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 June 2024

NEWS FROM THE TOWER

All Saints Tower

On 12th May we celebrated Bell Sunday, a day where the contribution of bells and bellringers to the life of the Church is recognised. Our ringers took an active part in the Morning Communion Service and it was particularly pleasing to hear Florence, one of our younger ringers, read the epistle. Roy Barclay led the prayers and, in place of the sermon, Adam Brady giving an interesting talk on bell ringing. The hymns were all bell-related and during Communion the choir sang Ding Dong Merrily on High. The service ended appropriately with a rendition of The Liberty Bell March by John Philip Souza, played expertly on the organ by Daniel Brady. Several others of our ringers also attended the service.

On the following Sunday, 19th May, we rang to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Friends of All Saints. Funding for the restoration and augmentation of our bells in the 1990s was the Friends’ first major project and it was therefore highly appropriate that we should ring to help them celebrate the occasion.

As to the future, as many of you will know work on the restoration of the turret and the tower roof is likely to start in June. We do not know at this stage how this will impact on the bells being able to be rung, but at the moment we have two sessions of additional ringing scheduled for the month. From 6.30 – 7pm on Wednesday 6th May our bells, along with others throughout the country, will ring out for peace to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Wednesday 19th June sees our latest learning hub from 7.30 – 9pm. Other than this we will only be ringing for the regular Sunday Services, and for our normal Tuesday evening practice.

For updates on ringing during June, including whether ringing has been cancelled due to the works, please see our website at https://bells.allsaintsstaplehurst.co.uk/

Roy Barclay

Tower Secretary

Staplehurst Bellringers Report May 2024

NEWS FROM THE TOWER

All Saints Tower

On Easter Monday the Kent County Association of Change Ringers, to which Staplehurst is affiliated and of which our ringers are members, held their Annual General Meeting at Rainham.  At this meeting our Tower Secretary Roy Barclay was presented with a certificate in recognition of his 50 years’ membership of the Association.  Several more of our ringers will be marking that milestone in the next few years.

On Friday 26th April we welcomed the Scouts to the tower to learn a little about ringing, and see a demonstration of how it’s done.  They seemed to enjoy it and, who knows, we might even gain some recruits! We are always happy to arrange group visits to the tower for members of village organisations. All you need to do is contact me at staplehurst_bells@roybarclay.plus.com

On May 12th we will be celebrating the annual Bell Sunday – a day where the contribution of bells and bellringers to the life of the Church is recognised.  We hope that some of our ringers will be involved in the service, but details have yet to be decided.  The following Sunday, 19th May, we will be ringing the bells at various times between 1.30 and 3pm as part of the Friends of All Saints’ 30th birthday celebrations.  The Friends made a very generous donation towards the rehanging and augmentation of our bells as their first project, so we are keen to help them celebrate the occasion. Please note that this will mean that, exceptionally, the bells will be ringing both morning and afternoon on that day.

On Wednesday 22nd May we will be hosting the monthly Learning Hub between 7.30 and 9pm. Other than this and the Friends’ birthday celebrations we will be ringing for the usual Sunday Services and our normal Tuesday practice.

Roy Barclay

Tower Secretary

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