Learning to ring

Bell Ringing is an activity like no other – a unique mix of physical exercise with mental agility that is a deep part of our history but still practised and evolving today.

Ringers learn at different ages and come from many different walks of life.

Bellringing is taught, not in a classroom or lecture hall, but in the belfry of church towers, as a hands-on practical exercise for the body, the mind and the spirit. You might have to access the belfry via a spiral staircase, or even a ladder, so some flexibility is required.

If you’re interested in learning to ring, the first stage is to visit a bell tower, watch a practice, see some ringing, meet the team and ask any questions. Most bellringing teams love having visitors, and will be pleased to make you welcome. If you’d then like to learn, someone from the team will help you get started with handling lessons. The Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) can help you find a friendly band who can teach you how to ring.

Your first lessons will concentrate on developing the skills to handle a bell; the technique to control the bell using the rope. This is done on a one-to-one basis with your trained instructor and is often done on a silenced bell. This initial skill can take 10 to 15 hours of tuition to acquire.

Once you can handle a bell safely and competently you will start to learn how to ring with others. This will require you to attend a weekly practice. Soon, you’ll find you’ve got the ringing bug and continue ringing, enjoying a lifetime of different ringing experiences.

If you’re interested in learning to ring, then it’s time to find a bellringing teacher.