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.

We were pleased to be able to ring for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice this year.  At Sawston, we rang half muffled before the morning service, a half muffled bell was tolled 44 times for each.  At 12:30, we rang a quarter peal in memory of the fallen in which two of our newest recruits rang, a great achievement for them. Details of the performance can be found at https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1254428.  Ringing in the evening was at Pampisford for “Battle is Over” and we are told that the sound of the bells from this drifted over Sawston.
If you are interested in learning to ring, or just curious about what happens in the tower, do drop us a line to sawston.bellringing@gmail.com to find out more!
For more general information about Bell Ringing, see the following links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIy5Upy9Ny (a simple recruitment video)
https://cccbr.org.uk/ (Central Council website with information about ringing)
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