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Norwich church seeks bellringers for coronation 

St Peter Mancroft church in Norwich is offering crash courses in bellringing to celebrate the King’s coronation.

The hope has been expressed that every bell in the land will be ringing to celebrate the coronation of King Charles. And to reach towards that ambitious target, St Peter Mancroft, where the first-ever peal rang out over 300 years ago, is offering free campanology courses. 

The Diocese currently has more than 600 ringers on its books, and around 15 ringers are currently learning the craft on Tuesdays and Saturdays in a special training tower at St Peter Mancroft.  

But Nikki Thomas, secretary of the Norwich Diocesan Association of Ringers, said that while teams would rush between churches on May 6, some belfries would still be staying silent.

The picture is likely to be the same across the country – despite a Ring for the King campaign to bolster recruits. 


“There are definitely more bells than we’ve got bell ringers,” she said. “The bell ringers do try to go from one church to another so they can ring as many bells as they can but it’s like anything else, you always need more people.

“We’re not going to be able to ring every bell in Norfolk, but we’re going to ring as many as we can.”

Nikki, who has been ringing for 40 years, began when she was nine.

“We can teach people relatively quickly, it takes maybe 20 hours but it’s like learning a musical instrument,” she said. “The more you practice, the better you become.

“You get to meet lots of people, you get to go to some really interesting places, it’s a hobby that can last a lifetime.”

The world’s first-ever peal was rung at the 600-year-old church on May 2, 1715. 

While churches had had bells in their towers since ancient times, the ringers of Norwich were the first to work out the complex mathematical patterns needed for the thousands of variations that make up a peal.


Pictured above are the bellringers at St Peter Mancroft. Image: Nikki Thomas. Article quotes from EDP.




Eldred Willey, 21/04/2023

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