There’s much more to ringing Church bells than pulling on a rope.
You may hear the bells on Sunday morning, but we are lucky at St Mary's as we are supported and rely on the good offices of the Barnet ringers to swell our numbers. Otherwise the bells would be silent on Sundays.
How much strength will I need to pull on the rope?
Only average strength and health are needed. Our bells are considered to be fairly light and a child from the age of 12 or 13 would be able to learn to ring the lighter bells quite easily. It’s more about technique than strength. Very heavy bells at cathedrals sometimes require more strength. However our bells are very manageable and there is no sex discrimination or upper age limit, but you need to be able to climb the 42 steps up to the ringing room.
How much time will I have to devote to ringing?
Our practice is on Tuesday evenings from 7.45 pm till 9.00 pm. On Sunday mornings we ring from 10.00am ‘til 10.30 and Sunday evenings from 6.00pm till 6.3pm, if you have the time to ring twice on Sundays. Everyone has holiday time and times when they can’t be around so the more of us there are to ring at Monken Hadley the better.
What other ringing do you do at St Mary the Virgin Monken Hadley?
We ring for weddings, mainly in the summer and we are paid expenses for that. We also ring on special State and Church occasions such as lighting the Beacon, Jubilee celebrations, New Year’s Eve, Church Fairs and open days.
What training will I need?
Full training will be given by the ringing team together with the help of Central Council of Church Bell Ringing, which provides training publications and other written material. There are also computer based software aids and training courses available once you have progressed. Monken Hadley tower is a member of the Middx Association of Change Ringers and the Hertford County Association and we can tap into help and guidance from them.
Do I need other special skills to be able to learn to ring.
The main skill is to have a good sense of rhythm. If you have a good musical ear it is a bonus but not essential.
Do ringers have any social activities or any fun?
Yes, we do! We have outings to ring at other church towers, which, always include a pub lunch but more regularly we have parties and small gatherings in the tower to celebrate birthdays and almost every month there is an excuse to celebrate some event. We often adjourn to the pub after the practice on Tuesdays where we can discuss ringing strategy and put the world to right. We always have a Christmas Dinner.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds6Hqco7fLA St Mary Le Bow (for action of the bells)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2YDjWc5nIk St Mary le Bow again to see the ringing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwIff1gREHU St Clement Dane’s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pugRM2Nsnyo Liverpool Pier Head bell ringers