There’s something so very joyous about the sound of church bells ringing.
The church down the street from my house near Boston, USA, has a mechanical carillon which is pleasant, but there’s nothing like the ringing of bells by real, live bell-ringers to delight one’s soul, especially when the music emanates from a beautiful Norman church that dates from 1135.
In the above video, the bells of St Mary’s Church, in my parents’ village of Crich, are ringing in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee. I first heard the music from further down the village and was drawn to the church to hear them in their full glory.
And full glory it is! Up close the sound can be quite deafening. I know someone who lives nearby and complains about the “noise,” as he says, from the bells, to which I say, the church has been there a lot longer than he, so if he doesn’t like it, well, he should find somewhere else to live where there is no 900-year-old church with a full set of bells!
It takes great skill to ring the bells properly. The eight bell-ringers at work in the video below who travel among various local churches were kind enough to let me film them.
Sometime in my life I would love to learn to “ring the changes,” as it’s called. But until then, here’s a video I found on YouTube by an Englishman called Ant Smith, who is not a relation (that I know about!). He narrates his month-long instruction on the art of bell-ringing. As he says, it’s harder than it looks.