Hunts churches taking part in worldwide bell ringing event

Rodger Beaman at Holywell Church. 

Churchwarden Rodger Beaman at Holywell Church. - Credit: Joanne Rutter

Three churches in Huntingdonshire, will be taking part in worldwide celebrations on Saturday to mark the 200th anniversary of a unique bell-ringing invention.  

Bells in Hemingford Abbots, Holywell, and St Ives parish churches will sound at midday on June 26 as part of a worldwide ‘Wave of Ringing’.  

The Ellacombe Chiming Apparatus, originally devised to enable all the bells in a church to be rung by one ‘trusted person’ rather than a rabble of unruly and possibly inebriated ringers, was invented 200 years ago, but has come into its own during the pandemic, enabling some local churches to continue ringing their bells during this past year despite COVID-19 restrictions. 

Bells will ring throughout four continents, played at midday local time in each location, to celebrate the bicentenary of the Ellacombe Chimes, which were invented at St Mary’s Church in Bitton, South Gloucestershire, in 1821. 

The ‘Chime around the World’ celebration, which crosses 11 time zones, will start in New Zealand and finish in Vancouver in Canada 17 hours later.  

At least 100 churches and towers will be participating. 

Among the many taking part in the UK are Bath Abbey, Dunblane Cathedral and Llandaff Cathedral.