The St Mary’s bell ringers are a lively band of mixed ability ringers ranging from juniors and beginners to experienced method ringers.
We welcome ringers of all abilities to join us at both practice nights and Sunday Service ringing. We share our practice nights with St Thomas’s in Brentwood in order to support the teaching of new learners. On Thursdays we ring at St Thomas’s with the practice starting at 7.30pm and on Fridays the practice is from 5pm – 7pm at St Mary’s. To check when ringing is at our tower, call Sue Matthews, our tower correspondent on 01277 224862.
Each Sunday we ring at 8.45am for the 9.30am Service and by arrangement we often ring quarter peals for the Evening Service.
The St Mary’s ringer’s organise an annual bell ringing outing which is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience handling different bells in different towers (and usually involves visiting a couple of local pubs to sample local food and ales!)
Bell ringing is all about technique and requires little strength or effort. What is required of a ringer is an ability to count, a sense of rhythm and a willingness to ring for Sunday services and to join us for practice nights when possible.
We are always looking for new ringers – adults or young people, in fact anyone over the age of 10. Ringing helps keep you fit and provides good mental exercise – ringers often continue ringing into their 80s and beyond. Bell ringing is a social activity and is all about being part of a team. In becoming a bell ringer you are joining a worldwide, although English biased, community.
Bell ringers regularly visit each others’ towers. There are over 5,000 churches with rings of bells in the UK and as a ringer you will always be sure of a welcome at another tower’s practice night – just turn up, introduce yourself as a ringer and join in!
Help us keep this traditional art alive – come up the tower on practice night (access into the church is via the main entrance, turn left and then climb the stair case at the back of the church) or contact us to arrange a visit. We will show you round the ringing chamber and belfry, you will see what we do and meet the ringers. Hopefully you will find us friendly, like what you see and want to be part of it.
If you would like to take up the fascinating hobby of church bell ringing and become an important part of St Mary’s church life, please do not hesitate to contact Ray Jones on 01277 211773; Beth Johnson on 01277 205102 & 0779 669 1520, or Nicola Stark on 07899 955711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.