What is change ringing?
Change ringing is a style of ringing church bells that is unique to Britain. It involves turning the bells through a full circle using a rope attached to a wheel. As well as being an enjoyable and challenging pastime, it provides a good opportunity to socialise and make new friends, especially if you like going to pubs.
Can anyone learn?
Yes, anyone is capable of ringing - you do not need to be particularly strong or musical. However, learning to ring takes a long time so you must be dedicated and prepared to come to a teaching session one evening a week - our learners' practices are on Wednesday evenings. It costs very little as the equipment is provided free by the church.
So, how do you get started then?
If you want to learn to ring, then it's best to wait for the beginning of the academic year before starting. This is because it is very time-intensive to teach people to ring, so we can only cope if we teach everyone at the same time. However, we can tell you where the best places to learn around Oxford are. In any event, please get in touch with either the master or the secretary of the society - see details on the committee page.
Learning to Ring
We've produced a page, showing ringing in action, so that you can see how a bell works. Having learnt to control a bell on your own, you will then want to begin ringing in a band with other people, and then it becomes important to make your bell sound at the right time. This isn't easy, so we have a good striking page, written by the band of St Mary's, Amersham.
The OUS has a long and distinguished history which is summarised in this article.