Derby Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers
Book of Millennium Bellringers
country churches old and pale
I hear the changes smoothly rung
And watch the coloured sallies fly
From rugged hands to rafters high
As round and back the bells are swung.
of England Thoughts by John Betjeman
occasioned by hearing the bells of Magdalen Tower, Oxford
The vision for a nation-wide peal of bells at midday on New Year's Day 2000 was a significant contribution to the Millennium celebrations. New bells were hung, towers repaired and in some cases entire peals were recast. In addition, many new people were introduced to bellringing. The Derby Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers played an important part in these efforts. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to thank everyone involved. I hope that our Derbyshire bells will be rung with continuing enthusiasm in the centuries to come. They are an effective witness to the connection with our heritage and the public call to worship God in this and future generations.
In 1997 when the national project to recruit and train people to become bellringers began, there were around 500 too few people to achieve the ringing of every bell in the diocese of Derby at the Millennium. The Association indeed rose to the challenge this presented and over three years doubled the number of ringers in the county, improved the quality of their performance and restored and maintained hundreds of bells.
None of this would have been possible without the enthusiasm and dedication of those involved. We welcomed the support given by the many non-members as bellringing underwent something of a renaissance.
The publicity attracted people who came forward to find out more. Many tried. Some failed and some could not manage the commitment. The young people who left on going away to university and college, we hope will return to ringing later.
Those who came forward to learn did so for various reasons: to take up a new hobby, to serve the church and community, or because they were simply curious. Some have become complete addicts. Visiting and lapsed ringers joined us for the celebrations. In addition to most of the bells hung for full circle ringing, around 300 single bells, twos and threes, those not hung for full-circle ringing, chimed and tubular bells took part at the Millennium. At St Osmund's Derby hand-bells were rung.
We endeavoured to include everybody who took part in Ring in 2000 across Derbyshire.
Each church is listed with the number of bells and their ringers. Churches with a single bell are valued as much as the one with twelve. The churches are listed by deanery. While the ringers were coming on board there were teams of enthusiasts who inspected bells and advised on their care and maintenance. These too are mentioned in a separate section.
The Book of Millennium Ringers represents a most remarkable team effort. People working together over hundreds of square miles, from vastly different backgrounds and communities to achieve a common aim. There are over 1,200 ringers and over 900 bells recorded. Visiting and lapsed ringers are included. Some rang at towers other than their own and at other times. These too are acknowledged.
We endeavoured to seek the names of every ringer and every church that took part. What was rung is not included as Millennium Peals and Quarter Peals are recorded elsewhere. Special peal boards and certificates may be found in ringing chambers.
Ring in 2000 was very much about marking a point in our cultural heritage - the end of the second and the start of the third Christian millennium.
Though undertaking a service for the church, we also wish to express our thanks to the incumbents of the diocese for the use of their bells from which we derive such enormous pleasure.
Our thanks once again to the Arts Council of England, Amber Valley Borough Council and the Derbyshire Building Society whose generosity helped ensure the success of Ring in 2000.
Alfreton | Ashbourne | Bakewell & Eyam | Bolsover & Staveley | Buxton | Chesterfield | Derby North | Derby South | Duffield | Glossop | Heanor | Ilkeston | Longford | Melbourne | Repton | Wirksworth
The Bell Restoration Team
(d. 1 July 2000)
Our grateful thanks to all those people who worked hard and continue to work to ensure our bells may be rung for years to come. Our thanks to the many donors and sponsors for their support and generosity, and to the incumbents and PCCs; without their help the restoration, and augmentation, of so many bells in the diocese would not have been possible. We are particularly grateful for the grants awarded from the Millennium Lottery Fund for Derbyshire's Millennium Bell projects at Ashover and Bamford.