St Albans Mayor rings out a new campaign to recruit bellringers

Major of St Albans cllr Frances Leonard bell ringing.

Major of St Albans cllr Frances Leonard bell ringing. - Credit: Archant

Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of St Albans rang out the same message at the weekend when they backed a campaign to recruit new church bell ringers.

The Mayor, Cllr Frances Leonard, and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gill Clark, climbed the 160 stairs leading to the ringing chamber of the Abbey and joined a monthly meeting of local bell ringers who have launched a campaign to encourage people to learn bell ringing and lapsed ringers to take it up again.

Both were on familiar territory because they are bell ringers themselves. The Mayor used to ring regularly at the Abbey while the Deputy Mayor has rung for more than 40 years at Wheathampstead as well as on a number of occasions at the Abbey.

The Mayor said: “There is a shortage of bell ringers and without new recruits there is a danger that some church bells will be left to fall silent. Bell ringing is an enjoyable activity that helps you keep fit, both mentally and physically. You also have the pleasure of creating a wonderful sound and meeting new people. Come and try it out.”

St Albans district secretary Vivian Nutton, who also leads the ringing at Sandridge, said that most ringing bands in the district were short of ringers and invited anyone who was interested in learning ringing or returning to it to contact him on 01727 831623.

As well as ringing in their own towers, ringers have a countywide association which holds ringing and social events at district level.