Great Shefford Bell Ringers
History of the Bells
St Mary’s church in Great Shefford has a ring of 6 bells, the oldest dating back to 1662. More bells were added over the years until 1870 when they were all re-hung, two were re-cast and the sixth and lightest bell was added.
A little over 130 years later, the bells went quiet again. The frame holding the bells in the tower had started to work loose from the stonework.
In January 2011 a fund raising committee was formed and one of its members volunteered to visit every house in the village to ask for donations to pay for the restoration of the bells. By August, they had raised over £28,000. A grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund made up the remainder of the £55,000 needed.
On Monday 20th February 2012, Whites of Appleton removed the bells.
The bells are now back in the tower and are being rung for Sunday services and for the practice sessions on a Wednesday evening from 7-30 p.m. to 9-00 p.m.
Learning to ring
We have been very lucky to receive great support from ringers in neighbouring villages. Two groups from Great Shefford have been learning, or in some cases re-learning, how to ring; one group in Brightwalton and the other in East Ilsley.
If you live in or around Great Shefford and you would like to learn to ring, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you are an experienced bell ringer, you can join us at our weekly practice on Wednesday evenings from 1930.
Visiting ringers can arrange access to the tower by contacting us at sheffordbells@gmail. com
Further information on Change Ringing
Wikipedia – Change Ringing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_ringing
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers: http://www.cccbr.org.uk/
Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers: http://odg.org.uk/index.php
Dove’s Guide for Church Bell Ringers: http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/home.php