The church and bell-ringing

The relationship between bell-ringers and the church is a complex one, which varies with individual ringers and with individual churches, covering a range of opinions from regarding ringing as primarily a service to the church, to regarding it as a secular hobby for which the equipment needed is most usually to be found in churches, and usually somewhere inbetween -- probably typically further from the latter than the former.

A common point of friction is that not all ringers stay to attend the service for which they've been ringing. In some cases this is because of lack of inclination to attend any service (but at least they have performed a service to the church); often it is that they're going on to ring somewhere else too, and may well attend a service at another church (quite possibly, one without any bells of its own). Or in some cases, they may have been to a service before ringing.

Ringing as a religious activity

The concentration required for much ringing may help to clear the mind of other thoughts in a way that some find calming or meditative; indeed, some of the simpler forms of ringing, such as plain hunt, may often be done in a trance-like state.. ... more about this to come...

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:12:57 GMT Daylight Time 2007