BELL ringers from St John’s will on Friday 3rd June
join in with a national festival celebrating music and what it means to people in the UK.
More than 300 events have been planned across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland as the BBC aims to draw people from different age groups and communities together by staging its second ‘Day of Music’.
As part of the festival, the bells at St John’s will ring out from 7pm, one of 80 towers in villages, towns and cities across the UK to take part in a simultaneous performance.
‘We normally meet on a Thursday evening but we have put our practice back to the Friday so that we can be part of the celebration,’ said Debbie Johnson, our Bell Tower Captain.
The eight bells will be rung for about 90 minutes in total with less experienced and more advanced members of the team taking their turns to ring call changes and methods.
Friday’s ringing is the start of a busy period at St John’s. On Sunday 12th June, the ringers will be one of many teams across the UK who will ring to coincide with the ‘Patron’s Lunch’ street party on The Mall in London, one of a number of events that weekend to celebrate the Queen’s official 90th birthday.
‘Buckingham Palace has agreed that special ringing should take place across the UK during lunchtime on the Sunday. We will ring from 1-2pm,’ said Debbie.
The bells will also be rung the following Saturday with a special ‘quarter peal’ – 45 minutes of non-stop ringing – as the Guid Nychburris parade passes the church, around 4-5pm.
Debbie added: ‘We want to celebrate Guid Nychburris but it will also be our way of paying a compliment and celebrating the retirement of Robin and Helen, the following week.’
Canon Paisley said music making played a large part in the life of St John’s and the ringing of bells was a traditional way of community celebration.
He added: ‘Change-ringing is a skill which develops fitness and concentration in a very sociable context and St John’s would welcome more people joining the teams, especially young people from late primary school ages upwards.
‘Those who resonate with change-ringing become very dedicated to it and the St John’s folk are no exception. ‘
Bells have been rung in the tower – just one of 21 churches in Scotland to have a full set of eight bells on rotating wheels – since their installation was completed here in early 2014.
If anybody is interested in joining the St John’s team, they are asked to contact Debbie at email@example.com