Milborne Port churches

St John's Bellringers

Six of the eight bells in St John's Church tower
X Six of the eight bells in St John's Church tower Six of the eight bells in St John's Church tower

St John's church has a fine peal of eight bells which were taken down, refurbished, rehung and retuned in 2012. The raising of over £60,000 to do this shows the support of the church and the village as a whole for our tradition. The band of bellringers are highly committed and well appreciated in the village community.

Fifteen ringers paid their annual subscription to the Bath & Wells Association of Church Bellringers in January 2023. However, two of these are sadly now unable to ring, but continue to contribute. We were delighted to welcome two new ringers to our band in March. They had relocated from Northumberland and are presently living in Stalbridge. In the autumn of 2022, we began to teach two new ringers – one who had been taught to handle a bell previously - and it is hoped that they will both continue. Due to various reasons, we can usually only muster a band of eight on a Sunday, however practice nights are generally very well attended.

Following the Covid restrictions, it has been good to get out and about more, to visit other towers, and to ring with and support other ringers from both the Cary and Ilchester Branches. Along with other ringers both in the UK and across the world, we were privileged to be able to mark the death in September 2022 of HM Queen Elizabeth II by ringing the bells half-muffled. Some “open” ringing to celebrate the accession of King Charles III quickly followed this. Thereafter, half-muffled ringing resumed during the period of National mourning up until the late Queen’s funeral.

In September the ringers ran their customary “pop up coffee shop” on the morning of Gift Day. Members of the band once again helped the Spirit of Milborne Port with the putting on and then removing the lights on the village Christmas trees. The whole group met at ‘Something Else Fishy’ prior to Christmas, and were delighted to be able to meet the Reverend Rona Stuart-Bourne who joined us.

As always, I would like to thank the contribution that each and every member of the band gives to the church, and also to thank the church and villagers for their support in return.

Susan Wales, Tower Captain