St Mary's Bell Ringers - School Age

Do you ever hear the church bells as you go into church and wonder who is ringing them?

Well, it could be you!

We have lots of junior ringers (from age 10 to 18) in our band and they follow a ringing scheme called Learning the Ropes run by the Association of Ringing Teachers.

The photo shows three young ringers with their level 1 certificates.

Learning to handle the bell and rope takes about two months of one-to-one lessons, then you join our ringing practices on Friday afternoons from 4.30 to 5.30pm. After that it is a case of learning to ring your bell in the right place along with other ringers and starting to discover the world of ringing methods – which are like tunes.

Some of our ringers in the belfry including juniors Hannah, Sarah and Emily.

Each Sunday we ring at 8.45am for the 9.30am Service and we often ring something special for the Evening Service.

Bell ringing is all about technique and requires little strength or effort but we generally say you need to be ten years old to start. What is required of a ringer is an ability to count, a sense of rhythm and a commitment to ring for Sunday services and to join us for practice nights each week.

The St Mary’s ringer’s organise an annual bell ringing outing which is a fantastic opportunity to to visit other towers and have a go on their bells.

This is a picture of our outing in September 2019.

You might like to join in the Essex group of young ringers for their monthly practices and take part in youth competitions. In 2021 Essex Young Ringers came second in the whole country in the striking competition.

The Essex Young Ringers at the national competition in Worcester, 2021.

Bell ringers regularly visit each others’ towers. There are over 5,000 churches with rings of bells in the UK and as a ringer you will always be sure of a welcome at another tower’s practice night – just turn up, introduce yourself as a ringer and join in!

If you are interested come up the tower on a practice night (access into the church is via the main entrance, turn left and then climb the staircase at the back of the church) or contact us to arrange a visit. We will show you round the ringing chamber and belfry, you will see what we do and meet the ringers.

If you would like to take up the fascinating hobby of church bell ringing and become an important part of St Mary’s church life, please do not hesitate to contact Beth Johnson on 01277 205102 & 0779 669 1520, or Nicola Stark on 07899 955711 or nicola.stark@stmaryschurch-shenfield.org.uk