Service ringing (was Perspectives)

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at
Mon Sep 24 08:48:59 BST 2007

I, for one, support David's analysis on this. Nearly all the evidence I've seen points to ringing being a community activity first, and church-related second from the Reformation until the Victorian reformers came along.

Most of us have grown up, however, endoctrinated with the view cultivated by the reformers that bells were primarily for the use of the church and that ringing for services is our main function. The Victorian "spin" on this was very well described in a recent RW article by Bobbie May - well written, but not the version of history that I can share

The example John cites - I'd be interested to know the exact source (is it a diary or newspaper extract?) - looks to me more like the bells being rung for pleasure immediately after service / prayers (i.e. as soon as the church was clear).  Quite a lot of pleasure ringing - peals, for instance - took place on Sundays between services in the C18th and early C19th

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