Bells and bell-ringing
If you have attended either the 9.30 am or 6.30 pm Sunday service at St Leonard’s you will probably have heard the bells ringing out as you approached the church. We have a fine peal of ten bells here, and an active, sociable band of ringers ring the bells twice on Sundays and after most weddings on Saturdays.
Historical records show that there were some bells in the tower in the 1400s. There is even a reference to an earthquake shaking the bells so much that they rang of their own accord in 1580. The same thing happened in April 2007. The bells were balanced in the ‘up’ position, ready for ringing on the Sunday, and two bells rang themselves ‘down’ as the quake occurred. Fortunately there was no damage to any of the ten bells.
In 1928 the existing eight bells were recast, and they proved to be excellent bells. But when, in 1991, a small crack was found in the tenor, the heaviest bell, an appeal was launched to raise funds and, in 1992, the tenor was recast and two extra lighter bells were added, hung in a new frame placed above the existing eight. Most of the work was carried out by the ringers themselves.
Following the Pandemic, when all towers became silent, we are ringing again, with practice night now being Thursdays.
We have a reduced number of ringers, so we hope to recruit and train more in the late summer of 2022.
If you are keen to develop a new skill and become a member of our band please contact Brian Butcher or Nigel Spencer as below.
If you are a visiting ringer please contact the Tower Secretary Nigel Spencer, click here to email him, or Brian Butcher, Tower Captain click here .We can then check that we are able to ring when you would like to join us.
The Parish of St Leonard, Hythe