Bellringing at Church is the traditional way in which the congregation was summoned to the service. Originally it was probably a single bell being chimed by the Verger.
During the early 17th century bellringing as we know it today started to happen. The earliest methods were published at this time. This type of bellringing requires the bells to be mounted on wheels so that they can be turned throughout a full circle, both forwards and backwards.
Most of the current bells at St Mary’s were cast in 1806 with the heaviest bell (being known as the tenor) weighing over 16 cwt (815 kg). The treble (the lightest bell) is also the most modern being cast in 1910 and weighing over 6 cwt (305 kg) It is believed that until 1910, there were only five bells at St Mary’s
The current band of bellringers got together in 1999 to learn how to ring the bells in preparation for the millennium. Prior to this there had not been a regular band at St Mary’s for many years. In 2010 there was a recruitment drive to find more ringers and we now have at least ten regular ringers in our band.
Ringing the church bells is a challenging and rewarding experience. The bells are rung from the chancel crossing and they are made to ‘sound’ by pulling the ropes which turn the bells through a full circle each time, causing the clapper to strike.
The band meet once a week on Wednesday evening between 19:30 and 21:00 hrs to practice and ring most Sunday morning between 10:15 and 10:45 before the service.
Our current band is very loyal, but we are always keen to welcome more people to join us in this very traditional pastime and skill. Bellringers tend to be a very welcoming bunch and we often ring at each others towers all round the world.
For more information about the bells in Wollaston and other local churches please visit: