The Bell Ringers

Tilston Bell Ringers

Tilston bells are rung for special services and important occasions, as well as for the morning services on the first and third Sundays of each month.

We meet every Thursday from 7.45 to 8.45pm. The group is a mixture of beginners and experienced ringers.

For more information on when we will be ringing and how to join our band, call Dominic Haughton on 01829 250654 or Tess Gilbert on 01948 820362

Connecting the community to its heart

 

The six bells of St. Mary’s Church were silent for several years before 2010, with too few ringers in the village to make up a viable band. However, with the encouragement of Reverend Jane Stephenson , the few remaining ringers agreed that year to try to find, and attempt to teach, a group of new recruits and so make up the numbers. The objective was to once again be able to ring all six bells regularly for services, weddings and special occasions. Five years later, a small but enthusiastic band of ringers is able to do that.

About half the members of the current band took up ringing in 2010. They learned under the guidance of the then tower captain, the late George Price. George was continuing a long tradition, being the son and grandson of St. Mary’s ringers: his father’s name appears on a board in the tower that commemorates the first and only peal (an unbroken sequence of more than 5000 different changes) that has been rung to date on the bells. His sons are ringers but no longer live in the village.

Today we continue to welcome anyone who would like to learn the art. A regular practice is held on Thursday evenings. It is well attended and provides an opportunity for the ringers to attempt more challenging methods of ringing. Perfection of each is an achievement for the individual and motivates the band, while bringing additional variety to the music of the bells heard by the village.

The focus of the band is to ring well struck changes for the pleasure of those coming into church and others across the village. We ring for the morning service on the first and third Sunday of each month, and on many other occasions during the year, notably to celebrate weddings and to commemorate notable events. Occasionally the bells are muffled and rung to acknowledge, with appropriate solemnity, the passing of a well-respected villager.

The sound of village bells is particularly deeply engrained in the stereotype of village life, but few realize the commitment that every member of the band must make to preserve this. However, the ringers share a hope that by giving their time to ringing regularly and well, they can add the sound of bells heard across the village to the many unique things that define living in Tilston.

The bells of St. Mary’s provide an audible way of connecting the local community to its heart: they can be heard from Hobb Hill to Horton Green and from Stretton to Kidnal. On every occasion that we ring, we are conscious that our efforts are a very public expression of the presence of the church at the centre of the community and we strive to do the occasion justice, joyfully or respectfully. Fortunately the feedback is positive: we often hear, from churchgoers and those still at home on a Sunday morning, that the ringing of bells has been noticed. We even receive some compliments.

Bell Ringers

Chester’s Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at St Mary’s for the 2014 Annual Striking Competition of the Chester Diocesan Guild

Last Updated (Tuesday, 07 July 2015 11:44)

 
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