at St Mary of Charity
is a fine set of eight bells in the tower at the west end of the church, which are rung every week at 10 am for Sunday
morning worship and on most Wednesday evenings when we have our weekly practice
session from 7.30 to 9.00 pm. You will
sometimes also hear the bells being rung for weddings, generally on Saturday
afternoons during the summer and occasionally at other times, such as when
visiting ringers tour the area, or for a funeral if bells are requested.
some of the bells date from 1748, before the present tower was constructed;
bell-ringing has obviously been going on in Faversham for well over 200 years. There are two peal boards on the walls inside
the ringing chamber (the upstairs room from where the bells are rung) which
date from very early in the 19th century and are quite unusual, as boards
commemorating occasions when a peal has been rung more commonly date from the
end of the 19th century. A peal consists of over 5,000 different patterns of
six or eight bells being rung in sequence and takes about three hours to
perform. These days, a peal is generally
only rung at SMC once every few years (with due notice being given to the
neighbours!) although quarter peals may be run more frequently.
involving each of the bells being rung in nearly a full circle is something
which is almost unique to England and which appears to have developed throughout
the country in the century or so following the Church Reformation in the 16th
century. Although the activity is of
course still centred closely around parish churches and religious worship,
there is no requirement for those who participate in ringing the bells to be
churchgoers themselves; all that is required is for those who take part to be
willing to show a degree of commitment to regular participation, preferably
twice a week throughout most of the year - at least for those who live in the
town or close by.
bell ringers are of all ages, from 12 to over 80, and we would very much welcome
a few more new recruits to “learn the ropes”.
All you need is to be reasonably fit and active and to be happy mixing
with others and we will be happy to start teaching you. We like to think of ourselves as being a
particularly friendly and approachable group and we welcome visitors to the
tower on any Wednesday evening or Sunday morning, whether you are simply
curious to see what goes on or feel like having a go yourself. There is no payment involved, although once
you become proficient you will be expected to pay a small annual subscription
to the Kent County Association of Change Ringers and may also have the
opportunity to earn small sums of money from ringing at weddings.
'Vintage' ringers photographed in the ringing chamber
The bells' spring clean undertaken annually by some of the ringing team.
all further enquiries, please telephone the tower captain, Simon Wolfe, on 01795 228414 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.