Bell Ringing

Bell Ringing at All Saints’ Church Staplehurst

Tower Officers

NameOfficeTelephoneEmail
Sue BassettTower Captain(01580) 891917Sue Bassett
Sue GullettAssistant Tower CaptainN/AN/A
Roy BarclayTower Secretary(01580) 890247Roy Barclay
Chris BassettSteeple Keeper(01580) 891917Chris Bassett
Sallyann BarclayTreasurer(01580) 890247N/A

Bellringers’ Report for November 2016

As mentioned in last month’s Magazine our ringers participated in the national Heritage Open Days festival on the second weekend in September.  Despite the event clashing with a number of others, in particular the Friends of Kent Churches Ride and Stride, we still had a small flow of people visiting the tower to see what ringing was all about.  Hopefully we may get some new recruits from the event.

Also during late September our ringers represented the Maidstone District in the annual County ringing contest at Farnborough, near Orpington. In a competition said by the judges to be of a very high standard throughout, our band finished in fifth place with an 82% success rate.  The winners were Chelsfield, representing the Lewisham District, with 91%.

On Thursday 22nd September we were honoured to ring for the memorial service for the late Maurice Armytage, for many years a loyal member of our congregation.  We also rang a quarter peal for Sunday evening service which we dedicated to Maurice’s memory.

On Saturday 8th October we hosted the Annual Meeting of the Maidstone District at which three of our ringers were once again elected as District Officers for the coming year.

Looking ahead we will be ringing for the High Mass service when we celebrate our Patronal Festival on Tuesday 1st November.

Then the following week, on Tuesday 8th November, we will be holding our Tower AGM at which we will be electing our own tower officers for the coming year, so ringing will be somewhat curtailed that evening.  We have no visiting bands scheduled for November, nor do we have any weddings wanting bells for the rest of the year, so we will just be ringing on our normal Tuesday practice evening and for the regular Sunday Services.

Roy Barclay, Tower Secretary


Bellringers’ Report for October 2016

By the time you read this we will be approaching autumn and things will be back into full swing in the tower with our ringers now back from their holidays. That is not to say that nothing has been happening in September.  Indeed it has been quite a busy month for us.

Firstly, on the second weekend in September we participated in the Heritage Open Days festival – an event to celebrate England’s history, architecture and culture which I mentioned last month.  Then on Saturday 24th September our ringers represented the Maidstone District in the County ringing contest at Farnborough, where we competed against bands representing the other five districts in Kent.  Copy deadlines mean that reports on both these events will have to wait for the next issue.

Looking ahead, on the afternoon of Friday 21st October a band of visiting ringers will be ringing a peal on our bells.  This starts at 2.30pm and should take around three hours to complete.  Before that however we are hosting the Annual Meeting of the Maidstone District on Saturday 8th October.  There will be ringing from 3.00pm until 4.30pm, when there will be a Service at which anyone is welcome to join us.  This will be followed by tea in the church and possibly further ringing for a short while afterwards.

We will be ringing for the regular Sunday services during October and also our normal Tuesday practice evening.  We will not be practising on Tuesday 1st November, but instead we will be ringing before the High Mass service at 8.00pm on that day.

Roy Barclay, Tower Secretary


Bellringers’ Report for September 2016

With most people now back fully refreshed after their summer holidays, life gets back into full swing and our ringers are no exception.

The main focus of our efforts in the coming month will be our participation in Heritage Open Days.  This is a festival to celebrate England’s splendid history, architecture and culture.  It’s a chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.  Church bells and bellringing fall nicely into this category and indeed bellringers nationwide have been encouraged to participate.  The festival will begin with a National Ringing Moment between 6.00pm and 7.00pm on Thursday 8th September and will be followed by various activities through until Sunday 11th September.  For our part we are planning tower tours (but unfortunately not to the roof), ringing demonstrations, “have a go” sessions, handbell sessions as well as our normal ringing and possibly some other related activities.  Further details are available on our website : bells.allsaintsstaplehurst.co.uk

For more information about the Heritage Open Days please go to www.heritageopendays.org.uk

On Saturday 24th September our ringers will be representing the Maidstone District in the County Competition at the church of St Giles the Abbot at Farnborough, near Orpington.  A report on how we fare will appear in the November magazine.

We now only have one wedding remaining this summer requiring bells.  That is on Saturday 17th September, when we will be ringing for a 2.00pm wedding.  Otherwise we will just be ringing on our normal Tuesday practice evening and for the regular Sunday Services.

Roy Barclay, Tower Secretary


Bellringers’ Report for August 2016

With many people being away on holiday, August is normally a quiet month for most organisations – indeed many close down altogether.  Not so for our ringers!  We keep the bells ringing every Sunday throughout the summer, albeit sometimes with lower numbers than usual.  Also, this is a popular month for weddings.  We have just one requiring bells, on Friday 5th August. Weekday weddings seem to be increasingly popular these days and we often struggle to find enough ringers on such occasions as many are at work!  If necessary we have to “borrow” non-working ringers from neighbouring towers.

Another popular activity during August is of course the barbeque, and many of our ringers will be joining those from other towers in the Maidstone district for the Annual Ringers’ Barbeque on Saturday 13th August.  At the time of writing we are still awaiting that first glimpse of summer, so let’s hope for an improvement before then.

We are pleased to report that our recent recruitment drive is beginning to have some effect, with several new ringers at various stages of training.  If you would like to join them – or are just interested to see what ringing is all about – remember that you will be most welcome to visit us at one of our weekly Tuesday practices from 7.00pm onwards.

Roy Barclay, Tower Secretary


Bellringers’ Report for July 2016

On Saturday 11th June we welcomed visitors from the Tonbridge District who came to ring our bells.  There are no churches with ten bells in the Tonbridge area, so we were only too happy for them to “borrow” our lovely ring of ten for the evening.  Other than this, little of note has happened in bell ringing circles during late May and early June, so this month’s report is necessarily a brief one.

There are no weddings requiring bells during July although there is one on the first Friday in August.  Hopefully we will be able to find enough ringers who are not working on that day!  That aside, we will be ringing for the normal Sunday services and our weekly Tuesday evening practice between 7.00pm and 9.15pm.  As usual, potential new ringers, or indeed any existing ringers who may have moved into the area, are welcome to come along to one of our practices.  You will be most welcome.

Roy Barclay, Tower Secretary

More about bell ringing at All Saints’ Staplehurst


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