Now the restrictions on ringing have been lifted, we are happily returning to open practices on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9pm and are ready, at last, to welcome visitors. However, due to limited space in the ringing room, we would ask you to contact us if you are thinking of coming and haven’t been part of the last few weeks’ ringing sessions. This way we can make sure that we don’t end up with more people than we can comfortably fit in the ringing room!
Please email email@example.com to check availability
As of 17th May 2021, the CCCBR is allowing ringing of up to 45 minutes for a maximum of six people.
We have been thinking about how we can get back to ringing at St Milburga's and we are proposing that for the first month ringing will only be done by the local band members. We are proposing a gentle return, easing us back into ringing, so that we can all grow in confidence again, given that so few of us have done any ringing over the past 14 months.
So, it will be back to Rounds and Call Changes and Plain Hunt initially. (We want to learn to walk again before trying to run... So our Surprise Minor will be on the back burner for a while!)
Regretfully, there won't be any opportunity for one-to-one handling lessons for the time being.
By mid-June, we will hope to have rung the first Quarter Peal on our new bells and you will understand that this will involve solely local ringers who have contributed directly to the project.
We will continue to update this page with news of the next stage in our opening up of ringing at St Milburga.
Members and friends of St Milburga's tower assembled together with Matthew Higby & Company on 19th August 2020 to help perform the test ring of the new bells.
Strict COVID prevention rules had to be observed throughout, of course, with all ringers wearing face coverings and using hand sanitiser before and after each ring of the bells.
Collectively, we rang shorts touches of Grandsire, Stedman and Spliced Surprise Major, as well as Round and Call Changes to finish off our quick test. The bells passed with flying colours, with all in attendance agreeing that they were a joy to ring and to hear. We are all itching to ring them properly, of course, but, as everybody knows, patience is a virtue!
Once again, huge thanks to Matthew and his crew for their sterling efforts, and congratulations to Henry Lewis on the realisation of a lifelong dream...
On Monday 10th August 2020, we were finally able to welcome our new bells to Stoke St Milborough. The light four were brought to the church by Matthew Higby's bell hangers, and the heavy four were collected by Henry and Edward Lewis on a trailer.
Arriving at the church around 2pm, there was an hour of hard work to unload and line them up in front of the church ready for our 3pm blessing ceremony, led by the Rev'd Fr Justin Trevelyan Parker.
A thundery downpour appeared right in the middle of the 15 minute ceremony, baptising the bells with heavenly rain! Fortunately, the sun was back out within moments and the assembled congregation were able to take some time afterwards to admire the bells and their inscriptions.
Many thanks to the Allanconi Foundry, and to Matthew Higby and his team for all of their hard work. Congratulations also to Henry and family for bringing the project into the home strait! Won't be long until the world will hear these wild bells ring out...
Click here to read more about the bells and the thinking behind their design and inscriptions.
Work has now commenced at St Milburga to replace the old bells with the new ones.
Here are some photos of the old tenor being lowered out of the frame to go into storage.
Watch this space for updates on the arrival of the new bells soon!
Now that our bells have been delivered from Italy to Matthew Higby's works in Somerset, we thought a group of us should go down and see them going through the initial stages of the tuning process. We did this on 30th January 2020 and you can see the photos and a video from our little outing below.
The bells will be here for a few weeks to be tuned and prepared before finally coming to St Milburga's for hanging in Spring 2020.
Click here to read the full report on our visit to see the foundry where our new bells are being cast.