Change ringing is a team sport!

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.

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About Faithful Friar

I am a 20+ year member of the Community of Jesus Brotherhood, so I live in the Friary with the other vowed brothers along with any novices or combination of guest/ resident men – young or old – who may be with us at any given time. Our vows are the same as any simple or solemnly professed Community member, with the addition of consecrated celibacy and poverty. I moved here shortly out of high school to study music for a summer. At the end of that summer I chose to stay here as a CJ member. Shortly thereafter I knew another change was needed, and asked to be accepted into the brotherhood first as a postulant, later as a novice. My life in the Brotherhood involves a variety of occupations, but they are centered on the continual service of prayer and praise in our church and on the outreach ministries springing from that service. This means manual labor as well as ongoing study and training: theological, musical, technical/ scientific, artistic, historical, philosophical, etc. Sometimes this involves teaching others, so that is part of our life too. It’s a life of poverty and yet full of hidden riches.

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