by Faithful Friar
Change ringing is a team sport! Every bell tower welcomes anyone from anywhere in the world to join them. There are bellringers who plan holidays, traveling from tower to tower, making new friends, and entering the names of the towers in a bell journal. We have had bell ringing friends join us from many places all over the world. Every year our good friends, Sarah & Tom, who ring with us put on a beautiful lobster dinner for all of us at the end of the summer season — which we all enjoyed this weekend!
This side of the Atlantic, there are over 500 bell ringers in 45 towers, and a similar number in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, with a small number in South Africa. There are 40,000 ringers in almost 5,000 towers in England.
Ringing in different towers is helpful for a ringer because the bells are set differently, have different weights, and may have a different number of bells than the tower they are used to (usually there are 6, 8, or 10 bells, sometimes 12).
One of the best things about ringing bells is that all bell ringers take on the care of their fellow bell ringers to help teach them whatever they can share with them.