Welcome

Staplehurst Bell Ringers are a friendly band and enjoy ringing together for services, special occasions and practice nights. We are very happy to welcome new recruits and pass on our skills to keep this traditional practice going forward.  Our glorious 10 bells are well maintained, easy going and enjoyable to ring.  We hope you enjoy hearing them too! 

Ringing church bells can be learned by people of all ages from about 10 upwards but you will need to be able to climb the spiral staircase first.  Unfortunately, there is no lift access to the tower so ringers must be reasonably fit.  Ringing is a great activity for the whole family and stretches both mind and body in ways you never thought possible! 

The regular practice night is from 19.30 to 21.15 every Tuesday evening, service ringing 09.15-10.00 on Sundays and at other times by arrangement.  There is no obligation to attend services after ringing.  For a fee, the bells at Staplehurst can also be rung for weddings, funerals, celebration of life or any other special occasion or anniversary. 

You are welcome to come up to the tower and see what we do on a Tuesday evening (but please contact the Tower Captain in advance to agree a time) or join us in the Kings Head after ringing from 21.15.  Don’t be afraid of coming and having a chat with us over a glass of something refreshing after ringing the bells! 

If you would like any more information, please contact –  Adam Brady – Tower Captain 

Staplehurst Bellringers Report April 2024

NEWS FROM THE TOWER

All Saints Tower

By the time you read this Easter will have come and gone and spring will (hopefully) be here.  Normally that would herald the start of the wedding season but this year there are no weddings booked where the couple have asked for the bells to be rung.  Nor have we currently had any requests from visiting bands wishing to ring our bells, but this might well change as we get further into the summer.

We are, however, continuing with our series of Learning Hubs as mentioned in last month’s Magazine. The next ones to be held at Staplehurst will be on Wednesdays 10th April (when the simulator will be used, meaning that no sound will be audible outside the tower) and 24th April when the bells will be rung open from 7.30 – 9pm.

Other than this we will be ringing for our usual Tuesday evening practice and the normal Sunday Services.

Roy Barclay

Tower Secretary

Staplehurst Bellringers Report March 2024

NEWS FROM THE TOWER

All Saints Tower

In years gone by if you wanted to learn to ring you would simply go along to your local church and one of the locals would teach you the basics and that was it. The trouble was that the person who taught you wasn’t always that good themselves and even less good at passing their knowledge on. I was fortunate that many years ago when I learnt to ring my tutor was good at both.

However things have moved on and training is a lot more sophisticated these days. Several years ago an Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) was set up with the objective of ensuring those teaching new ringers were competent to do so. Potential teachers are assessed and after reaching a required standard are accredited. Here at Staplehurst we are lucky to have Sue and Chris Bassett who are both accredited.

Kent is also at the forefront when it comes to training ringers, with an established series of ART Learning Hubs one of which, as mentioned last month, is taking place at Staplehurst on Wednesday 6th March. We will be using the simulator (another innovation in recent years) so there will be no noise audible outside the tower.

On Mothering Sunday 10th March we will as usual be ringing during the “clipping” of the church. This is a tradition, thought to be unique to Staplehurst, where the congregation encircle the church building as if to embrace mother church. If anyone would like to know more about the history of this event I am sure the Rector would be happy to enlighten you.

Roy Barclay

Tower Secretary

Staplehurst Bellringers Report February 2024

NEWS FROM THE TOWER

All Saints Tower

As mentioned last month four of our recruits are now ringing regularly for Sunday Service and another three are at various stages of training. After the loss of several ringers following the pandemic this is indeed good news and means that we are now able to ring all 10 of our bells much more often.

Here at Staplehurst it has long been our philosophy to recruit and train ringers for the future. Many of us who did return after Covid are of, shall we say, more mature years and sadly age eventually catches up with even the fittest of ringers. It is pleasing therefore that we now have a band of mixed ages, including two teenagers, ready to take ringing at Staplehurst forward in years to come.

Sue Bassett has been largely responsible for the training of our recruits and we are grateful for all the time and effort she continues to put in. Not only this, but she is also heavily involved in a Learning Hub for new ringers held regularly at various Towers in West Kent. In March the Hub comes to Staplehurst, but more about that in the next issue.

We are not expecting any visiting bands during February, so we will just be ringing on our normal Tuesday practice evening, for the regular Sunday services and hopefully for the Ash Wednesday service on 14th February.  As ever, details of all ringing are available on our website at https://bells.allsaintsstaplehurst.co.uk/

Roy Barclay

Tower Secretary

Staplehurst Bellringers Report January 2024

NEWS FROM THE TOWER

All Saints Tower

The Staplehurst Bellringers hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and wish you all the best for the New Year.

The early copy deadline for this issue means that this report was written at the very beginning of the Christmas festivities but by the time you read this we will be approaching the end of what is always a busy time for our ringers. The first event was on the evening of Tuesday 12th December when 16 of our ringers, along with partners and friends, enjoyed our Christmas meal at The West End Tavern in Marden and a great time was had by all.  In addition to the normal Sunday Services we will also have rung for the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 17th December, the Christingle Service on Christmas Eve, for Midnight Mass and on Christmas Morning. We will also have enjoyed our traditional New Year’s Party, this year kindly hosted by Sue and Chris Bassett, and will have “rung in” 2024.

Things quieten down a bit in the New Year.  We have no visiting bands scheduled during January, so we will just be ringing on our normal Tuesday practice evening and for the regular Sunday services. 

Finally it is good to be able to report that four of our recruits have now reached the stage where they are able to ring for Sunday Services so are fully fledged members of our band.  How about you – if you think this all sounds quite fun why not make it one of your New Year resolutions to come and visit us at our Tuesday practice and see what it’s all about?  For more information contact me on 01580 890247.  In case anyone is wondering, I must stress that there is absolutely no requirement for ringers to attend the church services that they ring for. You can be assured of a warm welcome. 

Roy Barclay

Tower Secretary