Part of the joy of getting married in church is the bells ringing out in celebration.
For Saturday weddings we can normally offer you a peal of six bells at St James Church. Weddings held on other days of the week can often be accommodated but as many of the ringers also have a ‘proper job’ we can’t always provide bells on weekdays.
If you would like to have bells rung at your wedding please enter this request on the booking form, but we’ll ask you about bells as we move arrangements forward. The more notice you give us then the greater the probability that our bell ringers will be available but we will not be able to confirm your request until 4 weeks before your wedding.
The bell ringers will ring for 20 minutes before your wedding and for 15 minutes after your wedding. Note there will be occasional gaps in the ringing to allow the ringers to swap bells as required and to catch their breath – it is hard work in a hot tower!
Before your wedding, the bell ringers will aim to continue ringing up to the start of the wedding, stopping when the bride reaches the west door, to allow the music to be heard as the bride goes up the aisle. After your wedding, they will start to ring as the bride and groom leave by the west door and will normally ring for 15 minutes.
What happens if you are late getting there?
If you are less than ten minutes late, no problem – we understand the problems getting through Didsbury on a Saturday and the bell ringers will fill the gap with ringing until you arrive.
If you are more than ten minutes late, then the bell ringers will use up some of the 15 minutes ringing time from after the wedding to fill the gap until you arrive, and ring for a correspondingly shorter time after the wedding.
If you are more than 30 minutes late, then, regrettably, the bell ringers may not be able to ring after your wedding – ringers are much in demand for wedding ringing and may have commitments elsewhere.
Can you request us to ring just before or just after the wedding?
Yes, but the fee remains the same.
How old are the bells?
The bells date from 1727 and were cast by the master bell maker Adam Rudhall. They were re-hung in a new steel frame for ringing in 1976 after a prolonged period of disuse. They have been rung continuously since that time. More information on bell-ringing in general is available here.
Next: Wedding music