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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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

First Quarter Peal for St Andrew’s Bell Ringer

On Sunday 15th January 2017, St Andrew’s bell ringer Jane Harper, successfully completed her first quarter peal at the first attempt.

She rang the treble to Plain Bob Doubles and, along with 5 other ringers, rang continuously for about 45 minutes, pulling the rope 1260 times.

Congratulations to Jane from the entire band.

Full details are as follows:

Hornchurch, Essex

St Andrew

Sunday, 15 January 2017 (6–3–3 in B♭)

1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1. Jane F Harper
2. Lionel S Woods
3. Paul J Bloomfield
4. Jonathan R Slack
5. Clive J Stephenson (C)
6. Anthony F Ammerlaan

For Evening Worship.

First Quarter Peal – 1.

The photo shows the ringers who took part:

L-R: Jane Harper, Lionel Woods, Paul Bloomfield, Jonathan Slack, Clive Stephenson, Tony Ammerlaan

Christmas Eve Peal 2016

Below is a link to a short extract of a peal of Cambridge Surprise Royal rung at St Andrew’s on 24th December 2016:

Full details of the peal:

Essex Association

Hornchurch, Essex, St Andrew

Saturday, 24 December 2016 in 3h 14 (18–0–0 in E♭)

5040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
Composed by C. Kenneth Lewis

1. William J Stungo
2. Thomas F Lawrance
3. M Jane Booth
4. Jillian Laken
5. M Louise Booth
6. Jon Waters
7. Owen C R Webster
8. Ian J Culham
9. Colin G Newman
10. Clive J Stephenson (C)

Rung for the Festival of Christmas

First peal of Surprise Royal – 5

Bell Ringers Strike Back Against Cancer

St. Andrew’s bell ringers recently got involved in a National campaign to raise money for various blood cancers including the Anthony Nolan Trust.

The campaign has been inspired by a bell ringer called Julie McDonnell who herself has had three leukaemias and now has brain cancer.

She devised a number of bell ringing methods named after herself (e.g. Julie McDonnell Bob Doubles) whilst at the same time acquiring huge sponsorship from celebrities and businessmen and women.

The sponsorship money is paid in return for ringing quarter peals of ‘Julie McDonnell’ methods, which are moderately difficult by bell ringing standards.

£10,000 has already been paid for reaching a total of 100 quarter peals nationally and a further £60,000 pledged if the total reaches 200.

At the time of writing we do not know if this total has been reached but we do know that St Andrew’s ringers and friends have played their part by ringing two quarter peals in support of the campaign:

Hornchurch, Essex, St Andrew

Sunday, 27 November 2016 (18–0–0 in E♭)

1260 Julie McDonnell New Bob Triples

1. Helen J Carter
2. John W Stephenson
3. Paul J Bloomfield
4. Christopher C M Pain
5. Lionel S Woods
6. Jonathan R Slack
7. Clive J Stephenson (C)
8. Alan S M Street

For Advent Carol Service and to congratulate James and Rebecca Matthews on the birth of their daughter, Rose Alice, on 20th November 2016.

First in method by all.

Hornchurch, Essex, St Andrew

Sunday, 4 December 2016 (18–0–0 in E♭)

1260 Julie McDonnell New Bob Triples

1. Anthony M Faulkner
2. John W Stephenson
3. Helen J Carter
4. Jillian Laken
5. James Laken
6. Paul J Bloomfield
7. Clive J Stephenson (C)
8. Matthew Stokes

For Evensong and to congratulate John Stephenson on his 86th birthday.

First on 8 for the tenor.

First in method – 3,4,5.

Quarter Peal Success for Paul

Congratulations to Paul Shrubsole who achieved his first quarter peal on a working bell prior to Evensong on Sunday 30th October 2016.

He rang the treble for about 45 minutes to Plain Bob Doubles.

Full details of the ringers and ringing are as follows:

Hornchurch, Essex

St Andrew

Sunday, 30 October 2016 (6–3–3)

1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1 Paul D Shrubsole
2 John W Stephenson
3 Jonathan R Slack
4 Christopher C M Pain
5 Clive J Stephenson (C)
6 Gavin S Carpenter

For Evensong.

First quarter away from cover – 1.

The photo shows the ringers who took part:

L-R: Jonathan Slack, Chris Pain, Paul Shrubsole, John Stephenson, Gavin Carpenter, Clive Stephenson

L-R Jonathan Slack, Chris Pain, Paul Shrubsole, John Stephenson, Gavin Carpenter, Clive Stephenson

Back to Bobbingworth

On October 12th 1841 a group of Hornchurch ringers travelled to Bobbingworth, according to legend, on foot. The purpose of the visit was to inaugurate the new ring of six bells that had just been installed. A board hanging in the porch ringing chamber reads as follows:

bobbboard1

On the 175th anniversary we made a return visit and rang a quarter peal (1260 changes) of Double Court and Plain Bob Minor. These may not be exactly the same methods that were rung in 1841, but the precise details are lost in the mists of time. The ‘true and complete peals’ rung then would have been 720 changes each. A board in the Hornchurch tower records a similar performance rung some months later by almost exactly the same ringers.

The recent performance was conducted by our Ringing Master, Clive Stephenson, and the ringers were members of the current Hornchurch band and friends:

Bobbingworth, Essex
St Germain

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 (13–0–3)

1260 Minor
720 Double Court; 540 Plain Bob

1. Lionel S Woods
2. Jillian Laken
3. Helen J Carter
4. James Laken
5. Paul J Bloomfield
6. Clive J Stephenson (C)

Rung to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the opening of Bobbingworth bells on 12th October 1841 by the ‘Hornchurch Youths’, who rang 2 ‘peals’ (extents) of the same methods.

First of Double Court – 2.

Current day 'Hornchurch Youths'. L - R: Jim Laken, Helen Carter, Paul Bloomfield, Jillian Laken, Clive Stephenson and Lionel Woods

Current day ‘Hornchurch Youths’. L – R: Jim Laken, Helen Carter, Paul Bloomfield, Jillian Laken, Clive Stephenson and Lionel Woods

A short extract from the quarter peal is available below:

Our thanks are due to Bobbingworth (sometimes known as Bovinger) Church and their ringers for the use of their bells.

New Method Rung and Named at Hornchurch

For a new method to be named, it has to be rung to a full peal.

At St Andrew’s we named a new method ‘Hornchurch Surprise Major’ after ringing it to a peal on Christmas Eve 1996.

On Saturday 8th October 2016, a new method (Vennington Alliance Royal) was rung and named by a visiting peal band from the Nottingham area:

Southwell and Nottingham Diocesan Guild
Hornchuch, Greater London

St. Andrew

Saturday, 8 October 2016 in 3h 4 (18–0–0)

5004 Vennington A Royal

Composed by Ian Butters

1. Ruth Curtis
2. Paul M Mason
3. Ian Butters (C)
4. Christopher N McCarthy
5. Susan E Marshall
6. Adrian P Sweeting
7. Peter S Lacy
8. Anthony P Cotton
9. Paul F Curtis
10. Brian G Meads

First peal in the method.
Vennington Alliance Royal
-30-1456-56-10-12-18-70-18-70, Group B.

A short 5 minute extract from the peal is available below:

Trainee Bell Ringers Perform Well

St Andrew’s and South Ockendon bell ringers entered 2 teams for a striking competition designed to encourage new bell ringers to take part.

Each team consisted of 6 ringers of which the majority were new recruits having never taken part in such a competition before.

The competition was held at Dagenham Parish Church with 4 teams from the SW District of Essex taking part. Each team had to ring for between 5 and 8 minutes whilst the conductor moved the bells to different positions (Call Changes).

Despite lots of nerves and apprehension, both of our teams successfully completed their test pieces and finished in 2nd and 4th places, losing out to Epping in 1st place. All have resolved to take part again next year.

The photo shows some of the ringers who took part: L - R: Rosemarie Edwards, Terry Thornhill, Rose Kaziro, Steve Sampson, Michelle Long, John Stephenson and Jane Harper.

The photo shows some of the ringers who took part:
L – R: Rosemarie Edwards, Terry Thornhill, Rose Kaziro, Steve Sampson, Michelle Long, John Stephenson and Jane Harper.

Visit of Niue Return Services Association to St Andrew’s

During World War I, men from the New Zealand army were stationed at Grey Towers in Hornchurch where their hospital was based.

Among them were 150 men from the Pacific Island of Niue who fought in France, with the allies, in the Battle of the Somme. Four of them died in Hornchurch of illness during June 1916 and their graves are in St Andrew’s Churchyard.

As part of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme commemorations, a party from the Niue Return Services Association came to St Andrew’s for a special service of Remembrance and to visit the graves of their fellow countrymen.

A quarter peal was rung prior to the service and a commemorative plaque, shown below, is to be installed inside St Andrew’s Church.

Hornchurch, Essex
St Andrew (18–0–0 in E♭)
Saturday, 17 September 2016

1. John W Stephenson
2. Ros C Skipper
3. Rebecca A Woolward
4. Gavin S Carpenter
5. Clive J Stephenson (C)
6. Anthony F Ammerlaan

Prior to a service commemorating the 100 years since soldiers from The Niue Islands fought alongside British troops on the Western Front in World War I.

Four such soldiers have graves in St Andrew’s churchyard, having died at a convalescent hospital based in Hornchurch at that time.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge