Bell Ringing: We Need You!
Have you ever passed a church and heard the bells ringing and thought, ‘I wonder how they do that?’
Ringing church bells is deeply rooted in British culture dating back hundreds of years. Some people may presume that it is only the pass time of those attending church, but this isn’t the case and can be enjoyed by those who do or don’t equally. No musical knowledge or ability is required because once a bell has been tuned the ringer can’t affect the note it rings.
It does help to have a sense of rhythm however!
The first stage of learning to ring is to develop the skill to ‘handling’ the bell. That means the technique to control the bell using the rope. Bell ringing is all about working as a team, so once you can ‘handle’ your bell you are quickly introduced to ringing with the rest of the ‘band’ of ringers.
I have always loved the sound of church bells ringing and so when I saw an advert in my village magazine asking for people to come along and give it a try, I jumped at the chance. Experienced ringers make it look so easy, but it takes a little time and regular practice to master bell handling.
In North Wales there is an active association of church bell ringers (www.nwacbr.wales) and churches across the four regions practice on a weekly basis and then on Sunday mornings and special occasions, such as a wedding. In St Mary’s church, Chirk, practice is on a Monday evening and they have a simulator which means beginners can have the full bell ringing experience, but it uses a computer system to make the noise of the bells preventing annoying the neighbours. Many beginners have started in Chirk and have gone on to ring in their local churches in the area.
We are always looking for new recruits to bell ringing in St Mary’s Church, Overton, as are other towers in the local area, so if you have any questions or would like to enquire about having a go then contact me and I will try and answer your questions and tell you more about a church local to you.
Just one warning, bell ringing can be very addictive!
Tel: 07527 117811