Parish of Manuka South Canberra
The St Paul’s Manuka Bellringers came into being in June 2003 following the installation of the eight bells which were hung for changeringing. The Manuka band comprises some 15 people across a very broad age range.
Other towers in the Diocese with changeringing bells are the fine twelve at St Saviour’s Cathedral in Goulburn, the historic six bells at Yass which were installed in 1869, and a light peal of eight at Wagga Wagga.
St Paul’s bells were the first to be hung in the ACT for ringing in the 17th century English tradition, with one person ringing each bell, and where the clapper strikes as the bell swings rather than striking the bell when it is stationary.
The bells are first rung in the descending scale and then continue into preordained series of mathematical changes which have been memorised by the ringers and are known as Methods. These have ancient names such as Grandsire Doubles and Cambridge Surprise Major.
No great physical strength is required, especially on the light bells at Manuka, but it is important to master the correct physical technique, to be conversant with safety procedures, develop concentration and also a sense of rhythm.
The bells are rung for services every Sunday morning from 9.15 – 10 am as well as for weddings, funerals and special occasions like ANZAC Day. The bellringers practise every Wednesday from 6.45 – 8.15 pm. Quarter peals of non-stop ringing for around 45 minutes are also rung sometimes to celebrate special events.
Visitors are always welcome to come up the tower to meet the band and see what we do.
The Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers has some 500 members in Australian and New Zealand who ring in 63 churches and other towers such as Town Halls.