St. Andrew’s Church
to mark the
A worldwide celebration to mark the 200th Anniversary of a unique bell-ringing invention took place on Saturday 26th June 2021, led by the English parish church where it all began.
Bells rang throughout four continents, played at noon local time in each location, to celebrate the bicentenary of the Ellacombe Chimes, which were invented at St Mary’s Church, Bitton, South Gloucestershire in 1821.
The ‘Chime around the World’ celebration, which crossed 11 time zones, started in New Zealand and finished in Vancouver in Canada 17 hours later. At least 100 towers worldwide participated.
Among the many that took part in the UK were Bath Abbey, Dunblane Cathedral and Llandaff Cathedral. Not every church has an Ellacombe Frame BUT St Andrew’s in West Stafford does! (The church tower is affiliated to the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers).
Bitton Parish History Group organised the event jointly with St Mary’s Church, Bitton.
The chiming system was designed 200 years ago by the Rev Henry Thomas Ellacombe, from St Mary’s Church at Bitton, near Bristol. The apparatus, now used in bell towers across the world, enables one trusted person to ring the bells instead of six or eight bell ringers. Ellacombe originally made the invention to dispense with ‘wayward’ bell ringers. Janet Ranger-Dennis chimed the bells in St Andrew’s Church, West Stafford for five minutes at noon on Saturday 26 June 2021.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the invention has enabled bells to continue to be rung.
A 150-page paperback book, called Ellacombe Chimes: Two Hundred Years ((ISBN 978-1-304-70761-1) has been published to mark the bicentenary. It features the participating churches/towers, as well as the history of the chimes and its inventor.
Chairman, Dorchester Branch
Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers (SDGR)
Services & Events
1st & 3rd Sundays
2nd & 4th Sundays
All at 11.15am.
(These will be Said Services as no hymn singing
is allowed due to Coronavirus restrictions).
All welcome at St George’s Church, Fordington
for a joint Service
(no Service at St Andrew’s).
The church is open for Private Prayer on Wednesdays from 10am - 4pm
Revd Cora Yarrien