Once you have mastered the mechanics of church bell-ringing you can ring in competitions, for church and special services (some of them paid), ring performance “quarter-peals” of about 45 minutes long or even “peals” of about 3 hours.
You can ring new patterns, you can ring particularly big, or indeed, small bells. You can ring on 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 or even 16 bells. You can be part of your local band and you can visit other tower in the UK and even around the world.
Most of the English-style rings of bells are in the UK, but there are also rings in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Canada, India, Africa and South Africa. In total, there are over 7,100 rings of bells throughout the world.
First though, you will need to learn the basics. Here are the stages:
Beginner: Learning to handle the bell:
Intermediate: Learning to ring with others:
Advanced: Learning to ring complex patterns:
Each stage can take 4 to 14 weeks with 1-2 hours per week. At Amersham the Learning the Ropes training scheme is used, accredited by the Association of Ringing Teachers. Costs of this training is £5 per session.
Once you have completed these steps you may attempt your first quarter peal. After that your progress will be up to you – you might be able to join a local junior squad for the annual youth contest or learn the complexities of conducting or composition and at the same time be a critical member of the St Mary’s band ringing every Sunday morning. We would love to welcome you to our band so do sign up for a free taster session. You can sign up here.