Bell Ringers Wanted
By Susan Hall
The origins of change ringing lay in the 16th century when church bells began to be hung in a full wheel. This gave ringers control of their bell, which allowed sets of bells to be rung in a continuously changing pattern.
The pattern is known as a method and is the music or sounds the bells make by ringing up and down a ringing order to a defined sequence of changes.
Most people can become bell ringers. You need to be able to follow instructions and be able to reach the ropes, usually the starting age is 12 years old, some towers will take children younger.
The initial learning will take several weeks, after which the ringer can join the rest of the band. Most ringers practice at their home tower once a week, but once you have reached a certain standard then the door is open to ring at other towers within the area, or the country for that matter.
You may also be expected to help out with ringing before church services on Sundays, but you do not have to be a member of the church congregation.
When you are good enough you may even be asked to ring at a wedding, for which you will be paid a nominal fee.
You do not have to be musical and as long as you can count, then that is all the mathamatics you will need.
Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit. It can also be part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
If you would like to take up this hobby, then listen out for church bells near you and go along and find out what bell ringing is all about, or visit www.hcacr.org.uk/ to find a tower near you with their practice days and times.
At Tewin Church, my home tower, we are looking for bell ringers. We parctice on a Wednesday evenings from 8pm, Please come along on any Wednesday, if you are interedted in joining us. Contact details for the tower captain at St Peters Church Tewin can be found in the Parish Newletter available at www.tewinvillage.co.uk/village/the-church/