Outlook 23
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Have a go at bell-ringing – like me!
On arrival in Woodbridge I decided to revive my teenage interest in bell-ringing. I love hearing the bells ring out, calling people to worship on Sundays, celebrating weddings, and muffled for Remembrance and now in Lent. These are the same bells that rang out at our wedding; and after the thanksgiving services for both my parents. There was an open day and I was intrigued to go up the tower – quite an expedition in itself with the narrow staircase and 52 steps to the ringing chamber – to find out more about the bells and to meet the team of ringers. The welcome, flexible approach of the team and the brief pull I had on a bell confirmed my decision. Bell-ringing is a rather public business – no chance of hiding away and practising privately at home! I was immediately struck by the weight of the bells; it’s the second heaviest 8-bell tower in Suffolk, which makes for a marvellous mellow sound but causes the tower to sway when ringing is in progress. I thought I’d need to start some serious weight-training on my morning walks in Fen Meadow until I learnt that I should use my shoulders more and my arms less. At first I was the lone ringer you’d hear if you listened on a Tuesday evening, just getting used to handling the bell on my own. Bruce the tower captain is enormously patient, even on one ghastly occasion when I failed to catch the rope and his glasses shot off! But now I can join in with the others in simple rounds (consecutive order) and I’m starting on call changes (when the order of the bells changes). My ringing is very erratic - you can generally tell by the gaps and the clashes when I’m on the end of one of the bells – but I am more able to notice and correct my errors; and the team is very encouraging. If you love hearing the bells, and are curious about this unique historical art, why not come and have a go yourself. Alison Wintgens Easter Lilies Would you like to buy a lily in memory of a loved one this Easter? If so, please let the Parish Office have his/her name in capital letters. Lilies are £3 each. The deadline for orders is Palm Sunday (9 April) at the very latest. The lilies, with all the names, will then be arranged in church for Easter