Bell Ringing

The Bells of St James

Wetherby Parish Church was built between 1839 and 1842 replacing a much earlier Market Place Chapel. The chapel was subsequently pulled down to make way for the erection of the present Town Hall.

The church bell tower contains a ring of 8 bells. 6 of which were given by local brewer, Quentin Rhodes in 1845 and 2 more were added as a war memorial in 1919.

Church bells are rung for religious festivals, weddings, special occasion, funerals and for enjoyment and practice but foremost before Sunday services usually at 8.45am but at 9.15am on the first Sunday of the month.   

The bells call people to worship and proclaim the joy of God’s Kingdom.  They declare his praise and are part of the worship Sunday by Sunday showing the Church is alive.

Most people enjoy hearing the sound of the bells carried on the wind over rooftops, sometimes clearly on a frosty night or muffled by driving rain or more likely these days by passing traffic. Joyful bells bring music to celebrations and mark national occasions. In times of mourning and remembrance echo their mournful tones when the bells are half muffled and we get that echo effect.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be immensely strong to ring church bells and most normal size teenagers and adults will have sufficient body strength to pull the bell from its mouth upwards resting position. The continual ringing after the initial pull is powered mainly by momentum with minimal effort required to keep the bell swinging to the point of balance in each direction which is known as “full circle” swinging. 

Practice Night:  Thursday from 8.00 pm

Min Age:  11 years.     Max Age: There is no maximum age as long as you are fit and healthy and able to climb approximately 36 steps in the spiral staircase to the ringing chamber, but it may take you a little longer to learn than a younger person.

If you feel encouraged and interested in learning to ring you would be very welcome. For more information please contact:

Captain of the Tower, David Holland

 01937 583295 - hd-holland@ntlworld.com