Bell Ringing Today
Today, St Mary’s Church at Lytchett Matravers benefits from the beautiful sound of 6 church bells which are rung from the ground floor area of the tower.
In 2016 we had an Open Day and have since then recruited 10 new members, many of whom have now passed their Level 1 ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) Bell Handling qualification and some have also passed Level 2. See Below.
We also have 2 qualified ART Trainers.
Information about our Bells can be found on Doves Guide.
We are affiliated to the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers (SDGR)
The History of our Bells can be found towards the end of our History page.
Toilet facilities are available.
When are the bells rung?
We are now able to ring regularly for our 9:30 Sunday services so ringing for half an hour prior the start of the service. These services are held every Sunday apart from the third Sunday which is a joint service with our Methodist Chapel. See our services page for more information. We are also able to ring for weddings when required and other special occasions.
When do we practice?
Our practice times are 5:00-7:00 on Friday.
If you are interested in coming to learn or join us at a practice please contact:
Debbie – Tower Captain
Annie – Tower Correspondent
Our Learners and how you could learn using the ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) Scheme
In February and March 2017 Debbie and Annie passed the ART Training Scheme Module 1 Teaching Bell Handling. Later in the year they both attended the ART Training Scheme Module 2 Teaching Foundation Skills course and subsequently passed in November/December 2017 so have learnt the skills to teach up to and including Plain Hunt.
During 2017, our Band has increased from 11 to 12 having temporarily lost 2 and gained 3. However all our members have increased their skills with 4 achieving Level 2 and moving on to Level 3 and 8 achieving Level 1 and working through Level 2. We now have 4 working towards Level 1. Level 3 requires you to ring a Quarter Peal which is our target for 2018 for some of our ringers.
Debbie (Tower Captain) was delighted to get her first Quarter Peal at St Mary’s in November 2017 to remember the life of her father; closely followed by her second quarter peal a week later at Sturminster Marshal which enabled her to achieve her ART Level 3 qualification. Both of these were ringing the treble so she was thrilled to achieve her third Quarter Peal in January 2018 ringing the tenor to cover a course of Bob Doubles. We hope to have many more Quarter Peal attempts in 2018.
How We Use Our Simulator
A ringing simulator is installed and used for teaching and learning purposes. All six bells are equipped with sensors and the system can be readily set up to operate using the dedicated laptop running Abel software. Something the original founders and ringers of our 15th and 17th century bells would have thought impossible.
Where possible we use the simulator for any lengthy learning sessions so as not to disturb our neighbours. We are looking forward to investigating further how to use this to benefit our learning.
St Mary’s would welcome any group who would like to use these facilities – it has already been used for several training sessions, The Youth Band and neighbouring towers for their learners.
Our Social Events 2017
During the year, we have formed a close-knit band with several social and training events.
In October we had a social event where everyone brought a plate of food to share and we had various team competitions and prizes. We were also entertained by Viv who had produced a little play which included everyone taking a part depicting the History of the bells of Rye – this enabled her to achieve one of the 50 ringing things. In November Cathy taught a group of us how to splice a rope and we were not bad at it and had fun in the process.
Our Outings and Other Ringing 2017
In May, we had an outing to Brownsea island where some of our ringers also ring so we enjoyed a great day out with a conducted tour, joint lunch and followed by ringing at the church. In May, we also had a morning cleaning the tower where all those who were available helped in the fun!
In June, our novices supported each other in the Ringing Bonanza where we had 2 teams. They were amazing for saying how long most of them had been ringing and we said they were practicing for 2018! We also produced a cake and a limerick for the competitions. In September, we were privileged to have the support of Jack Pease to organise another outing for us – this time we had a tour of Salisbury Tower followed by ringing in 3 churches in the Salisbury area. Again, our new ringers did really well trying out new bells and supporting each other in this event.
Learning to splice a rope.
The ’50 Ringing Things’ Challenge
One of the recent ART initiatives is a challenge to complete 50 things in 100 weeks. Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certificates can be claimed for completing 15, 30, or 50 activities respectively, and if 50 things are completed within 100 weeks of registration a Gold Plus certificate can be claimed.
For anyone who likes a goal or challenge, or just needs something to motivate or maintain their interest, then this scheme can do just that. It can encourage you, whatever your age, to experience a wide range of ringing activities. You will meet and engage with more experienced ringers which will benefit your own ringing and confidence. Participants will also gain an insight into the variety of different aspects of ringing and its culture.
Some of our band have started the 50 Ringing Things Challenge and this has really opened our eyes to the many different aspects of ringing, apart from just turning up to practice once a week. Debbie has achieved Gold+; Viv and Cathy have achieved Bronze with others in the band also getting to grips with it.