Ringing the changes in Epworth

Bellringers Left to right  Melanie Williams, Nathan Williams, Pauline Rose. Melvyn Rose, David Cooper and Ted Steele.
Bellringers Left to right Melanie Williams, Nathan Williams, Pauline Rose. Melvyn Rose, David Cooper and Ted Steele.

A celebration of bells and pipes aims to bring people together to enjoy both music and tuition in Epworth’s historical church.

Members of the community can learn about bell ringing and the function of the pipes of the organ during a day-long special event at St Andrew’s Church on November 21.

There will be a relaxed start to the occasion with the Haxey Handbell Ringers providing musical entertainment as coffee and biscuits are served at 10am.

At 2pm there will be a Powerpoint presentation to demonstrate exactly how the powerful instrument that is the church organ works.

Then a short recital featuring light and popular classical music will follow, and a second presentation given by the tower captain about bells and campanology.

Members of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers will be ringing the bells between 4.15pm and 7pm after which they will be happy to chat to people about their interest and answer questions.

Light refreshments will be available throughout the day, along with interpretation displays.

Budding bellringers can try their luck by having a go on a simulator, and a short video about St Andrew’s Church Bells will give much more information to anyone interested, in the Heritage Room.

The entire event is sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund who have substantially funded the recent renovation of both the bells and organ.

People are welcome to go along at any time during the event to learn something new.

Bellringers meet at both Epworth and Belton on a regular basis. The essential reparation work carried out on Epworth’s Bells has left them in a sound condition, hopefully for the next 50 years or so.

Epworth’s church chairman of the restoration committee, Melvyn Rose, said: “I am reassured that ringing will continue well into the future at both Epworth and Belton. Epworth bells have had their first overhaul since 1937 and we are attracting new recruits both young and not so young.”

The rehanging and augmentation from six to eight bells was undertaken in 1937 to mark the Coronation of George VI. Mr Rose added: “On Saturday June 4th 1938 the first full peal was rung on the bells, being 5040 changes of Grandsire Triples. The eight ringers all lived in North Lincolnshire.”

It is planned to ring a peal early in the New Year to mark the restoration of the church. A peal is a minimum of 5,000 changes and will take a little over three hours to ring out.

Work to ensure the continuation of the bells and organ follows a large scale operation to repair the church in general. The building has had major repairs to its leaking roof, crumbling masonry, poor drainage system and damp problems. Under the guidance of Melvyn Rose a restoration programme was carried out over time and the church is now sound. The concrete floor has been replaced with a breathable one and visitors have better facilities.