LEARNING TO RING
If you think you may be interested in learning to ring we are running a course for beginners starting on the 5th of May 2006. Click here for further information.
Before learning to ring you may have a number of questions. The most common questions are answered below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to learn?
Most people can learn to handle a bell within a matter of weeks or months. Usually within a few months of starting most ringers are doing well enough to be able to contribute to Sunday service ringing. Learning to ring is a continuous process and people who have been ringing for many years are still learning.
What age can I learn to ring?
You can learn to ring from the age of about 10 and some ringers continue into their 90s. You can learn at any age although like many things younger people usually pick things up slightly quicker than mature learners. Bellringing has one of the widest age ranges of any hobby.
Do I have to be strong?
Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to be strong to ring a bell. It is mainly the weight of the bell itself that does most of the work. A ringer controls the bell by gently applying pressure to the rope at the correct point in the rotation. If you are fit enough to climb the flight of stairs up to the ringing room then you are fit enough to ring.
Do I have to go to church?
Some bellringers do go to church but others do not. The Dunblane Cathedral Society of Change Ringers is an organisation within the Cathedral and we provide an important service to the church.
Do I have to be musical or mathematical?
You do not need to be musical in order to ring a bell although a sense of rhythm is useful. Although it may appear that there are lots of numbers involved in bellringing there is no need to be mathematical.
How much does it cost to ring?
It does not cost anything to learn to ring. The only cost would be if you want to buy books, travel to other towers or attend social events.
Is it dangerous?
Unlike the cartoon portrayal of ringing we do not swing around on the end of a rope. All learners are taught the basic safety procedures and if these are followed then ringing is a safe hobby. A learner is not left to ring a bell on their own until they can do so safely without assistance.
Where can I ring bells?
There are over 5000 towers in Britain but only 17 in Scotland. Despite the distance between the Scottish towers, the Scottish ringers are a sociable bunch. The nearest two towers to Dunblane Cathedral are at Holy Rude in Stirling and St John the Evangelist in Alloa. The Dunblane Cathedral ringers often visit the other towers in Scotland.
How can I learn to ring?
If you are interested in learning to ring contact us or come along to our Wednesday practice night