We have a long tradition of bell ringing at St Matthias’ Church, dating back to 1899 when the first bell was installed in the newly-built tower. For more information, scroll down to discover fun facts about our bells, or if you’re a serious campanologist, read Chris Pickford’s full history and technical specifications.
Visitors to the bell tower are always welcome at Sunday services and at practices:
- Sunday Mornings – 9:00-9:45 (when the service is at St Matthias)
- Practice Night – Monday 19:30-21:00 (including Bank Holidays)
Please check the service dates beforehand, as the Sunday Mass alternates between St Matthias’ Church and The Church of the Ascension.
Access to the Bell Tower
When the church is open, you can access the bell tower via the main (North) entrance and through the back of the church (Link Room) to the tower on the South side, where you’ll find a spiral staircase to the ringing room in the SW corner of the tower. If the church is closed, i.e. on practice nights, access is via the external tower door on the South side of the church. Turning the handle on the small door will ring a bell in the ringing room and someone will come down to let you in. Please wait for a pause in ringing.
The Ropes and Sally Colours
St Matthias’ bells are unique in that each rope has a different sally colour. This came about because most of the ringers were, at some stage, employed at the Radar Research Establishment on electronics work. The sally colours were therefore chosen to comply with the Electronics Colour Code.
The Italian Connection
While visiting Italy on holiday, St Matthias’ ringers George and Ruth Morris, saw bells being rung full circle in a very similar way to the English tradition. They established a close fellowship with Italian campanologists in the Verona region of Italy, which led to a series of exchange visits between English and Italian ringers.
Ian Panton 01684 561764
Gerry Edwards 01886 832640
Links to other resources
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers https://cccbr.org.uk
Worcestershire and Districts Change Ringing Association http://www.wdcra.org.uk
Felstead Peal Database https://cccbr.org.uk/felstead/tbid.php?tid=3243
Worcester Cathedral Teaching Centre http://worcesterbells.org.uk/ringing-towers/cathedral-teaching-centre