Our Bells

Bell Ringing at All Saints', Darton

Darton bell ringers meet weekly to practice on Wednesday evenings, and ring before worship on Sundays and other festival days. 

Our bells have been recently refurbished and make a welcome addition to any event, including weddings or funerals.

We are always interested in training new bell ringers so please contact the tower captain if you would like to give it a go.

The sound of bells ringing is deeply rooted in our culture. Most people in the UK live within the hearing range of church bells. They provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, call out for celebrations and toll sadly in empathy with our grief as a community or country.

 

The bitter-sweet sound of just one bell or the majesty of a whole peal, has become part of the English heritage and much of the country's history can be traced through the history of its bells.

They call us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast and, in times of crisis, to come together. Above all, bells are the sound of freedom and peace as in World War II they hung silently until the day they could ring in the peace.

In 1170 Popular superstition alleged that bells could ring themselves. It is said that those of Canterbury Cathedral tolled themselves when Thomas-a-Becket was murdered.

In today's busy world church bells still play a part in out lives.

 

Before the London Olympic Games bells rang out along the 8,000 miles of the Torch Relay to celebrate the passing of the Olympic Torch.  At the culmination of the Torch Relay and as part of the London 2012 Festival on the day of the Opening Ceremony three minutes of ringing all kinds of bells captured the public’s attention when it was broadcast to an estimated audience of over 12 million people.

 

The great Olympic Bell then featured prominently in the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Commissioned from Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London it was tolled by Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins to open the Ceremony. At 23 tonnes it is the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world.

The early missionaries used small handbells to call people to worship, with bells being introduced into Christian churches around 400 AD by Paulinus, Bishop of Nola in Campania. Their adoption on a wide scale does not become apparent until about 550, when they were introduced into France and Italy before spreading to Great Britain by monks and friars coming to join religious orders.

By 750, they were sufficiently common for the Archbishop of York to order all priests to toll their bell at certain times. St Dunstan, the then Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury, hung bells in all churches under his care during the late 10th Century and gave rules for their use.

In the Middle Ages, bells were thought to have supernatural powers. During the 7th century it is said that the Bishop of Aurelia rang the bells to warn people of an attack. When the enemy heard them, they were said to have fled in fear. The people credited the bells with having saved them. In a world with little man made noise, the sound of bells was not only majestic, but could be deeply fearful.

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