Ringing for England - and Tower Open Day!

We had a lovely time - and a lovely cake - Ringing for England on St George's day!
We joined towers aross the country at 6pm on April 23 ringing in honour of the patron saint. A delicious cake break followed, then more ringing before finishing up an hour later. As you can see, a strict dress code was enforced!

Then on Saturday we welcomed visitors young an old to our tower as part of the Bridgwater Food Festival.
The incredibly windy weather was certainly magnified on the parapet at the top of the tower, but the views were definitely worth it for those who braved the centuries-old spiral staircase.
Thank you to all our visitors for letting us share our tower with you.

Our Augmentation Fund - can you help us?

The bells of St Mary's have rung out across Bridgwater for generations - the oldest bell still in weekly use at our tower was cast an incredible 400 years ago!
We feel our bells are a link to our shared past, and it's good to know the bells you hear every Sunday morning are the very same ones calling out to our parents, grandparents and older ancestors for generations.
It is this link with our shared past - and our hopes for the future - which have spurred us to reach out to you.
Our tower is looking to expand. Recently awarded training tower status, our bells are in use more than ever. And to help more people learn this rewarding skill, we need more bells!
Although we are a forward-looking tower, we are very proud of our Bridgwater past. We are looking to commemorate that past in a fitting way as an integral part of our projecct to increase the number of bells in the tower from eight to 13.
In our ringing room is a record of past ringers who have completed 'peals' - marathon ringing sessions several hours long! It is a constant reminder and link to those who went before us. On those boards are names that also appear in the St George Chapel of the church, as three of our ringers sadly perished fighting in the Great War.
We have already managed to raise around £86,000 of the £194,505 needed to expand our tower.
We are asking anyone with links to our church, tower and town to help us with a donation to make the new bells a reality. We are suggesting a donation of £100, however all sums will help us reach our goal.
For example, a single bell costs around £9,000, whereas equipment to make them function such as stays and sliders cost around £50, so as you see everything will be put to good use!
If you are interested in our project or our ringing tower, please visit our website at www.stmarysbells.org.uk - if you would like to contribute to our fund to commemmorate an Great War ancestor in our new bells, please contact Margaret Lee, Tower Captain, on 07811244093.
Thank you.

Tower Captain's Report 2017/18

Tower Captain’s Report 2017 /18

This has proved to be a year of highs and lows.
Our project is moving ‘slow but sure’ in the right direction; in July the PCC stopped us fundraising locally but still allowed us to continue with our craft table in the Church. November saw the crafty members have a table at the Glastonbury Frost Fayne, we were blessed with a dry cold day so many
visitors to the town. Jane made Christmas decorations which were a overnight success. In September Gina opened her house as part of Somerset Art week and raised a brilliant amount for our project.
In November the tower was open for Carnival Day, what a fun day that turned out to be, I lost count how many times we climbed the steps and to finish the day Kate, Richard and I had a celebratory supper in the Blake Fish bar.
We have rung for six weddings during the year and marked the wedding of Prince Harry to Megan Markle. St George’s Day saw us celebrate in the normal way and our picture can be found on the Ringing for England website for all to see.
On a very hot day in June we had a tower outing visiting five towers locally finishing at a pub for a evening meal.
In September we opened the tower for Heritage Day which was a success more visitors climbed the steps than in other years.
We have welcomed new ringers from the national campaign ‘Ringing Remembers’ and from our recruitment week.
So I am pleased to say we have more highs than lows this year.
This year Keith has decided to stand down as secretary, I would like to thank him for his hard work and support over the years, he will still stand as Deputy Tower Captain, Tower Correspondent and a valued member of the team.
Next year looks like an exciting time for us all in St Mary’s with new and old friends hopefully enjoying our new bells.
Together we can achieve anything.
Thank you all, I am very proud of you.

Tower Captain

Tower Captain Report 2015-17

When I look back to 2015 it seems a long time ago and you may ask what have we
achieved in this time? We have seen the launch of our appeal ‘and 5 makes 13’, more
about that later, the Church has been reordered and after returning in May of this year, we
have held a successful recruitment week and started the stand alone group from U3A. We
have also held a tester session for two pupils from Blake School, along with their teacher
an existing ringer from Brent Knoll.
While the Church was closed for the reordering we joined local towers for their practice
nights and to keep our spirits up we were known to meet for the odd pint, or two. In
October we marked Keith’s 80 th Birthday by throwing a party in his home, some of the
members rang in a quarter peal which was interesting ringing in semi darkness because
the electricity was off.
Our appeal got off on a brilliant start having 3 out of the 5 new bells been donated, we
have received grants from our Association, the Central Council of Bellringers, the Town
Council and Sedgemoor District Council. Our fundraising have seen us holding a Jazz
Supper, a Quiz, Car Boot Sale, Opening the tower and providing refreshments for the
Quayside Day, Heritage Day and a steady stream of sales from our Craft Table – I do
apologise if I have forgotten anything.
So as you can see we have achieved quite a lot.
I would like to thank you all for your help, support and laugher over the past two years and
I look forward to moving our ringing forward, it is a very exciting time for us in St Mary’s.
Together we can achieve anything.
Margaret Lee
Tower Captain
November 2017