Bell Sunday is an annual opportunity to celebrate the contribution of bell ringers to the life of the church, and to acknowledge the part that bells play in worship and community life all the year round.

At St Peter’s, we celebrated during the morning service on Sunday 12 May, with Rev Gary Grady thanking Stuart Tomlinson, the Bell Captain, for leading the bellringers as well as maintaining the bells in the tower.

Stuart recognised that learning to ring bells is rewarding but not easy! About ten years ago, ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) set up a five level framework to help learners progress through to ringing Quarter Peals.

Six St Peter’s learners were presented with certificates and applauded by the congregation for the progress they are making in developing their skills. Brad Coates and Jacob Coates, Level 1 – Bell Handling, Malcolm Ware, Level 2 – Foundation Skills, Keith Reading Level 3 – Introduction to Change Ringing, Gilly Whittingham and Marika Hortop Level 4 - Novice Change Ringer.

Bell Sunday is always kept on a Sunday close to St Dunstan’s feast day. He is known as the patron saint of bell ringers due to his experimentation in the early forging of bells in the 900s and his encouragement of the use of bells in parish churches. Today, the day is designed to raise awareness of bell ringing, to emphasise the importance of the sound of bells in our communities and how it can help bring church and community together, and to strengthen relationships between church leaders and bell ringers.

Bells are usually rung from inside the church, but can be heard for miles around. At Leckhampton we are fortunate that bellringers can also be seen in action in the church, rather than being hidden up the bell tower.

As well as ringing before church services, the bellringers can be heard at weddings and important national and international events, for example for the coronation of King Charles III. Listen out for bells ringing out across the country on 6 June 2024 to mark the 80th Anniversary of D Day.

For more information: Bell Ringers – Leckhampton PCC

Leckhampton Bell Sunday 2024