Orston Bell Ringers

Here in Orston we are very lucky to have St. Mary’s Church and its wonderful Bells.

The bells here are of excellent quality, easy to ring and in perfect condition. The oldest bell was made in 1599 and still sounds as it always has.

A major refurbishment was carried out in 1923. The four original bells were re hung in a metal frame to replace the wooden one and two new bells made to give a complete ring of six. This was carried out by Gillet & Johnston ( Bell Founders & Clock Makers) of London.

Bell No.




Weight Cwt/Qrs/Lbs




Gillet & Johnston 1923





1914-1918 In memory of those who fell I call to prayer and praise.





God save the Church 1621





God save the Queene and realm and send us in peace 1599





God save his Church 1730





All men who hear my mournful sound Repent before you lie in the ground 1923


What’s Bell Ringing all about?

Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit…it makes a glorious sound! Many consider ringing to be their contribution to church life, others do it for the pure pleasure and the company it brings.

Ringers come from all walks of life and range in age from ten to those in their eighties.
“When I’m ringing I forget all the tensions and frustrations of the day. Even better: I couldn’t wish for a nicer group of friends!”

Could I become a ringer?

“If you can ride a bicycle you can ring!”

Ringing is well within the capabilities of most people. The initial learning takes several weeks, after which you can begin to ring with the rest of the band. Most ringers practice once a week and ring before or after church on Sunday.

“Being able to count is all the maths you’ll need and you can become a very good ringer without knowing anything about music.”

Why learn to ring?

  • Friends around the world
  • Lifelong learning experience
  • Maintain a traditional skill
  • A service to the church
  • Team activity
  • A great mental workout
  • Opportunity to visit amazing places

Come and see

Listen for the bells at a church near you or send an email to learntoringc@cccbr.org.uk telling us where you live (town or village name; County and County Town names; and your full postcode) to find a tower in your area. Then go along and see what ringing is all about. Beware! once you’ve got the bug, you’ll find it hard to give up:

“I learnt to ring over forty years ago and I still get the same buzz that I did when I first started.”

Change Ringing

The origins of change ringing lie in the sixteenth century when church bells began to be fitted with a full wheel. This gave ringers control of their bell, allowing sets of bells (rings) to be rung in continuously changing patterns.

Music is created by altering the order in which the bells sound. This is done in defined sequences of changes called methods. Learning a few simple methods allows ringers to join in with other bands in towers around the world.

“One of the delights of ringing is the endless opportunity to learn new things.”
Here at Orston we like to keep it really informal and make everyone welcome.

Our practice night is Wednesdays at 7.30 pm.If you fancy a go but are a bit shy we can arrange for you to come at 7.00 and have a private go.

We continue to practice every Wednesday night and generally have a coach, the Orston team is progressing well. We have got the hang of some methods now and always get a team for Sunday morning. This is quite an achievement as most church bells remain silent on Sundays due to lack of ringers!

Members of our team also go to other towers to ring. Some Sundays we ring at three towers ( maybe this is where the saying “ get a ringer in” came from ! But probably not .

It would be nice if, when villages hear the bells, they went to church, instead of watching “Good Morning Sports Fans” !! You get coffee and cake after the service !

Your Special Occasion

If it’s someone’s specials birthday, an anniversary, you’ve won the lotto, having a garden party we can ring the bells for you.

We charge £50 for half an hour, all proceeds go to Village projects and events.

Contact Will Gunn (Tower Captain), Dovecote Farm, Orston.

01949 851204 or 07860 272623 email Orstonwill@aol.com

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