Volunteers ring in St George’s Day with marathon performance in Norwich

Bell ringers at St George church on Colegate, Norwich, ringing to celebrate St George's Day.Picture:

Bell ringers at St George church on Colegate, Norwich, ringing to celebrate St George's Day.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Bell ringers have staged a marathon performance in honour of the patron saint their church was named after.

Bell ringers at St George church on Colegate, Norwich, ringing to celebrate St George's Day.Picture:

Bell ringers at St George church on Colegate, Norwich, ringing to celebrate St George's Day.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Six volunteers from the Colegate Society kept the bells of St George's Church ringing for more than two-and-a-half hours on Saturday.

It was part of a national campaign that aimed to encourage churches across the UK to ring their bells in celebration of St George's Day.

Tower captain Faith Pearce, 35, said: 'What we did on Saturday was to ring a peal, which is the equivalent of running a marathon for bell ringers. As it is St George's Day and the church is dedicated to him, we wanted to do something to celebrate that.'

To successfully complete a peal, the group had to make 5,040 changes to the order the church's bells rang in.


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Miss Pearce, who was conducting the performance, said it required a combination of rhythm, timing and concentration.

'To remember what you are supposed to do for two-and-a-half hours is quite difficult, but the more practice you do, the easier it becomes,' she added.

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'Bell ringing is challenging and you are always trying to push yourself to be better.'

The team of ringers practise each Wednesday and perform at St Peter Mancroft and St George's Church on Sundays.

Ringer Jon Spreadbury, 41, from Horsford, said he first learned the discipline aged seven.

'It is really difficult to say what I like about doing it,' he said. 'It's a mental and physical challenge, and you get to see some beautiful churches and villages across the country.

'Everyone is equal on the end of a bell rope and there are not many people who have friends who are 12 and who are in their 80s. You get a whole spectrum here.'

Elsewhere in the country on Saturday, churches opened their doors to the public to try their hand at bell ringing.

The Ringing for England Campaign, which is now in its sixth year, was organised by Libby Alexander for St George's Day.

She said: 'My aim is for England to be proud of her patron saint. Our campaign is to celebrate St. George's Day every year, and what better way than support our many ringers who will be sharing their skills of a very English sound.'

Are you organising an unusual event? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

See Page 16 for a round-up of St George's Day services and parades in the region.

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