The Parish of Ponteland

St Mary's Bells

Today St. Mary's has a thriving and enthusiastic band of nearly twenty ringers. We ring each Sunday for service and we receive regular support from local ringers at our weekly practice night. We have had visiting bands from as far afield as Norfolk , Essex and even North America. We are always pleased to welcome visitors and anyone interested in learning to ring. Members say that bell-ringing is "something completely different from anything else you do", requiring a completely different combination of skills. It also "brings lots of new friends and wonderful ringers' teas!"

The History of the Bells

St Mary's tower today houses a fine ring of six bells. In 1998 the Parochial Church Council decided to launch an appeal to raise money for a ring of bells to commemorate the Millennium and whilst there were other Millennium Bell projects in the North-East, St Mary's now has the only newly cast and the most recent Millennium ring in the area. The two original bells date from 1883 and 1943. The most generous gift of two bells launched the Appeal and it rapidly became a village project. Fund-raising events, together with donations and grants, raised, in less than two years, the incredible sum of over £60,000. In the spring of 2000 the original bells were able to leave for the foundry. The new bells were cast at Taylor's Bellfoundry, Loughborough in March 2000.The original tenor bell (1883) was retained and retuned; the other original bell was recast. The first of July 2000 saw a real village celebration with the arrival of the new bells and their procession through the village to the Village Green. The Service of Blessing the Bells, on the Village Green was attended by Sir Stanley Bailey, Appeal patron, and Revd Canon Michael Jackson during the service. The completed installation - the bells were finally installed early in 2001, by Pembletons and to the delight of ringers and congregation alike first rang for service on 11 March 2001.

The Festival Bell

The bi-ennial Summer Festival of Pictures, Flowers and Music, 1999 raised a wonderful £10,250 in aid of the Bells Appeal. The inscription around its rim reads "Craftsman's art and music's measure for Thy pleasure all combine".

The Parish Bell

The treble bell was given by Ponteland Parish Council on behalf of the people of Ponteland.

Sunday Sunday Service ringing - 9.45 - 10.00am

Practice Night - usually Thursday at 7.45pm;

occasionally Friday at 7.30pm

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