The Bellringers at St Denys' Church
The bells of St. Denys’ Church Colmworth have been rung for over 400 years, the oldest ones being cast and hung in an oak bell frame in 1604.
In 1984 the then five bells were fully restored with new fittings by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough and a sixth bell was added later, making the beautiful ring of 6 bells we have today.
The tenor bell (heaviest) weighs just under 10cwt and is in the key of G.
Because we are short of available ringers we alternate our weekly practice nights on Thursdays at 7.30 – 9.00pm with Renhold on Tuesdays at 7.30 – 9.00pm.
We ring the bells before the 10.30am services at Colmworth on the first and third Sundays of the month. We also ring for weddings, funerals and other special occasions.
Some of our ringers practice regularly and help out at other towers and we value the help of ringers from Renhold and Wilden churches.
We belong to the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers (Bedford district) who organise meetings, ringing at different towers, ringing competitions and an outing every year.
Some of us also belong to a group of bellringers called the Tailenders, who meet once a month at 11.00am to ring for an hour at a different church each time followed by a very nice pub lunch.
We often have visitors from other churches asking to come and ring our lovely bells, usually as part of an outing or to ring a quarter peal, which lasts 45 minutes. Historically we have had 8 peals rung at Colmworth between 1987 and 1993 which each lasted 3 hours!
Occasionally we have a tower open day when we invite anyone to come along and observe how the bells are rung, then they can go up into the belfry to see the bells hanging from their frames. Afterwards they can climb up to the top of the tower and take in the wonderful views over Colmworth and the surrounding countryside.
Bellringing is a fascinating hobby which involves being part of a team, providing a service for the church, having a good social life and continually learning something new. It is quite remarkable that if a ringer from the 17th century came into one of our towers today he would have no difficulty in recognising many of the methods that we ring.
Bellringing is good fun! Once you have learned the basic technique you will always be made welcome when you visit other towers. There are more than 5,000 church towers in this country suitable for change ringing.
If would like to have a go at bellringing, or even better if you can ring and would like to join us, please contact our Tower Captain, Humphrey Chetwynd-Talbot on 01480 218562 or Felicity Evans on 01234 376887 – firstname.lastname@example.org