joyous cascade of a peal of bells at a wedding, the steady, solemn, solitary tolling of a funeral bell, or the sound of bells to celebrate community or national activities, the ringing of bells is always part of the soundtrack for the important times in our lives. When we hear church bells, it may not be important to us, but we know it’s important to someone. Someone nearby.
This importance to us all must be why church bellringing has to be one of the most unaltered traditions in this country. Bells cast hundreds of years ago ring out every week all over Britain, ringing patterns, or methods, that were devised centuries ago. Ringing is a well-established part of British culture and tradition, but it would have died out long ago, if it wasn’t fun.
Bellringing is a sociable pastime – you really can’t do it on your own – but a typical band of ringers will include people of all ages, sizes, abilities, and experience. All enjoying that coming together to produce the wonderful celebratory sound that means so much to someone, somewhere.
Do you want to join us? To help make memories for other people. To carry on one of the Great British traditions? Please get in contact. We would love to hear from you.
Local towers can find more information and publicity materials here.
Do I need to be fit?
Whilst it is necessary to be able to put both arms above your head and to be able to hear (even if assisted), there are no other particular physical requirements especially. Bellringing is more about technique, than strength or stamina. But it’s likely that regular ringing will improve your general health. Physical size and strength are so unimportant that athletic youngsters can happily ring alongside people well into retirement.
I can’t read music. Is that a problem?
The ability to read music is not necessary, or even helpful. Many accomplished ringers can’t read music.
I don’t go to church regularly.
You don’t have to be religious to be a bellringer. Lots of ringers would describe themselves as not religious. People of all faiths and none are welcome in our towers.
Do I have to turn up every Sunday?
No. Bellringing is more of a “squad” game, than a team game. Hopefully every tower has enough ringers that everyone gets a turn, but no-one feels they have to turn out when they don’t want to.
It sounds too complicated for me?
It’s true that ringing some of the advanced methods can be very complicated, but really, ringers can play a full part after some fairly basic training. Then you can learn at the speed you want to.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. No subscription. No fees. Nothing at all.