The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop St. Peterís Bells and Ringing
Unlike the other activities within the church we are heard but seldom seen. We are delighted to have the opportunity to describe ourselves – the bells, ringers and all the various and necessary activities “up the tower”, from teaching prospective learners how to “handle a bell”, to regular maintenance of the bells. Tower bell ringing is a tradition dating back over 400 years. There have been bells at St Peters’ since 1490. We now have eight bells, two having recently been added in 2006. Our tenor (the heaviest bell No.8, with the lowest note) is the oldest, and was cast in 1699. Bells 3 to 7 were recast in 1923/4. We ring to summon parishioners to worship at Church Services, and to celebrate special Festivals e.g. Christmas and New Year, for national events e.g. Remembrance Sunday, plus “local” ringing for Weddings etc. Tuesday evening is our regular Practice/Teaching night. Many of our band are members of the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers, and one is a member of the national body, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR). The ringers pay a small annual subscription which pays for all necessary "belfry" work, including, over the years, welding repairs to the bell frame, new wheels, a new ceiling for the ringing room and occasional sets of new ropes. We also installed a degree of soundproofing in the Tower behind the belfry windows to reduce the impact on housing close by. This area is popular for visiting ringers' outings with a number of picturesque villages, good bells and short distances to travel between churches .St Peter's church is known for its well-maintained bells, good quality ringing and since augmenting to eight bells we attract even more visitors to our Tuesday practice nights. We still, however, need to recruit new local ringers. We have a SIMULATOR in the Tower, an aid to teaching beginners and improvers, which also allows instruction in basic bell handling as well as move advanced ringing without any sound emanating from the tower externally. This means that we can, subject to instructor availability, provide one to one training in the tower at almost any time of the day or night! We are always eager to welcome new learners, plus of course those who can already ring. Ringers can be of any age, from about 10 yrs upwards (depending on size), to octogenarians! One does not have to be “musical”, and it is not a matter of brute force – we rely on rhythm and delicacy of touch. Please contact our Tower Captain Patrick Albon (Tel: 782251) or Tom Anderson (Tel: 781783) for details, and/or to view the ringing.

Now Explore the other pages in the ‘St. Peter’s Bell’s’ Section menu for further details of our Bells

and Ringing:

Sources for all pages:

Chris Pickford (Personal Communication) - History of Sharnbrook bells and bell ringers. Richard Forder (Personal Notes - 2007) Inspection of Sharnbrook Bells (C J P ), 1978 Records of the Bedfordshire Association of Bellringers, 1882-1982 (CR0: X529) T North, Church Bells of Bedfordshire (1883) Sharnbrook glebe terrier, 1822 (CR0: FAC 35/11) Files of the Bedfordshire Mercury, especially 1881-1887 Manuscript recollections of E P Duffield, written at the request of C J P 1981 St John Cooper Mss, British Library, London (Add Mss 34366, and 34373 f 27d) 'The Ringing World' No 4995 January 19th. 2007.
The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop This page last updated 24/05/2024                      Comments / feedback: please contact: webmaster