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Bell Ringing

The Bells

The Cathedral has 12 bells. The tenor (largest bell) weighs 30 cwt 1 qr 10 lbs and the bells are tuned to the key of D major. All the bells were cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, who also supplied the frame and fittings. The 10 largest bells were opened in 1965 and they were augmented to 12 in 1976. The Cathedral has the only ring of 12 bells in the Diocese.

Photograph of the bells

Photograph of the bellringers

Photograph of the bells

Ringing Times

In normal times, the bells are rung every Sunday before the 9.45am Eucharist and the 6.00pm Evensong, and on the 3rd Sunday of the month before the 11.30am Mattins. They are also rung for special services and weddings and to mark special occasions of local or national significance. The ringers practise each Tuesday between 8.00 and 9.30pm. Quarter peals, which last about 55 minutes, are often rung prior to the 6.00pm Evensong on Sundays and once a month on Friday evenings. Peals (comprising over 5,000 changes and lasting about 3½ hours) are sometimes rung on Saturday mornings and for special occasions.

However, this is anything but normal times! On Sunday 19 July the Bell Ringers rang for the first time since 15 March. As the ringing chamber is very large, the ropes are well spaced which enabled the ringers to maintain social distancing between ringers from different households - although despite the size of the ringing chamber two bells still had to be left out. The ringing could only take place for 15 minutes at the moment, and until further guidance is issued there will not be any ringing practice.

Have you ever wondered what the ringing chamber looks like, or indeed what it looked like on 19 July when our ringers were there for the first time in 4 months? Click here to see the image captured on that day. To see a short film of what it is like for ringers complying with social distancing regulations follow the link here

The Ringers

The Cathedral has a dedicated group of 20–25 ringers, who aim to produce a high standard of ringing. Visiting ringers are always welcome at the Tuesday practices and by prior arrangement for Sunday service ringing.