Friday, 17 September 2021

Church pulls in visitors with offer of lesson in bell ringing

Church pulls in visitors with offer of lesson in bell ringing

VISITORS to Hambleden church had a go at bell ringing, writes David White.

People were invited to the tower of St Mary the Virgin by the Hambleden Bell Ringers, who are looking for new members.

More than 20 people went along and were shown how to ring the bells by trainer David Cornwall, captain of the bell ringers at St Michael & All Angels Church in Hughenden.

Visitor Corinna Butler, 10, from Sonning Common, said: “It was fun and I liked the sound when you’re ringing all the bells.”

Freya Cook, 11, also from Sonning Common, said: “I’ve heard my mum bell ringing and I wanted to have a go like her. I thought it would be really hard but in the end I found it really easy.” Purdy Frampton-Jensen, 10, from Henley, said: “I thought it would be much harder than it was. The bell sort of pulls you up and you pull it down. It makes you smile.”

The Hambleden Bell Ringers currently have 14 members, who range in age from 10 to 80.

Deputy tower captain Karen Dimascio said: “We’re quite a jolly crew, I have to say, as we thoroughly enjoy it.

“It’s a lovely, happy thing to do and it makes you smile. You come in, perhaps after having had a bad week, and when you come out you feel relaxed.

“We hope we showcased what we do and encouraged more people to become bell ringers, ideally in Hambleden, but even if they take it up somewhere else that would be a good thing. It was good to see so many people enjoying it and taking an interest as throughout the country it’s one of those dying things and there are not as many people stepping forward to become bell ringers.”

The group practises every Friday evening. Once ringers are proficient, usually after about six months, they can be involved in ringing for Sunday services and even weddings.

You don’t need to be a resident of the village or a church-goer to join.

If you are interested, email hambledenbells@mycomputer.

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