Exeter Cathedral opened its doors for the evening of Tuesday 19th April 2016 to showcase everything done by the volunteers as part of the spiritual and working life of the Cathedral community. Entry was free and all visitors were able to meet the groups of people who do so much "behind the scenes" work and also visit some of the restricted areas not normally available to the public.Over 500 people attended the event.
The bell ringers stand was set up in the nave near to the tower entrance in the south west corner. We were fortunate to have use of the Frank Mack mobile mini-ring which attracted a lot of attention. People of all ages had a go and some of the Cathedral band did a short demonstration ring. The mini-ring was kept busy all evening. Two tours to the south tower were organised with both booked beyond capacity. In the tower a short explanation of what bell ringing is and how it works was given by Matthew Hilling, Ringing Master, before the Cathedral bellringers rang a course of Erin Cinques as a demonstration. All of the visitors were very interested and asked many sensible and thoughtful questions. Following both tours it was difficult to bring the session to a close and get everyone back downstairs.
In conclusion this was an evening that showed bell ringing to be accessible to people of all ages and is fun. It was well worth doing. We are told that similar events will be held in the future.