St. Andrew's Hornchurch Guild of Change Ringers

Welcome to the home of the Hornchurch Bell Ringers.

If you would like to learn to ring, click here.

If you are already a bellringer, visiting times are here. Visitors are always welcome.

Otherwise, just take a look around and find out more about the art of bellringing and what the ringers get up to at St Andrew's.

Learn to Ring

Learn to Ring

Interested in learning to ring church bells? All ages and welcome.

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The Bells

The Bells

St. Andrew's Church has 10 bells made from 1779 to 2014.

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The Church

The Church

On the exterior east end of the Church a bull's head that gives the town its name can be seen.

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Remembering Sylvia Blows

Sylvia Blows was known to the bell ringers through her late husband Dennis who was a bell ringer and chorister.

Sylvia was a very active member of the church here at St Andrew’s in the 1980’s and 1990’s before moving away to be closer to her family. One of her many roles included a long period as PCC Secretary.

She passed away on 28th August 2017 and the following quarter peal was dedicated to her memory:

Hornchurch, Essex

St Andrew

Sunday, 8 October 2017

1312 Double Norwich Court Bob Major

1. Dennis Ellisdon
2. Gavin S Carpenter
3. John W Stephenson
4. Elizabeth C Rayner
5. Colin G Wright
6. Christopher C M Pain
7. Paul J Bloomfield
8. Clive J Stephenson (C)

For Evensong and remembering Sylvia Blows, widow of Dennis Blows and previously an active church member at St Andrew’s, who recently passed away.

First in method – 2.

First Quarter Peal Success for Rosemarie

Bell ringer Rosemarie Edwards rung continuously for about 45 minutes prior to Evensong at St Andrew’s on Sunday 24th September to achieve her first quarter peal at the first attempt.

Although a member of the bell ringers at Holy Cross Church in South Ockendon, Rosemarie learnt to ring here at St Andrew’s and visits us regularly for extra practise.

Her efforts have now been rewarded with this success and we send her congratulations from all the team.

Full details of the quarter peal are as follows:

Hornchurch, Essex

St Andrew
Sunday, 24 September 2017

1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1. Rosemarie P Edwards
2. Christopher C M Pain
3. John W Stephenson
4. Neil P Booth
5. Clive J Stephenson (C)
6. Anthony F Ammerlaan

For Evensong.

First quarter peal – 1.


The 6 ringers that took part:
L-R: John Stephenson, Rosemarie Edwards, Chris Pain, Clive Stephenson, Neil Booth & Tony Ammerlaan

Bell Ringers’ Prizes on Promotion Sunday

During the service on Promotion Sunday (10th Sept.) prizes were awarded to 5 bell ringers who have rung their first quarter peal in the past year or so.

It takes a long time to learn to ring to the standard of a quarter peal (years rather than weeks) and requires a lot of hard work and practise. Our congratulations therefore go to Jacky Stockwell, Paul Shrubsole, Jane Harper, Ethan Musham, and Michelle Long for achieving their first quarter peals and receiving their prizes from Ken Wylie, our Associate Priest.

The bell ringers with their prizes together with Ken Wylie, Clive & Leonie

September Outing to Central London

On 9th September 2017, Hornchurch bell ringer Jonathan Slack organised our Autumn Outing to central London. The churches were chosen specially because they had new sets of bells or because their bells had been overhauled in recent times.

At 10.00am, more than 30 ringers and friends arrived by public transport at St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street, to have a ring on their new set of 10 bells, cast in 2011 by Whitechapel and installed in 2012. These are a fairly light set of bells with the tenor weighing 10 cwt, enabling us to ring well and finishing with a good piece of Stedman Caters.

We then caught the bus to Bank Station and walked the short distance to St Michael’s, Cornhill to have a go on their new ring of 12 bells, again cast in 2011 but this time by John Taylor of Loughborough. These bells are a lot heavier than St Dunstan with the tenor weighing more than 32 cwt (1.5 tons) and required more skill to ring. Again our ringers performed well with many ringing on 12 bells for the first time, including Jane Harper, Lisa Schofield, Rosemarie Edwards and Michelle Long.

Ringers in the tower at St Michael’s, Cornhill.

Jane, Rosemarie & Lisa: rang on 12 for the first time.

A welcome lunch-break was followed by a walk to Lower Thames Street to ring on the 12 new bells of St Magnus the Martyr cast in 2008/09 by Whitechapel. Here, Leonie McCaughren and Rebecca Woolward rang changes on 12 and we attempted our most ambitious ringing of the day; Stedman Cinques and Little Bob Maximus.

Leonie and Rebecca: rang well on 12.

Our final tower of the day, St Katharine Cree in Leadenhall Street, was again within walking distance. These are an easy-going set of 6 bells having been re-hung in a new frame in 2009. The ringing here was well organised by Gavin Carpenter and made for a relaxing end to a successful day.

Our thanks go to Jonathan, our organiser, and to the many ringers and friends who supported.

Quarter Peal Success for Michelle

Prior to the evening service on Sunday 9th July, St Andrew’s bell ringer Michelle Long attempted her first quarter peal.

After 45 minutes of pulling and concentrating, the bells came back into rounds and success was achieved.

Michelle enjoyed the experience and said that she is looking forward to the next one ‘as soon as the blisters have healed!’

Here are full details of the quarter peal and the ringers that took part:

Hornchurch, Essex

St Andrew

Sunday, 9 July 2017 (6–3–3 in B♭)

1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1 Michelle A Long
2 John W Stephenson
3 Paul J Bloomfield
4 Christopher C M Pain
5 Clive J Stephenson (C)
6 Anthony F Ammerlaan

For Evening Service.

First Quarter Peal – 1.

L – R: Michelle, John, Paul, Chris, Clive & Tony

Striking Competition Success

Every year, the Essex Association of bell ringers organise a striking competition where teams of 6 ringers are judged on the accuracy of their ringing.

The competition is open to all towers in the county of Essex and after winning the District heats at Chigwell, St Andrew’s ringers took a team to the finals at Colne Engaine.

Our team performed well, ringing for about 8 minutes and given 31.5 faults (mistakes) for the 240 changes.

The competition was won by Kirby Le Soken who made only 14 faults, but Hornchurch finished in 6th place, which was a good position out of the 10 teams that took part.

The photo shows our team of 6 ringers:

L – R: Gavin, Chris, Paul, Jonathan, Lionel & Clive

Ringing at Willingale on 17th June 2017

A group of ringers from St Andrew’s joined with some ringers from St Christopher’s church in Willingale for a practice on 17th June 2017.

The ringing included some call changes and plain hunt on the recently restored and augmented ring of 6.

The morning concluded with a substantial meal at The Black Bull in Fyfield, a short distance away.

Clive, Eileen, Rosemarie, Carol, Jane, Michelle and Lisa outside the south porch of Willingale church.

Bell Ringing in Memory of Betty and George Pugh has extra Historical Significance

When St Andrew’s bells rang half-muffled for the internment of the ashes of Betty and George Pugh on 16th June 2017, there was an historical connection to a previous Hornchurch bell ringer.

Betty Pugh (ne Jarvis) was the niece of John Jarvis who was a St Andrew’s bell ringer in the early part of the 20th Century. Betty was the mother of four sons; Antony, Malcolm, Nigel and Chris Pugh who knew about the connection and that their Great Uncle’s name was on a peal board in St Andrew’s tower.

John Jarvis was a member of the band that rang a peal on the 8 bells of Hornchurch in 1922. The peal was significant because, although it was the 35th peal on the 8 bells, it was the first peal by a local band on the 8 bells. A peal by a local band is always difficult to achieve and explains why a peal board was produced to commemorate the event.

The photograph shows the four Great Nephews with the peal board delighted that their Mother and Great Uncle have been remembered in this way.

Antony, Malcolm, Nigel & Chris Pugh with the peal board that commemorates their Great Uncle’s peal in 1922.

Another photograph shows the historical peal board in more detail.

Our records show that John Jarvis rang just the one peal at St Andrew’s, Hornchurch.

First Quarter Peal for Terry

Terry Thornhill, from Holy Cross in South Ockendon, started learning her bell ringing at St Andrew’s several years ago.

In 2011, Holy Cross installed their own set of 8 bells and Terry has rung regularly for services and practices at Holy Cross ever since.

Terry has also maintained her connection with St Andrew’s and when given the opportunity to attempt her first quarter peal at St Andrew’s, she jumped at the chance.

The quarter peal was successfully achieved for Evening Worship on Sunday 21st May with the additional pleasure of celebrating the safe arrival of a new baby boy for some close friends at Holy Cross.

Full details are as follows:

Hornchurch, Essex

St Andrew

Sunday, 21 May 2017 (6–3–3 in B♭)

1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1 Mary T Thornhill (first quarter peal)
2 Lionel S Woods
3 Christopher C M Pain
4 Gavin S Carpenter
5 Clive J Stephenson (C)
6 Anthony F Ammerlaan

For Evening Worship.

Also to celebrate the birth of Henry George Withers on 13th May 2017, a son for Rebecca and Aaron.

L to R: Terry Thornhill, Lionel Woods, Chris Pain, Clive Stephenson, Tony Ammerlaan & Gavin Carpenter

Young Bell Ringer’s Quarter Peal Success

St Andrew’s bell ringer, Ethan Musham, rang continuously for 45 minutes prior to Evensong on Sunday 26th March to achieve his first quarter peal at the first attempt.

He rang the treble to Plain Bob Doubles and skilfully moved the position of his bell for 1260 changes along with the five other ringers.

At 16 years of age, this is a significant achievement for Ethan which deserves the congratulations of the whole band. Well done!

Full details are as follows:

Hornchurch, Essex

St Andrew

Sunday, 26 March 2017 (6–3–3 in B♭)

1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1. Ethan J Musham
2. John W Stephenson
3. Lionel S Woods
4. Jonathan R Slack
5. Clive J Stephenson (C)
6. Anthony F Ammerlaan

For Evensong and to welcome Oliver Arthur Gabriel Pope, a son for Charlotte and Nick, born on 24th March 2017.

First quarter peal – 1.

L – R: Ethan Musham, John Stephenson, Lionel Woods, Jonathan Slack, Clive Stephenson and Tony Ammerlaan