Early records tell us that four bells hung in the tower of Great Budworth Church before the early 18th century. In 1733 a ring of eight bells were installed in the tower by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester, one of the very best bell founders of his day. Over the years since very little other work has been required. A couple of the bells were recast by the same foundry later in the following century. In 1922 the whole ring was tuned and re-hung by John Taylor’s of Loughborough.
The most recent work was carried out in 1996 by local ringers, John Birks and his son Gordon, who assisted Hayward Mills Associates, a firm of Bell-hangers, to lower the bells from their position high in the tower, and install them in the former ringing room. The bells are now rung from a platform in front of the west window, which means that the ringers can now be seen as well as heard, and feel much more a part of the worshipping community.
Bells have always been a means of communication, and their most important purpose is to call people to worship, and let the outside world know that the Church is alive and active. But the bells also celebrate significant occasions: they ring for national as well as local events. At Great Budworth we ring to celebrate most of the weddings that take place at the Church.
Great Budworth is affiliated to the Chester Diocesan Guild of Bell Ringers, which organises social events as well as bell-ringing activities. It also provides help and advice in the field of bell maintenance as well as support in teaching the skills required to develop better ringers.
We have a committed band of ringers who give generously of their time and talents, which means that we can ring for most of the main services as well as the weddings. We meet at 9.45 am on Sunday mornings, to ring for the 10.30am service, and hold our weekly practice at 7.45 pm most Wednesdays. We are always willing to welcome new members of the band, and to teach the skills needed to develop our ringers.
For further information, please contact Janet Rees 01606 891366