As of 17th March, all ringing at St.Mary's has been suspended. We look forward to the time when the sound of bells marks the resumption of services.
The bells of St. Mary's are rung before services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month as well as for weddings, special services, national occasions, celebrations and occasionally for funerals.
Striving for excellence to delight our community.
About the bells
In 1925, four bells that dated from as early as 1665 were recast and augmented to the current ring of six. They are considered to be amongst the most tuneful rings of bells in the county and are relatively light; the heaviest bell weighs 9cwt 1stone and 2lbs (about 465kg) and is tuned in A.
St. Mary's bellringers take measures to ensure their activities comply with the church's safeguarding policies and that all ringing is led by suitably qualified individuals, A policy covering the proper supervision of ringing exists to ensure that safeguarding and physical safety during ringing are given the priority they deserve.
Our band comprises beginners and experienced ringers from 15 years old to (much) older. We practice at St. Mary's every Thursday between 7.30 and 9:00pm except on the first Thursday of every other month when we go to Tattenhall for a combined practice to share expertise.
Occasionally we receive requests for visitors to ring the bells. We try to accommodate visiting bands while keeping the amount of extra ringing acceptable to those living nearby. Any recent and upcoming visits will be listed in "News and Events" below.
News and events
We welcome newcomers to ringing. A three-month beginners' course is held each year. Starting in September/October, its aim is to train a small group of newcomers to learn to ring together and reach a level that enables them to join in with the band ringing simple 'rounds' by Christmas.
St.Mary's bells are equipped with a "simulator" that allows the bells to be rung silently while the ringers hear computer generated sound. This enables additional practice ringing without creating a noise nuisance.
For more information on bell ringing in general try https://cccbr.org.uk/what-is-bell-ringing/
RINGERS' NOTICES (for the band)
The most recent changes are highlighted in yellow
* Can be available
Notification of availability or unavailability received by noon on Saturday before ringing should appear above by 21:00.
Weddings and extra services
Ringers will be invited to ring for weddings and extra services and bands posted below.
Practices, when they restart, will be at 19:30 and will not normally be cancelled again even if numbers are low!
Simulator bookings will only be taken in person at Thursday practices!
Theory sessions are for all comers. Simulator sessions following theory sessions will be geared to consolidating the theory just covered and must be booked as normal
Other towers' practices.
A joint practice is held with the Tattenhall band on the first Thursday of each month, alternating between the towers.
Next Tattenhall practice
Competent St. Mary's ringers have been invited to attend St. Oswald's practice on the second Wednesday of each month; ringing starts at 19:00.
Other branch practices
For those keen to ring on nights other than Thursday, practice nights for Branch towers are below (check the latest Annual report for contact details, click for Chester branch tower map with directions). All will make you welcome, an informal agreement to mutaually host ringers exists visit those with marked '*'.
Monday: Eccleston (26cwt 8)
Tuesday: Tarporley* (11cwt 8), Backford (10cwt 6), Christleton (12cwt 8) Doddleston (8 cwt 6)
Wednesday: Farndon (12cwt 8)
Friday: Waverton* (8cwt??? 8)
The full programme of Chester Branch activities is availablehttps://chesterdg.org.uk/events-201/
Next branch practice
Next training meeting
Places will be normaly allocated on a first come first serve basis. When booking, please state your preference of either the morning OR afternoon session. Places will not be available on the day.
These sessions are organised by the Branch and aimed at all ringers from those able to ring rounds and call changes up to and including surprise method ringers. St. Mary's ringers attend to practice will also get to hear more advanced ringing that may provide inspiration!
Val is organising a ringing outing in the summer. Current thinking is to visit a couple of local towers one Saturday morning in June or July with, say, 45 minutes' ringing at each, then have lunch and do the same in the afternoon.
Please let Val know whether you are intersted in joinging in and which dates would work for you.
2025 Centenary of the recasting & augmentation of the bells
Ideas are sought for activities to mark the 2025 centenary of the augmentation and recasting of the bells.
- a quarter peal of Plain Bob double or minor that can be marked with a board in the belfry. All current ringers are capable of this.
- a new method to name it "Tilston Centenary Bob Doubles. Click here to see the exercises. This is achievable with work.
- an extent (720 changes ) of a new treble bob minor method to name it. Click here to see two methods that could be named for Tilston by a band ringing the first extent. This is a stretch target.
- a quarter peal comprising splice extents of two new Tilston treble bob methods.
- Open day