The recently refurbished bells back in place in the belfry
Scroll down for this month’s planned bellringing times.
As most residents will be aware, St Thomas’ Church possesses a fine ring of 8 bells, which were originally installed in 1912 and were fully refurbished in 2012. They are rung regularly for Sunday service (at least once a month), for practice/training of new ringers (most Tuesday evenings), full peals (once a month) and by visiting ringers from various parts of the country (occasional).
We are always looking for new ringers and currently rely on help from ringers from other churches in the area. As many will be aware, our oldest ringer and tower captain for over 50 years, Colin Ashworth, passed away in October 2013 and we have in recent years also lost two other longstanding members, Nick Helliwell and Geoff Cheetham. To ensure that the bells continue to ring out into the future, we do now need more local people to come forward and join us. Anyone who would like to learn more about bell-ringing and may be interested in becoming a member of our team, please feel free to contact me for further information (details below). Two new recruits have joined us recently and both are making good progress towards becoming full members of the team.
We are also very keen to keep residents informed about our ringing activities and we recognise that people would appreciate advance notice of any prolonged periods of ringing, such as the monthly peals, which last for approx. 3 hours at a time. These are already posted on the weekly notice of church services and activities in the church porch, but in an attempt to reach a wider audience the details are also published on this website.
The bells were not rung at all between 21 February and the end of April, owing to scaffolding being erected inside the tower for a period whilst the repair works were in progress. As the contract nears completion the bells are now able to be rung once again and the ringing planned over the next few months is as follows:
Sunday mornings (10.30-11.30): 21 May, 9 July, 20 August
Tuesday practices (19.45-21.00) : most Tuesdays
Peals (approx. 3 hours’ continuous ringing):
Thursday 18 May 17.45 – 21.00 approx
Mon 31 July 14.30 – 17.45 approx
Thurs 17 Aug 10.00 – 13.15 approx
In addition, the bells will be rung on three occasions by visiting ringers:
From Banbury Mon 29 May 10.45 – 11.30
From Towcester Sat 1 July 11.30 – 12.15
From Rochdale Sat 12 Aug 19.00 – 20.45
Please note that all timings are approximate, owing to the fact that generally ringers are travelling to the church from outside the area. There is however regular liaison with the local Environmental Health Department, to ensure that the overall level of ringing is kept within agreed guidelines.
Further updates will be provided in August.
Many thanks for your support……and look forward to hearing from you!
Ringing Master, St Thomas’ Church