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Within the church community there are many opportunities to serve – practical or devotional, private or public – each with its own particular rewards. Some reach out to the community as well as the church. Some require team work as well as individual effort. Some require skill as well as commitment. Some share a long cultural heritage.
Bellringing is a performance art deeply rooted in English culture and the life of the church. Learning to control the heaviest of musical instruments accurately with a delicate touch and feeling at one with the bell has its own satisfaction. Taking part in ringing is a unique aural, rhythmic and physical experience.
For many years All Saints has had one of the leading local bands and is an excellent place to learn. We have experienced teachers and we use modern training aids – currently three ringing simulators. The band offers a supportive environment for developing new ringers, and we are well connected to the worldwide community of ringers with the benefits it offers.
The initial stages of learning to ring require some effort but it is a worthwhile investment because once acquired the skills provide the gateway to a lifelong activity. Ringing is active enough (mentally and physically) to help you stay fit but it is a gentle activity that can be continued throughout life – from early childhood well into old age.
Even those who give up regular ringing because of other life pressures never stop being ringers. Their core skills remain latent waiting to be reactivated when a change in circumstances enables them to take up ringing again, almost from where they left off.
Several of our ringers have moved away and we are keen to increase our numbers, so this is an ideal time to learn to ring. It is also an ideal time for any currently inactive ringers to blow away the cobwebs and take up ringing again.
For information about the rewards of ringing, and learning at All Saints, see the tower website: allsaintswokinghambells.org.uk/
John Harrison (March 2015)
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