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UK's Peal Appeal

It is supposed to be a day when all the UK’s 38,000 church bells ring out to mark the coronation of Kings Charles but some may stay silent amid a shortage of campanologists.

Church belfry
Church belfry | Wikipedia

Since a call went out from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) last autumn for new recruits to join 30,000 existing campanologists, about 1,750 have come forward. Not all have followed through, but many are in the process of being trained. Other volunteers have made direct approaches to local churches.

But there is still a considerable shortfall to be made up if all the UK’s church bells are to be rung and there may not now be sufficient time to train new starters in the month before coronation day.

Some of the gaps would be made up by individual ringers dashing from one church to another, said Vicki Chapman of the CCCBR. “We might need some ringers to go to several churches in one day,” she said. “We’re hoping that the bells ring at as many parish churches as is humanly possible.”

It took up to 20 hours to teach a new recruit to ring a solo bell and “a lot longer” to learn how to ring in a group, Chapman said. Experienced ringers were going “all out” in their efforts to get rookies up to scratch before coronation day on 6 May. “The next four weeks are going to be pretty intensive.”



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