Whether attending a wedding, or listening to the distant sound of bells on Sunday mornings, the ringing of church bells is one of those quintessentially English sounds which so many people love to hear. It is also one of the most ancient musical traditions of our country, dating back to the 17th century.
Both our churches have teams of ringers (known as Bands), and you can find out more about them below. Both are really friendly bands and welcome new ringers.
If you would like to get in touch to find out more or arrange a time when you can visit the tower and maybe have a go, click the link below each tower to get in touch with the tower captain.
Bell ringing in West Clandon
Bell ringing, sometimes referred to as Campanology or Change ringing, has its origins in the 16th century and is almost unique to England.
Music is created by ringing bells in order to a defined sequence or ‘changes’ known as a ‘method’. Handling a bell is well within the capabilities of most people. Being able to count is all the maths needed, and you can become a very good ringer without knowing anything about music!
West Clandon is unusual for small, rural parishes in that we have a tower of eight bells bells of good quality. Substantial work has been undertaken recently to make the ringing chamber a better equipped, more comfortable place for ringing.
Our team aims to ring the church bells to welcome worshippers to Sunday services and to help add something special to weddings by ringing as married couples leave the church together.
At West Clandon we have a band of 12 ringers of all ages and ability levels. We practice once a week to make sure that we are honing our skills and we often visit other towers.
We are a really friendly, sociable band of ringers and regularly go to the local pub for refreshments after Thursday evening ringing practice.
We are always delighted to welcome new ringers, whether you are an old hand or completely new. Our friendly tower will provide training and encouragement to anyone willing to take up the art!
Bell ringing in East Clandon
The bell tower of the church is located at the western end of the building, which dates back to 1110.
After some years of the fabric falling into a sad state of repair, a significant renovation was undertaken and the church reopened on 17th December 1900 much as we see it today.
The tower is above the body of the church so the bells are rung from within the public area at ground floor level.
There are three bells, the oldest of which was cast in about 1499 at the Wokingham foundry. The next oldest dates from1679 cast by William I Eldridge and the most recent dates from 1928 cast by John Taylor & Co. The bells are 30”, 33″ and 37″ inch diameter and the weights are 878lbs, 986lbs and 1107 lbs respectively.
The bells are supported in a timber frame. Originally they were rung in full circle (peeling) but due to the ageing timbers, ringing is now limited to a technique of rocking, not fully inverting the bells.
The bells are rung for services on major festival days and on request for weddings and national celebrations. (eg Queen’s Jubilee). The village is very supportive of bell ringing and we often receive messages about how welcome a sound the church bells are!
We have a team of 5 ringers to call on. We practice on Monday evenings prior to bookings and relax in the pub afterwards. The funds from bookings supplies the refreshment. We are always looking for more volunteers, please got in touch if you would like to find out more!