Typical Bell TowerLearning to ring takes a bit of commitment but is well worth the time you put into it. Give it a go and see if it’s for you! First, you will be taught the technique of ‘handling’ a bell, which will require a number of one-to-one lessons. You will get to feel what the bell is doing as it turns through 360 degrees and back again. Soon, you will be pulling in time with its natural rhythm and catching the fluffy ‘sally’ at just the right moment.

Animation of rounds on 6 bells

Next, you will learn to ring with others as part of a team, the bells sounding from the highest to the lowest in ‘rounds’ as shown above, or the order changed into lovely-sounding ‘call changes’. As your listening, looking and control skills develop, you can start to learn the building blocks of ‘method ringing’, a fascinating group activity in which the order of the bells changes each time they sound.

Increasing numbers of new ringers now follow the structured ‘Learning the Ropes’ curriculum but all good ringing teachers will take you through similar stages to help you fulfil your potential. More about the process of learning can be found on the bellringing.org website.

How to get started

New recruits are always welcome. If you have heard ringing at a local church, try to find out from the church who leads the ringing and to contact that person. The Guild Education Officer can also put you in touch with a ringing teacher near you.