THE chance to ring in a new monarch does not come up very often.
But that is the opportunity for any aspiring bellringers this year ahead of the coronation of King Charles III in May.
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers is aiming to recruit the next generation of volunteers as thousands of groups prepare for the new King’s big day.
Old or young, male or female, religious or not, all are welcome to have a go at bellringing as part of a nationwide initiative before the coronation event.
“Church bell ringing is an ancient and fascinating art that has been practiced and developed for more than 300 years,” said a spokesperson.
“Your knowledge of what is involved may be limited to adverts for Mars Bars and seeing John Noakes learn to ring on Blue Peter (depending on your age, of course!).
“It is, in fact, an art that is easy enough to pick up, but sufficiently challenging and stimulating to provide a lifetime of learning and enjoyment.”
A mental and physical challenge, bellringing is described as a ‘great social activity’ with a band of ringers working together to produce the changing patterns.
“A basic ability to handle a bell will give anyone a warm welcome to ring at towers from Abbotsbury to Wool, Aberdeen to Penzance,” the spokesperson added.
The sad death of the much-loved Queen, Elizabeth II, last year, saw many of the UK’s 6,000 towers ring out to mark the occasion.
And the group hopes to repeat the spectacle for the King’s coronation.
For more information, contact Nigel Pridmore, secretary of Dorset County Association of Church Bell Ringers via firstname.lastname@example.org.