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See also: History of ringing at All Saints
Download a leaflet Bells for your Wedding
Download Policy for public ringing
Download 2010 leaflet for Church neighbours
Did you know? : Gilbert Thurlow, who rang at All Saints between 1935 and 1938, went on the become the President of the Central Council of Church Bellringers (1963-1969).
This page lists the things we do as ringers at All Saints, but it is hard to describe the satisfaction gained from ringing itself, as a skilled activity that we share with other ringers.
Regular ringing at All Saints is our main role. This includes ringing for church services and regular practice ringing. Many other activities help to make up the richness of ringing life at All Saints (see below). Any ringers visiting Wokingham when we are ringing are welcome to come and ring with us (except for quarter peals etc with a pre-arranged band). The formal objectives of our constitution are: to glorify God by the ringing of bells, to ensure the bells are rung for all major services and to advance the quality of ringing at All Saints.
The table shows when most ringing occurs. There are other occasions, but they are not predictable in advance. Note: Where the table only gives an approximate time, it may vary from year to year.
|Day||Sunday morning||Sunday evening||Other Sunday services||Weekday||Wedding||Monday|
|Purpose||Before service||Before service||Before service||Before service||After service||Practice|
|Times||8.50 - 9.25 am||5.50 - 6.25 pm
(5.30 start if quarter peal)
|Various||Various||Various||8.00 - 9.30 pm|
|Notes||Almost every Sunday||Sometimes starts at 6.00.
None in August.
Occasional other Sundays missed
See Diary for details
|Easter morning: 7.30 - 7.55 am
Christingle (2nd Sunday in Advent): Early afternoon
|Christmas Eve (mid afternoon, early evening, late night)
Christmas Day (7.30 - 7.55, 8.50 - 9.25 am)
Evening services on: Epiphany, Ash Wednesday,
Ascension Day, All Saints Day
a few weekdays
Not Bank Holidays
For full details of ringing times through the year, see Diary .
Anyone getting married at All Saints has the option of having bells for their wedding. Weddings are normally on Saturdays, but increasingly we have requests to ring for weddings during the week. We always try to meet these requests, even though many of our ringers work during the day.
Normally we ring after the wedding, while photographs are being taken down below (in the sunshine we hope). We also offer several other options, including a special performance dedicated to the couple. You can download our wedding bells leaflet .
At All Saints we routinely welcome recruits and teach new ringers. Recruits receive individual tuition until they can handle a bell competently, and then receive further coaching and development while ringing with the rest of the band.
For more information, see Learning to Ring
If you think you might be interested in learning to ring, come and see what it is all about. Either visit the tower during
a practice, or contact the secretary .
Ringers have a long established tradition of visiting other towers to ring their bells. A ringing outing enables you to ring in several different towers and experience bells of different character and style. You often visit places of architectural or historic interest, as well as enjoying varied scenery, and of course good companionship of other ringers.
See some pictures from our ringing outings.
The bells are available for visiting bands by arrangement. Contact the tower secretary
A Peal is a performance of continuous change ringing with at least 5000 changes. A peal is a significant undertaking, which takes about 3 hours on our bells. A Quarter Peal takes 45-50 minutes to ring. Peals and quarter peals are often rung to mark major events, festivals, anniversaries, etc, though some are just rung for pleasure.
A total of 78 peals have been rung at All Saints since the bells were augmented to 8 in 1903.
Quarter peals are not a lot longer than normal service ringing, so we ring several a year for special services.
In perfect ringing, successive bells strike with an exactly even rhythm. That is difficult to achieve, since it requires exact co-ordination of the swinging of all the bells, and the human ear can detect irregularities as small as a few hundredths of a second. Most ringing societies run annual competitions where teams compete to see which can ring the most accurately. Sonning Deanery holds annual 6-bell and 8-bell competitions.
Click here to see one of the trophies and All Saints competition teams . The picture on the right shows the All Saints band after winning the 8 bell competition at Hurst in September 2004. Other pictures.
The Oxford Diocesan Guild holds 6, 8 and 10 bell competitions. The most famous ringing competition is the annual National 12-Bell Competition.
As well as ringing tower bells, some ringers (including several All Saints ringers) also ring changes on handbells. There is an active group in the area that meets regularly. When ringing changes 'in hand', each ringer has two bells (doing different things), one in each hand. Mostly changeringing on handbells is done in private, but there are occasional public performances, for example during a bell-themed concert at All Saints in 2001 to raise funds for the bell restoration project and for some weddings while the bells were out for restoration in 2004. Handbells are also rung at the annual tower dinner .
the bells were out for restoration during summer 2004, we rang handbells for some weddings, rather than disappoint couples
who wanted bells for their wedding.
There is also an All Saints tune ringing handbell group , which now operates more or less independently.
Ringers at All Saints do other things apart from ringing !
If you run a local society or group, we can give you a talk on bellringing or a talk on the history of ringing in Wokingham or we can arrange a conducted tour of the tower . We also offer support and material for ringing related school projects .
The ringing at All Saints is typical of ringing in thousands of other towers that form the worldwide ringing community, linked together by formal and informal relationships, and all sharing a common interest. See More information about the world of ringing.
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