The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop ST. PETER'S BELLS and RINGING
CHANGE RINGING - Methods - Peals and Quarter Peals - Advice and Striking Contests: We ring for all Sunday services and have a weekly (Tuesday) practice night.         We aim to produce the most musical sound that we can. We aim for perfect timing and no clashing, but bearing in mind that we also have to teach learners at our evening practice! Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps you to keep fit - it also makes a glorious sound! Many consider ringing to be their contribution to church life, some do extra ringing elsewhere e.g. other church’s meetings and outings, for the pure pleasure it brings. Learning a few simple methods (tunes) allows ringers to join in with other bands in towers around the world. It is a tradition that visitors are always made welcome. The origins of change ringing lie in the sixteenth century when church bells began to be hung with a full wheel. This gave ringers control of their bell, which allowed sets of bells (rings) to be rung in a continuously changing pattern. Music is created by ringing the bells to a defined sequence of changes known as a method.

Methods, (Our Music)

is like following a journey on a map from the most simple “journey”, say on 5 bells to highly complicated compositions on 12 bells.
For more information on Change Ringing  go to the CCCBR Site. (See below)

Peals and Quarter Peals

For some Sunday evening services, and to improve our ringing we ring quarter peals which means ringing for ¾ hour non stop. Peals are for very special occasions and last approx 3 hours - out of consideration for locals we only allow a few peals each year.

Ringing/teaching advice at other local towers.

Our ringers help out other local towers with extra ringers if they are short, mainly for weddings. We have helped to form and train new bands at Stevington, Carlton and Bletsoe. Souldrop’s 3 bells and Knotting’s single “clock” bell can only be chimed, but have been inspected and where necessary helped with maintenance and newer ropes. Teaching is a very time consuming task, requires great skill and it is particularly difficult recruiting, training and keeping together a team from scratch. Most of this hard work has been thanks to our Captain Pat Albon plus other experienced Sharnbrook and district ringers.

Ringing Societies and the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR)

Our local district of the Bedfordshire Association runs regular monthly meetings, annual outings and an annual ringing competition called a Striking Contest. This involves ringing for 5 minutes, attempting to produce a perfect rhythm, and with no mistakes. Neutral judges mark the faults, the winners and runners up represent our district in the Association final – we sometimes get to the final, but have only won it once in living memory! Some ringing societies (e.g. Ancient Society of College Youths and Royal Society of Cumberland Youths) are more than 300 years old and form the bands of ringers for a number of the great London churches such as St Paul’s Cathedral and St Martin’s in the Fields. The CCCBR is a made up of representatives from all the ringing associations and has committees specialising in all aspect of bell ringing e.g. Education, Bell Restoration, Tower Stewardship and Publications to name a few. It produces, for example, publicity and teaching leaflets, videos, and maintenance and conservation advice. It also liaises with national bodies such as English Heritage and the Church Buildings Council. There is a weekly magazine called “Ringing World” which is available worldwide and can be purchased by Towers and individuals. There is a biannual Ringing Road-show - this is a great jamboree for all suppliers and ringers. Portable bells on lightweight frames are popular for “come and try it”! See also 'Dove's Guide' for a comprehensive encyclopaedia of UK Church Towers and their bells.
The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop This page last updated 24/05/2024                      Comments / feedback: please contact: webmaster