The tower at St Marys contains a fine ring of 8 bells. In 1982 a dedicated ringing chamber was built within the tower, where previously, the bells had been rung from ground floor level.
The original back 6 bells were cast in 1790 by Thomas Bilbie of Cullompton and in 1882 the bells were augmented to a ring of 8 by the addition of 2 new trebles cast by John Warner & Sons. The tenor weighs in at just over 20cwt. and is tuned to the key of D.
In 1928, the bells were rehung and again later in 1982, but it was not until 2002 that the old unstable wooden frame was replaced by a new steel frame. At the same time the bells were retuned by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and rehung by Bob Parker of Taunton. The bells were finally rededicated by the Archdeacon of Taunton, the Rev John Read, on January 25th 2004.
The clock originally built by J Smith of Derby in 1886, chimes each quarter hour in a unique setting known as the ‘Chard Chimes’.
Today the bells are rung regularly for Sunday worship, weddings and festive occasions. Sunday ringing takes place between 9.30 and 10.00am and regular weekly practice and training sessions take place on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 to 9.00pm, except during the month of August. Visiting bands or individuals are welcome to visit any time by appointment. A charge of £12 is levied for quarter peal attempts and £40 for full peals, although these are restricted in number. For further information or to arrange outing visits please contact the tower captain Chris Cox on 01460 65290 or by e-mail at email@example.com
St Mary’s Bells Need You
Tuesday night is practise night. If you fancy learning the “Ropes” then come along and meet us in the tower. Excellent tuition available. Start at 7.30 p.m, entrance is via the priest door on the side of the church. Make your way to the tower or shout for help…..