Staplehurst Bell Ringers are a friendly band and enjoy ringing together for services, special occasions and practice nights. After Covid-19, the band is currently somewhat depleted in number and expertise, but we are doing our best to keep the bells ringing. We are very happy to welcome new recruits and pass on our skills to keep this traditional skill 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 10:15-11:00 on Sundays and at other times by arrangement. There is no obligation to attend services after ringing. For a small 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!
Six of the 10 bells were rung half-muffled today while the congregation arrived for the annual Service of Remembrance at All Saints, Staplehurst. The Tenor bell was chimed 11 times at 11 o’clock during the service to mark the beginning of the national one‑minute silence, in which we remembered the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.
Two Staplehurst Ringers enjoyed ringing with other members of the Kent Association of Change Ringers at Yalding on Saturday morning. Refreshments (including home-made cake and biscuits) were very tasty and welcome whilst catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in a long while. Prior to the pandemic, Ringers often went out ringing at other towers nearby, around the country and abroad. It felt good that some normality had resumed, even though hand sanitiser, masks and increased ventilation were in evidence. Ringing bells at other towers can sometimes present new challenges (due to different weights of bells, varying lengths of rope and how easy (or not!) the bells are to ring) but it is always interesting. So too are the variety and beauty of the churches, towns and villages that we visit. Bell ringing takes us to some amazing places.
The Kent Association of Change Ringers (KCACR) held a Choral Evensong Service of Remembrance to remember over 40 ringers in Kent who died during the pandemic. Several Staplehurst Bell Ringers attended the service in which our own beloved ringer, Iain MacKay, was remembered and whose funeral will be held shortly. The bells at Rochester Cathedral were rung before and after the service by members of KCACR and hand bells were rung during the service. Although many bell ringers are generally renowned for not attending church services on a regular basis, it was a privilege to take part in this special service of remembrance in this glorious cathedral and an honour to ring the bells there afterwards too. One of our ringers was quite daunted at the opportunity to ring at Rochester Cathedral but overcame her fears to ring very well.
At the recent AGM, chaired by the Rector, the ringers voted unanimously that the Tower Officers willing to stand should continue in post for another year. The post of Ringing Master is currently vacant so the organisation of ringing is now being shared amongst the Tower Captain and two Assistant Tower Captains. Officer Reports were noted at the AGM and the Tower Captain’s report gives a summary of the events and activities of our ringing (although mainly not being able to ring) over the past year.