The earliest reliable record of any bells in Fakenham Parish Church dates back to the early 17th Century, which would be roughly the same time as the ‘English’ style of ringing first developed. The bells that we ring are hung on a complete wheel and rotate in a full circle, this separates us from other styles of ringing found perhaps on the continent where the bells are generally hung and rung in a different fashion.
Our style of ringing is typified by an ability to control the order in which the individual bells sound, thereby creating ‘Change Ringing’, where we change the order in a predetermined fashion and produce the sound that you hear from towers across the country.
We have eight bells here in Fakenham, the largest weighing approximately 19cwt. Any of the ringers will tell you that great strength is not the key to ringing church bells, more so timing, with an ability to do things in the right order and follow instructions. The ringing room is reached by climbing 65 steps up a spiral staircase; this is often far more tiring and testing than the ringing itself.
We meet on Thursday evening every 2nd and 4th week of the month at 7.30pm for our practice night, and on a Sunday morning from 10.00am until 10.30am to ring for the main church service. This is the main function of bell ringing, to announce to the local community that something is happening in church to which they are invited. You will also hear us ringing perhaps on a Saturday, this will usually be part of a wedding service, but there are other occasions when we will be heard.
Visiting ringers are always welcome here at Fakenham and we are always glad to hear from fellow ringers that might like to join us when they are visiting the area.
We are always willing to recruit new ringers. If you would like any more information on what we do, or feel that you might like to join us and learn to ring, contact The Church Ringing Master Kevin Allcock Telephone 01328 853928.