St Michael's Yorktown has a peal of eight bells, and an active band who ring for Sunday morning service and for special occasions such as weddings. We practice on Wednesday nights and are always pleased to welcome both visiting ringers and people wishing to learn.
The tower currently has more than a dozen members and we have a number of regular visitors from nearby towers. We ring a variety of methods on practice night ranging from Plain Bob and Grandsire doubles through to the 'standard eight' Surprise Major.
Practice night: Wed 7.45pm - 9:00pm
Service Ringing: Sun 9:50-10:25am
Tower Captain - David Pearson 01276 504020
Please contact David for more information on bellringing at St Michaels, and to check if we are ringing if you are planning a visit.
A Brief History
Although the church itself dates from 1851 the church spire, now a landmark across Camberley, was not added until 1891. It was built in memory of Freda Middleton, daughter of the Rev Frederick Middleton. The 8 bells, cast by Warner & Son and hung on a wooden oak frame, were first rung in 1895. They were rehung in 1936 by Taylors of Loughborough in a metal frame on two levels.
In 2018/2019 the bells and frame were removed and a new peal of eight bells was installed by Taylors in a new frame positioned all at one level. The new bells are easy to handle and they sound wonderful!
The bells were originally rung from the ground floor but a ringing chamber was added in 1971 which allows shorter ropes and easier ringing. The ringing chamber is a little unusual as it is open to the church which allows the congregation to "see" the ringers in action.
The new Tenor bell was donated by the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1, and the Officer Cadets trained at Sandhurst who died in WW1. The bell bears the following inscription:
3274 Officer Cadets
We still remember
Ringing As A Hobby
There are nearly 6000 churches in England and Wales where you can ring. It's a hobby unique to the British Isles with very few "Change-ringing" towers elsewhere in the world. Each bell, swinging at speed through a complete circle, is controlled by its ringer and guided among the other bells in rhythmic sequence to produce that unique sound familiar to English towns and villages.
All bell towers need a regular supply of recruits to increase their numbers and to balance losses through members moving away to college, university or other parts of the country and we are no exception! Almost anyone can, in time, learn the art of bellringing, and we are willing to teach anyone who is interested, however old or young.
We have regular social events including Beer & Skittles evenings, BBQ's, Tower Dinners and days out to other towers in the area.
What skills do I need?
Ringing is all about teamwork and is a tremendous amount of fun. You'll need a sense of humour as well as a little patience and enthusiasm. You can take the hobby as far as you like, you'll make a whole new circle of friends and will always be made welcome in any of the 6000 church bell towers across Surrey and beyond.
Interested in having fun and learning a new hobby? Please contact us as above.
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