The abbey has a ring of six bells hung for full circle ringing from a gallery. The tenor (largest bell) weighs 15cwt 1qrt 4lb (778kg) in G.
The oldest bells (No’s 1 & 5) were cast in 1729 by Henry Penn of Peterborough but No’s 2, 4, & 6 were recast in 1926 by Gillet and Johnson and No.3 was recast by Mears and Stainbank in 1905, both London Founders.
The bells are hung in a cast iron low sided frame mounted on wooden base beams that was installed in 1905.
A small Sanctus bell sits outside the main frame was cast by Thomas Norris of Leicester and is swung for chiming only.
The bell ringers at Bourne Abbey continue to ring the bells for the main Sunday morning service and for a few special community or national events. Like many other towers across the country we are struggling to obtain sufficient ringers to ring more frequently as we would wish and sometimes with less than the full band that is required to ring all six bells. Also like many other churches we are grateful for the continued help of ringers from neighbouring towers.
Recruitment and retention of bell ringers is difficult with the many competing attractions and activities. Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit. It also makes a glorious sound! Many consider ringing to be
their contribution to church life, others do it for the pure pleasure it brings. Ringers come from all walks of life and range in age from ten to those in their eighties. Ringing is well within the capabilities of most people. The initial teaching
takes several weeks, after which a learner can begin to ring with the rest of the band. Most ringers practise once or twice a week and ring for a church service. Many ringers enjoy the social side including ringing at the many different towers in the UK and abroad where they are universally welcomed. Some enjoy performance ringing which includes "peals" of a specific method (music) or length (number of changes). There is endless variety available in this area and opportunity to learn new things.
Tower captain and tower correspondent: Alan G Payne. E-mail [email protected]
Special events for which the bells have been rung over the last few months include:
June 12 - Quarter Peal: 1,296 changes in two Surprise Minor methods to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.
September 10 - Quarter Peal: 1,296 changes of Cambridge Surprise Minor in memory of Graham Benn.
December 11 - Quarter Peal: 1,320 changes of Netherseale Surprise Minor prior to the Christingle service.
Team events at other towers include:
May:Bourne won the Southern Branch six bell striking competition at Silk Willoughby.
July: Young ringers from the area rang in the national Youth Competition in London.
September: Bourne were placed fourth in the Guild striking competition at Moulton.
October: Bourne ringers were part of an area team that were placed third in the Guild eight bell striking competition at Ingoldmells.
The Branch has a ringing / social meeting once per month at different towers in the local area.
To learn more about the art of bell ringing (or campanology) click on the picture