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Ringing life at All Saints 

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? : In 1880, only one ringer at All Saints was able to ring changes, compared with ten at St Paul's.

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

Practice through door Practice from above 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 or other  Before service  Before service After service Practice
Times 8.50 - 9.30 am 5.30 - 6.30 pm (normally 2nd & 4th Sunday) quarter peal with pre-arranged band Various Various Various 8.00 - 9.30 pm
Notes Almost every Sunday
Sundays can vary. See Diary for details
Easter morning: 7.30 - 8.00 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
Mostly Saturdays
a few weekdays
Most weeks,
Not Bank Holidays

For full details of ringing times through the year, see Diary .

Wedding ringing

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 .

Teaching new ringers

TrainingAt 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 .

Ringing outings

Minibus outingRingers 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.  

Visiting bands

The bells are available for visiting bands by arrangement.  Contact the tower secretary 

Peals & Quarter peals

Peal boardA 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.

Over 90 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.

Striking competitions 

Winning band Hurst 04In 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.  

Handbell ringing (change ringing)

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 .

 Handbells for weddingsWhile 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.

Handbell tune ringing group

There is also an All Saints tune ringing handbell group , which now operates more or less independently.

The social side of ringing

 Ringers at All Saints do other things apart from ringing !

  Talks on ringing, and tower visits

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 Wider World of Ringing

World of ringingThe 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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