Bellringing

Make a Joyful Noise!

“the old church-tower, whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang from morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day, so sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me with a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear most like articulate sounds of things to come!”

– Frost at Midnight, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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St Bartholomew’s Church has a ring of 8 bells which are rung by our regular band and by visiting ringers for services, weddings, special occasions and for fun. There is a thriving bell ringing community in the UK, and lots of information can be found online about how bells are rung

Our Bells

Bell Weight

cwt-qr-lb

Weight

Kg

Note Diameter Dated Founder Canons

(headstock fixings)

1 6-2-6 333 D 31.00″ 1894 John Taylor & Co Flat top
2 6-3-21 352 C# 31.75″ 1894 John Taylor & Co Flat top
3 7-3-5 396 B 34.50″ 1820 John Kingston Removed
4 8-2-26 444 A 37.00″ 1820 John Kingston Removed
5 11-0-17 567 G 39.25″ 1894 John Taylor & Co Flat top
6 12-1-10 627 F# 41.50″ 1894 John Taylor & Co Flat top
7 17-3-0 902 E 46.50″ 1894 John Taylor & Co Flat top
8 22-0-7 1121 D 52.25″ 1767† Thomas Bayley Removed

The Benefits of Being a Bell Ringer

Anyone in reasonable health can ring bells, and ringers vary in age from nine to ninety. Bell ringing is an excellent way to stay active, test your brain, contribute to the community, and be sociable. Our outings are also an excellent opportunity to visit other local towers – and tea rooms!

Church going is not a necessity for ringers (who can more frequently be found partaking in pub quizzes after practice nights!) but the church doors are always open to late arrivals from the tower at services.

How to Join

Join the company of Jo Brand, John Betjamin and Alan Titchmarsh… not literally, but these famous names are all campanologists (that’s the fancy word for bell ringing). We welcome new faces, whether experienced or not. Our band is a mixture of ringers who’ve learnt in Crewkerne and ringers who’ve moved here.

If you’d like to know more about us before coming along, please contact our Tower Captain, Liz Hughes, on 01460 75648.

Practice night is on Monday from 7:30pm, and Sunday ringing starts at 9:15am. A rope fee applies for visiting bands, but there are no charges for regular ringing. The external entrance to the tower is to the south-east of the church, near to the steps leading up from Church Street. For Sat Navs please use the post code TA18 7HY. Parking is available at the Abbey Street Car Park (free evenings and Sundays).

Tradition

Bells have been widely rung in churches since 550AD, with current techniques (which are uniquely British) dating back to the 1600s. Whilst there are around 37,000 bells in the UK there are just 40,000 ringers: new recruits are essential to keeping this tradition alive.

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“ringing only survives by what we do as individuals”

  • Chris Mew, 2016 President of The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
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