Watch St Mary’s New Bells in Action

To celebrate the successful inspection of our magnificent ring of eight bells, James Joynson has made this five-minute video providing a close-up view of the bells as they chime.

As Bell Master for the  Wotton branch of the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association of Bell Ringers (G&BDABR), James is and responsible for technical aspects of bells and bell ringing training within the Diocese, and has been doing a terrific job training St Mary’s new band of bell ringers, led by Tower Captain Colin Dixon.

New bell ringers are welcome to expand our band – no prior experience necessary – so if you’d like to try your hand at bell ring, please don’t hesitate to email Colin Dixon for more information.

Ringers Get Ready for Shiny New Bells

Our new ring of eight bells has now been removed from their moulds and polished to perfection, ready for shipment from the bell foundry in Italy to the UK. They should be arriving in time for Christmas, but before they can be put into service they must be hung in the tower, allowed to settle and tuned.

Ringers Get Ready

photo of dumb bell in use
Tower Captain Colin Dixon trains Debbie Young on the dumb bell

In the meantime, St Mary’s bell ringers are continuing to practice (pausing only for lockdown) on the dumb bell in St Mary’s Tower Captain Colin Dixon‘s barn. As their skills develop, they are starting to practice ringing in rounds with a virtual team online.

Additional coaching is being given by two local experts:

  • Chris Cooper, Chairman of the Wotton Branch of the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association of Bell Ringers (G&BDABR) and who rings at Chipping Sodbury
  • James Joynson, Bell Master for the  Wotton branch of the G&BDABR  and responsible for technical aspects of bells and bell ringing training within the Diocese and training

James has also been really helpful with St Mary’s training to date, including setting up the dumb bell.

Like to Try Bell Ringing?

close up of one bellNew ringers are always welcome to join the team, which will need to be at least 8 strong by the time the bells come into use, ideally with some reserves.

No previous experience is necessary as full training will be given. Bellringing is great fun for all ages, with our youngest team member in his teens and the oldest well into retirement. Provided you’re tall enough to reach the rope (minimum recommended age is about 10), you’re never too young – or too old – to give it a try!

St Mary’s Bell Ringers Acquire Dumb Bell

Colin Dixon, who organises the training for St Mary’s bell ringers, ready for when our new bells are installed, reports on a wonderful new piece of kit.

With very grateful thanks to John Appleby, the Friends of St Mary’s have acquired a dumb bell. This is a framework with a bell wheel and a weight instead of a bell. It doesn’t make a noise, but acts in exactly the same way as a church bell. It is an excellent training and practice device.

The dumb bell will reside at Severn View Farm on Inglestone Common and is available for both bell ringers and others to try their hand at ringing a church bell without the climb into the tower – or the noise.

Everyone is welcome to have a go. Age is no barrier. However, youngsters need to be tall enough to reach the rope properly. This means around eight years old or avoe.

When the new bells are installed n the church tower, the dumb bell will join them as a silent practice device.

Like to train as a bell ringer for St Mary’s? Please call Colin Dixon on 01454 299236 or email him.

Photo of dumb bell in use, with Colin teaching Debbie
Colin Dixon training Debbie Young on the dumb bell in his barn