Chiddingfoldnews June 5,2009

Iíve written many pieces in our Parish magazine
about our bells; at St Maryís Chiddingfold.

By now I hope you appreciate that we have a very special legacy in these bells, and I do hope that the village is a much better place for having them. (It would be a very sad thing to NOT have them surely!)

The bell ringers; locals, guests and visitors, do their very best to ring them to their best effect. Yet again I hope you realise that bellringing, whilst an extremely fascinating and absorbing occupation, nevertheless takes years of practice and great skill, to bring to the performance a level of expertise that makes the sound of the bells being rung such a pleasant and special experience.
However, I, and the other bell ringers, are mindful that our ringing is intrusive, (loud).
Despite our best efforts, there are occasions when the music is not at itís best, particularly when practice and learners are involved! Whilst we have some sound-control, the sound of the bells does reach parts that other music does not!

So I am asking the village, and anyone else affected, to let me know your views.

At present we have regular practice nights, Wednesdays. Sunday service ringing. Weddings and other special services are often accompanied by the bells. The Village Fete and the Bonfire are opened with the bells. Occasions of national significance or celebration are often noted with the bells, Trafalgar Day, Queens birthday etc, We have visiting bell ringers on tour who ask to ring our bells, and we host events of the local Guild of Bellringers when competitions or special practices are organised. And then of course we have peals! (A peal is bellringing of the highest standard, attempted only by those at the peak of the skill, and should be of the highest quality). A peal is just a little short of 3 hours of uninterrupted bellringing, and although it is beautiful to hear in the distance, or for a few moments as you stroll by the Church, there are some whose lives may be disrupted by the duration! (No one sits in a concert hall for 3 hours do they?)

So we limit the occasions that peals are rung, and try to ensure that there are many weeks between them.

This one is current -

I would very much like to receive your thoughts and views; be they supportive and positive, or critical and negative. We can then hopefully take measures to ensure that, if not everyone, then at least the majority are content.

About the Bells

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