About the Hobart Bellringers
[Who are we?]
[Bellringing in Hobart]
[Why Ring Bells?]
[Becoming a Bellringer]
Who are the Hobart Bellringers?
||We are a group of about twenty people from across the community who regularly ring the bells of St. David's Cathedral and Holy Trinity Church, Hobart. (These are the only two churches in Tasmania with bells hung to swing full-circle for English-style change ringing.)
Bellringing in Hobart
Visiting ringers should contact us to discuss Holy Trinity ringing and in case arrangements at the cathedral have changed for any reason.
- Sunday morning ringing is at St. David's from 9.15 to 9.55am for the 10am service. We sometimes ring for one of the evening services as well, but there is no regular schedule for this.
- Each Monday we have a practice from 7.15 to 9.00 pm.
- We also ring for weddings, funerals and other special occasions on request.
- We also ring the bells of Holy Trinity Church in North Hobart, although less regularly (we can, however, usually organise some ringing to suit visitors' itineraries).
Why Ring Bells?
Bellringers ring bells for lots of reasons, including:
- Church and community activity. Primarily, the bells call people to worship. Bells are also rung for secular reasons and it is pleasing to be a part of important community events.
- Friendship. Ringers have a close fellowship both locally and around the world. Visiting ringers are welcomed in bell towers everywhere.
- The sound. Bells rung in the English style have a glorious sound. Being part of its creation can be a spine-tingling experience.
- The feel. Physically controlling a swinging bell takes time to learn but has a curiously addictive feel to it; enough to keep people ringing into old age.
- Change ringing requires physical coordination, memory, rhythm and concentration, but gives you a real buzz when everything comes together. Ringing is great fun!
Becoming a Bellringer
If you think you might be interested in learning to ring a bell, get in touch with one of us for a chat. Tuition is free. We are, however, a small group and can take only one or two recruits per year. Please understand if we are unable to accept you at the time you enquire.
Learning to physically control a bell comes first and this requires individual tuition at a separate time to the regular practice. This stage usually takes a few weeks (depending on age—teenagers learn quickest) after which you are able to join the main weekly practice and help us keep the bells ringing on Sundays and at other times.
In order to join the Hobart Bellringers, you must be able-bodied (you need to climb stairs, handle ropes and use your eyes and ears to keep in time). You must also be generally free on Sunday mornings and Monday evenings.
For many centuries bellringers have organised themselves into societies. Most are based on English counties or other territorial areas, such as the Suffolk Guild and the North American Guild. The ringers of St. David’s Cathedral and Holy Trinity Church, Hobart, are a branch of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers (ANZAB), founded in 1961. We call ourselves the Hobart Bellringers.
All territorial ringing societies have representatives on the Central Council of Church Bellringers, a UK based organisation, founded over one hundred years ago, that helps foster the art of change ringing worldwide by providing educational material, engineering advice, rulings on the theory of change ringing and lots more.
In the UK there are also non-territorial societies, including numerous university societies and many others such as the National Police Guild, the Guild of Medical Ringers, the Ladies’ Guild, the Guild of Rambling Ringers and more. The oldest surviving societies are based in London: the Ancient Society of College Youths (founded in 1637) and the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths (founded in 1745).