A Healthy way to Ring in the New Year
Bell Ringing promoted by society
Anyone seeking to shed those extra pounds acquired from over-indulgence at Christmas is being advised to ignore hard and expensive workouts in the gym and take up... church bell-ringing.
The centuries-old art of ringing church bells, says the Revd Clive Thrower of Ashford in the Water near Bakewell, “stretches the mind as well as the body, provides a great cardiovascular workout, is a hobby enjoyed in any weather and far cheaper than paying membership fees at a gym.”
And he should know! He is not only a ringer himself but also president of the Derby Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers which boasts 145 churches with ringers in all parts of the county.
Ringers throughout the UK travel to Derbyshire to take advantage of its rich range of bells. The churches at Youlgreave and Melbourne have twelve bells, Derby Cathedral and Chesterfield's famous Crooked Spire have ten and the remaining church belfries house between three and ten.
Diocesan Membership Secretary and North Wingfield Tower Captain Peter Jenkinson reports a growing interest in ringing – not least because Derbyshire has two specialist teaching-ringing centres and is now implementing a programme to develop teaching skills by harnessing best practice from all parts of the country.
The results are already being seen. Young ringers from the county recently took part in a Ringing World Youth Contest in Oxford and were honoured with a grade 'A' award. They were placed joint second of the 19 teams in the 'Call Change' category.
“Virtually anyone can enjoy ringing church bells and you don't have to be a regular church member to take part,” says Peter. “We are always happy to help anyone interested. Bell-ringing is a great hobby. Ringers can visit churches and be assured of a welcome wherever they go in the UK.”
Further information about bell ringing is available from Peter on 01246 856057 or via the website www.derbyda.org.uk.
By Diocese of Derby
Young Derbyshire bell ringers who took part in the recent Ringing World Youth Contest
(Source: Susan G Hall)