St. John's Church
Living stones, loving God, serving others
The bells consist of a ring of six, with a tenor of 32 9/16 " diameter, weighing
approximately 6 ½ - cwts, and the whole ring 24 ½ – cwts. The fourth bell was cast for St. Johns when it was built in 1861, by Messers John Warner and Co of the former Spitalfields bell foundry; to these founders are also ascribed bells 2,3,5 and tenor, being added in 1863 to make a to make a ring of 5. The treble bell was added in 1914 in memory of Catherine Stunt, by Mr Alfred Bowell (who undertook a lot of work in the area at the time) of Ipswich; again this foundry has since ceased.
At present the bells are chimed for services and weddings. A team of ringers is in training to enable the bells to be rung full circle for weddings and major festivals within the Christian year.
** except Midnight Mass and The Easter Vigil
Background to bellringing
The tradition of ringing bells ‘full circle’ and of changing place is unique to Britain, the Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada and in the United States. Although churches had bells in them for many centuries, the present method of change ringing has evolved from the initiatives of Fabian Stedman in 1640. His ‘principle’ of Stedman Doubles (rung on five bells but which can have a sixth bell ringing last in each sequence of changes) has now increased to an ever growing number of methods on ever increasing numbers of bells e.g. sixteen bells at St. Martin’s in the Bullring, Birmingham.
Photographs by James Ford, our architect
Tower Contact Details
Steeple Keeper to be appointed