south weald bell ringing
Bell Ringing at St Peter’s
Ruth getting to grips with the down knot!
Bell Ringing at St Peter’s

 

Since I started attending St Peter’s I have been drawn to both the sound of the bells as we walked into church and the sense of history associated with the tradition.

Bells are mentioned in scripture from as early as the Exodus narrative. In Ecclesiasticus 45:9 and again in Exodus 39:25-26, Aaron is described as being ornately dressed with golden bells which rang when he walked. They were included in his ceremonial dress partly to be a reminder to the people to create a joyful noise to God.

It was with a mix of excitement and trepidation that I arrived at my first Bell Ringing Practise at St Peter’s Church in September. I found ringing the bell much harder than I had thought it would be and my first attempt at ringing rounds in time with the other bells was memorable (for all the wrong reasons!!).

There are 46 steps leading up to the ringing room and when walking up the stairs to the ringing tower, I love to think about all the people who have walked before – for hundreds of years people have climbed the stone steps to ring the bells of St Peters, calling locals to church.

Bell ringing has been customary in English villages for more than 800 years. They were used to tell the time of day and to call people to church. Slowly over the centuries, bell ringing became more complex as multiple bells were added together to create a melody. The tower that houses the bells at St Peters dates back to the beginning of the 16th century and was built during the reign of Henry VII. Our oldest bell (no.4) was hung in 1664.

I have found bell ringing to be exercise for both mind and body as well as a great opportunity to socialise with people from all ages, backgrounds and occupations. I love feeling that I am part of such a historic tradition. I was so nervous the night before my first Sunday morning ringing that I hardly slept! We all stood in front of our ropes quietly, waiting for the Tower Captain to call us to start – his first words were, “Make a joyful noise”. This quote from Psalm 98 and 100 resonated with me.

Like any skilled activity, bell ringing takes a while to learn but in an enjoyable and supportive bell ringing group like St Peters, with a bit of encouragement, practice, louboutin schuhe deutschland and quite a few mistakes on the way, bell ringing can be mastered (well I hope so anyway!).

 

article added/modified on Tuesday 2nd May 2017 by Ruth Gibson

Return to Article Index