Learn the ropes at Marsworth’s weekend bellringing course

Marsworth bell ringers
Marsworth bell ringers

The bellringers of All Saints’ Church, Marsworth, are offering a crash course in campanology, and giving people the chance to learn how to ring church bells over the course of the coming weekend.

This event is designed for complete beginners and ideal for anyone who would like to try their hand at this traditional skill, but has never found the time or opportunity.

Bellringing is an enjoyable and sociable hobby and the course is open to anyone from the age of about 10 and above, of any religion or none.

Although the heaviest bell in the tower at Marsworth weighs in at just under a hefty 11 hundredweight – that’s about 85 stone – controlling it is more a matter of skill than physical strength.

The course will start with an introductory session at 7.30pm on the evening of Friday, August 30, where participants will watch a short demonstration of ringing, be taken up to the belfry to see the bells, learn about the history of ringing and how to stay safe in the tower as they learn this absorbing hobby.

Between 10am and 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with experienced, trained teachers on hand to help and ‘bell simulator’ software installed in the tower to keep noise disturbance outside to a minimum, the new ringers will gradually master the techniques involved in controlling a bell.

By the end of the course, everyone should be able to ring a church bell as part of a team, receiving their ‘Learning the Ropes Level 1’ certificate from the Association of Ringing Teachers.

Following the course, new ringers will be welcome to come along and ring with the rest of the Marsworth team, or would be able to join in with the ringers at any other tower if more convenient.

Places on the course are limited to six participants, but further courses can be organised depending on demand.

Learning to ring is a very low cost activity and while tuition is free, the course providers ask for a suggested donation of £20 towards church funds to cover the use of facilities.

Teas, coffees and cold drinks will be provided throughout the weekend and there is a toilet in the church.

There are pubs and a café in Marsworth if participants wish to buy lunch.

If you would like to book a place on the course, require further details or would like to register your interest to learn to ring on a future course, please contact Richard Booth on 01296 662520 or email cmmbelfries@gmail.com.