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Great Shefford
Bell Ringers

About our team

We ring the bells at St. Mary’s, our village church. There are six bells and we currently have a core
team of eight regular ringers.

Most of us started to learn to ring following the 2012 refurbishment of the bells, but we have trained up a number of ringers since then and are always keen to hear from anyone interested in joining us.

Our practice night is from 7:30 – 9pm on Wednesday evenings.


There have been bells at St. Mary’s for centuries, the last being added in 1870, making up the current
six. In recent decades, our bells had fallen into disrepair but in 2011 following a concerted effort from
villagers and help from a National Lottery grant, the bells were refurbished and re-dedicated in
October 2012. As there were no ringers left from earlier times a new team of volunteers had to be
recruited and trained up in the art of change ringing.

English style bell ringing, called change ringing was invented 400 years ago and although practised
worldwide, the vast majority is to be found in the churches of England. Elsewhere the predominant
ringing style is chiming, where the bell only swings through a small arc, at a rate defined by the size
and shape of the bell. English style change ringing involves the bells being swung through almost a
full circle and, when pointing vertically, to be held “at the balance” by the skill of the ringer. This allows
the speed each bell swings to be controlled and used to change the order the bells strike, instead of
just ringing rounds.

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