See other pages for further information on Bellringing 
Read ‘B is for Bellringers’ article (November 2018)

Can you help us to fund modern equipment to teach new ringers?

The ringers at St Mary’s are heavily involved with the training of new ringers.   As volunteers, we commit to approximately 20 hours of 1-2-1 teaching for each new learner until they are safe to ring on their own, before we can even start to teach them to ring with others in a band.  Our teachers have full accreditation from the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) for teaching beginners and Trisha Hawkins, Tower Captain until February 2022, was awarded their 2018 prize for ‘Inspiring Leadership in Ringing’.  We constantly need to train new ringers to ensure that our bells can be rung out in Barnes, for weddings, community and national events as well as for services.    The new training facilities will enable us to delivery quality teaching and ensure that new ringers are able to progress quickly and safely through the early stages of learning.


We have already raised funds and undertaken the following:

  • Installation of two training bells (for new-learner practice without the need for one of us to climb around underneath the bells to silence some by clamping or other means every time this facility is required).   There is no way to train a ringer other than on a bell, or simulated aid such as a training bell.   The local community would not thank us for hours of what would sound like ‘tolling’ unless we silence any bell we are teaching on.   A training bell rings silently but can be linked via sensors and a computer to emulate the bell sound through speakers or headphones.
  • Replacement of four laptops on which to use the new simulator software releases
  • Bought sensor facilities for the two training bells and modified the existing simulator system to include them

Facilities still to complete:

  • Installation of full ‘sound control‘ for the bell tower.  This will limit the sound of the bells outside the tower enabling us to offer ‘silent’ training time for more advanced ringers without disturbing the neighbours.  It will also mean those of us who train (often over 70 years of age!) will not need to climb under the bells each time we need such a practice.   Extra practice time will enable ringers to progress towards the standard of our experienced Friday night band.
  • Upgrade of the cameras and CCTV equipment showing a picture of the bells at ground level on a monitor


How to donate:

We hope all those who love hearing the bells in Barnes will support this initiative.    We invite you to donate

    • Use this link to donate online – Gift Aid can be added when donating.  
    • By credit card – ask in Church Office or contact one of the ringers
    • By direct bank transfer – details from Church Office
    • By cash – please put in a Gift Aid envelope clearly marked ‘BELLS FUND’ and leave with a ringer or in the Church Office

If you would like to know more or have any queries, please email our Tower Captain

If you would like to arrange some Dedicated Ringing to help with our fundraising, see the details below.

Do you love hearing the church bells ring?

Church bells ringing out from St Mary’s are one of the things that makes Barnes village so special!   As one local resident wrote recently, ‘ The St Mary’s bells on a Friday night and at the weekend make Church Road feel like home’!   Listen to them on BBC Bells on Sunday.

The tower of St Mary’s was built in the middle of 15th century and during the next 220 years 3 bells were cast and hung in the belfry. Then in the late 1890s, at the dawn of the 20th century, the people of Barnes raised the money (probably equivalent to £135,000 today) to have another 5 bells cast and hung in the tower to make up the full musical octave and mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.  We now hope the people of Barnes can help us raise a comparatively small amount of money in the 21st century to pass on skills and train some more people to keep them ringing!

If you are one of those who enjoys the bells, then please help us with financial support so that we can offer modern facilities (as details above) to train enough ringers. Barnes would not be the same if the bells were silent, as happens in some places!   The cost of the training bells and sound control is high as they are specialist equipment, only available through very few bellhangers in the country.  If everyone reading this could give even a small amount we should soon be on our way to reaching our target.   We raised the first £5,000 through our own collections, through a grant from the Surrey Association of Church Bellringers and from a personal award to our Tower Captain from the national Association of Ringing Teachers for ‘Inspirational Leadership in Ringing’.   The tower at St Mary’s is one of only three recognised Ringing Centres in Surrey and in 2023 was designated one of only 40 Teaching Centres by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART).

Donors are invited to get in touch with our Tower Captain and visit one of our Saturday morning training sessions.

Arrange some dedicated ringing

In support of St Mary’s fund raising efforts, the bell ringers offer to dedicate Sunday service ringing (and/or the Friday quarter peal attempt where requested) to special requests in return for a donation. This could be for a special event (anniversary, birthday, wedding, baptism, memory of a loved one etc).

A relevant announcement will be made in the church Weekly News and the dedication will be included in the pre-ringing prayers. A commemorative card will be presented to the donor after the ringing has taken place.

For a successful Quarter Peal, the dedication will also be printed as a footnote in the Ringing World, in the Tower quarter peal book, and published on the Ringing World Bell Board site.

Please contact [email protected] for further details – and remember to give plenty of notice to secure dates! An application form can be collected from the ringers in the tower, or can be downloaded here.