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Appeal for new bell ringers at Hornchurch church

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 May 2016

L-R Eileen Drew, Lionel Woods, Rosemarie Edwards, John Stephenson, Jane Harper,
John Thornhill and Terry Thornhill.

L-R Eileen Drew, Lionel Woods, Rosemarie Edwards, John Stephenson, Jane Harper, John Thornhill and Terry Thornhill.

Archant

For centuries, church bells across the country have rung out, in celebration, remembrance or simply to remind people that mass is due to begin.

A group of bell ringers at St Andrew’s Church, High Street, Hornchurch is appealing for new members to join its numbers.

If you like to keep fit and want to try out an unusual hobby, bell ringing may appeal to you.

Tower captain Clive Stephenson, who has been heading the group for 25 years, said the tradition was particularly British.

He said: “There are more than 5,000 churches with bells in the UK. Outside of the country, there are 70, it’s a unique thing to do.

“All you need to take part is a willingness to try, new activities a decent level of physical fitness and a good memory.

“People in their 20s and 30s tend to pick it up quicker but it’s also the perfect hobby for anyone who might be approaching retirement soon.”

Learning to ring a bell successfully can take between one month to a year, after which ringers can start to learn patterns.

Clive said: “We also have two outings by coach every year and several casual visits to ring at churches around London.”

When: Practices are every Tuesday, at 7.30-9pm and 10-11am on Saturday.

Masses are held on Sunday from 9.40-10.15am.

Cost: Members usually contribute £1 each session

Contact: Call Clive Stephenson on 01708 755412 or 07896 342010

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