St Mary's Church, Sawston

Bell Ringing

The new group of ringers is moving on and continues to develop and grow. The Society currently has sixteen members of whom twelve are ‘resident’ ringers. As you may know, our new bell ringers were ‘fostered’ into other local teams for development following their initial training here at St. Mary’s. They are now all sufficiently experienced to hold their own in basic change ringing with their peers. You’ll be pleased to hear that we are now able to increase ringing activities locally at St. Mary’s.

To date we have rung for Weddings, a Baptism, an Episcopal visitation, Christmas Eve and some Sunday services including Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. We have been practicing as a local band once a month for almost 18 months, but initially envisaged that a twice monthly practice may eventually be needed. As of April 2018 we increased our practices at St. Mary’s to twice per month; these being the 1st and 3rd Fridays at 7.30 p.m. till 9 p.m.

Another exciting development is that we have come to an arrangement with Pampisford. We now have exclusive use of their bells on 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 7.30 p.m. till 9 p.m. Stuart Abercrombie established a link between Pampisford and Sawston some years ago and continued this up until his retirement from ringing. One of the three Pampisford bell ringers wrote in the Panser News of the recruitment of new bell ringers for Sawston about eighteen months ago. They expressed a hope that the bell ringing relationship between the two villages would continue so when we contacted them with this proposal they were thrilled.

This re-established historical link means we’ve got a smaller and easier ring of six as a ‘training tower’ as well as the a ‘challenging’ ring of eight at Sawston. This arrangement means that there is now an ‘open bell’ ringing practice available every week between the two villages, and on different evenings for flexibility. Hopefully this will allow for greater accessibility to potential new recruits who may already be committed to an activity / family etc. on one or the other of these evenings. Recruits from both villages can now be developed ‘in house’ without the need to ‘foster out’ to other teams again.

Finally, there is a nationwide recruitment of bell ringers to ring for the Armistice. 1,400 bell ringers fell in WWI, including Private Herbert Reed of the Cambridgeshire Regiment who was a Bell Ringers at St. Mary’s. In 2018 it is hoped that 1,400 new bell ringers will be recruited in honour of the fallen. We hope to advertise this in Sawston and to commence training of new recruits on ‘silent bells’ before integrating them into the main practices. This is the same way that we trained the current group almost two years ago. These silent practices will be held at St. Mary’s on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7.30 p.m. till 9 p.m.

Please contact Sam George ( for more details.