At our 9.30 am service at St Mary’s we have a traditional organ accompanying our more formal style of worship whereas at our 10.00am service at Holy Apostles we have a Music Group and the worship style is contemporary with a mixture of modern songs and hymns. St Mary’s Choir meet weekly on Thursdays at 7pm in St Mary’s church.
The sound of St Mary’s bells is an audible and clearly understood statement that the church exists and is confident of itself and its message. Ever wondered what happens in the belfry and the ringing chamber? Ever thought about giving bell ringing a go? A regular flow of new volunteers prepared to learn the ancient skill is always required. There are ten bells, all of which are rung every Sunday from 8.45am to mark the start of the weekly services. They are also rung for special services, weddings, funerals, and to mark major dates in the Christian and national calendar. They are also rung just for fun! Learning to handle a tower bell takes about 10 to 20 hours of training. After that it takes a lifetime to learn all the different methods (bell “tunes”) that are out there! Some ringers get very enthusiastic and travel to ring in other local towers. Practice night at St Mary’s is on Wednesdays, from 7pm.
For more information speak to one of the ringers around service times, telephone the Tower Captain, Edwin King 01723 891547 or email the Church Office on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ringing bells for Christian worship dates back to around the fifth century AD, with the modern quintessentially English ringing method starting from around the mid-1500s. The sound of bells ringing is deeply rooted in British culture. They provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, call out for our celebrations and toll sadly in empathy with our grief. The bitter-sweet sound of just one bell or the majesty of a whole peal, has become part of the English heritage and much of the country’s history can be traced through the history of its bells. They call us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast and, in times of crisis, to come together. Above all, bells are the sound that celebrates our freedom.
The Handbell ringers practise Thursday evening from 7.00 pm at the Parish House. An ability to read music is not required to learn to ring handbells.