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The parish of

Kings Norton

Part of the Church of England

The Bells

The sound of bells has been a familiar and much-loved ingredient of Sunday worship at St.Nicolas' for generations. In addition, many couples who marry here feel that their wedding would not be complete without it.

A Little History

The Kings Norton Guild of Change Ringers was founded in 1892, with the main objective of ensuring that St.Nicolas' bells were rung regularly for Sunday worship. Apart from brief interruptions in time of war, it has maintained this tradition right up to the present day.

Bell ringing at St.Nicolas', however, goes back much further than this. There have been bells in the tower ever since it was built in the mid 15th Century. The art of ringing bells to changes began in England in the 17th Century and developed in the 18th Century.

St.Nicolas' acquired a new peal of eight bells in 1783 to replace an earlier peal of six. One of these bells, dated 1689, can be seen at the back of the church and in the photo at the top of this page.

We are one of only 39 churches in the Diocese of Birmingham which possess bells hung for change ringing. We now have ten, the extra two having been added in 1926 following a major restoration. In 2004 our wrought iron clappers had an 80th birthday treat, a trip to the bell foundry for a face lift, rebushing, reshaping and annealing.

The Bells Today

On Sundays, the bells call parishioners to worship and accompany their arrival at church. They also send out a reminder to those who do not come that the church is alive and active, and they are a comfort to those who are unable to attend through illness or infirmity.

The recording of the bells was made at St Nicolas' Church on 26th July 2015.

Listen


The Bells of St. Nicolas'

You'd Love It

In order to maintain our tradition, we need a team of ringers of any age and either gender who are keen to learn the enjoyable art of change ringing and to offer their skills to enhance Sunday worship. We practise on Tuesday evenings from 7.45 pm. and ring from 9.50 until 10.30 a.m. on a Sunday.

I never thought I would be able to ring the bells and was afraid that I would make a terrible noise. Everyone is so friendly and my teacher has been so supportive that I am now ringing in rounds and told that my striking is really good! (Sarah, apprentice bell ringer)

You can ring bells if you're aged 9 or 90. It's a craft almost 400 years old practised throughout the British Isles as well as in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Southern Africa and the USA, so there's plenty of scope for travel.

There are many benefits to be gained, among them healthy exercise (both physical and mental), friendship and the satisfaction of being an important part of a team effort. Bell ringing a unique hobby which any member of the family can enjoy. It helps if you have a sense of rhythm and reasonable coordination, but you don't have to be a musician.

Why not find out more? You can come and see us any Tuesday or contact one of the ringers (see below). Visitors are also welcome in the tower on Sundays and Open Days.

Tower Captain
Claire Calver
E-mail

Tower Secretary
Catherine Taylor
E-mail