Bell-ringing event at St Matthew’s on Saturday 26 June at 12.00 noon
As you may know, St Matthew’s Church has an unusual set of bells which includes what is known as
an Ellacombe Chime. This is an arrangement whereby bells (hemispherical ones in our case) can be
played by one bell-ringer using a series of ropes looking
a bit like a harp, and is named after a Reverend
Ellacombe who invented the system in 1821. It is said
that he devised the mechanism so that all the bells
could be rung by one trusted person without involving
a band of unruly and perhaps drunken ringers!
As this is the 200 th anniversary of the reverend
gentleman’s invention, all churches which have a
working set of Ellacombe chimes have been invited to
take part in a ‘celebration ring’ this Saturday (26 th June)
at 12 noon. We are intending to be one of only 78
churches in the UK taking part in this, as Ellacombe
systems are now relatively rare, especially ones that work well and are in regular use. Our bells were fully refurbished during the tower restoration two years ago.
Bells throughout the world will be ringing on Saturday, starting in New Zealand. They will be heard in each of the major time zones, played at noon local time in each location. They will make their way to Surbiton, then across the Americas, finishing in Vancouver, Canada, 17 hours after they first started.
The Ellacombe system allows the ringer to play tunes, and you may have heard carols and hymns being played before some of our services last Christmas and Easter.
We hope you will enjoy hearing the bells on
this special occasion. We will have a team of
ringers in the tower so that no one person
gets exhausted! Do look in to the church on
Saturday between 12.00 and 1pm, if you
would like. We can tell you a little bit more
about the bells, and will have a replica
practice frame at the back of the church
which will allow you to try your hand. We
also have cameras in the tower which will
allow you to see the action from ground
Captain Nicholas Lebey (Church Army) is being ordained in Southwark Cathedral this coming Saturday at 11am and will be the new pioneer curate at St George's. If you would like to watch the service HERE
is the link