Bellringing

There are seven bells in All Saints Church, one Sanctus bell and a peal of six bells. The Sanctus bell dates from the 17th century and was cast by Samuel Smith of York. According to The Council for the Care of Churches it is a protected bell and cannot be altered in any shape or form.

The peal of six bells were cast by John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough and were installed in 1872. The inscription on the treble bell reads:
 
“GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE GOODWILL TOWARDS ME"
 
The other bell reads:
 
"THIS PEAL OF SIX BELLS WAS PRESENTED TO HURWORTH CHURCH BY LUCY JANE COLLING AS A HUMBLE OFFERING TO GOD; AND IN MEMORY OF HER LATE HUSBAND THOMAS COLLING A NATIVE OF HURWORTH"
The bells were rehung in 1997 when the old wooden frame was well beyond its sell by date. The new frame, installed by Mr. Fred Pemberton of Glapwell, is an iron frame and the fastenings on the bells were altered to conform to the new frame. The Sanctus bell was really in need of restoration, but as mentioned earlier could only be rehung in its original form. This is now proving difficult to ring. The cost of the rehanging was well over £30,000. Money was raised by various events in the parish as well as grants obtained from various sources. The balance, which amounted to about half the cost, was paid by a legacy left to church.

At present we have 13 ringers and it is through their dedication that we are able to have a weekly practice night and are able to ring almost every Sunday of the year. The age range stretches from 10 years old to an 81 year old. For many weeks, Keith Besford had heard the bell ringers practice and had an ambition to take part. His wife, aware that he was keen to try it out, asked how he could join us. Keith arrived one practice night and told us that he hadn’t rung since 1946! It wasn’t long before Keith had regained his skill and is now competent at ringing rounds and call charges.

Over the past three years our band have been helping to resurrect the ringing at St. John's Church in Shildon. There are some new ringers who are well into their 60’s as well as some new younger recruits. Twice a month we have a combined practice with the Shildon and Heighington ringers.

We normally arrange two outings a year to local and more distant bells towers, always ending with a meal and some well known hostelry.

We practice on Thursday nights in All Saints bell tower and new members are always welcome to join us or even just to watch.

If you're interested in bellringing then please have a word with Mike Hodgson - 07711 130239

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND in the DIOCESE OF DURHAM

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