The bellringers of All Saints’ Church, Roos (in South Holderness, east of Hull), have won a prestigious national award from the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) for their successful involvement with the children, parents and staff of their local school.
Roos came first out of seven strong nominations in the category ‘Innovation in Recruitment and Retention’, and was also ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘School Group’ category.
Tower Captain Helen Audley used ART’s teaching modules to recruit a team of young ringers from Roos Church of England Primary School in order to secure the future use of the ring of bells at All Saints following their 2012 restoration and re-dedication by the Archbishop of York.
By 2014 the band was growing fast as siblings and parents wanted to join in; successful fund raising enabled two additional treble bells to be ordered and an invitation for Years 5 and 6 from Roos Church of England Primary School to visit world-famous bellfounders Taylors of Loughborough to see the new Roos bells being cast.
The entire school came to the church to watch the two new bells being hoisted into the tower by engineers Whites of Appleton.
Helen Audley said, “They witnessed a piece of living village history; one child said to me a few weeks later ‘When I am grown up with children of my own and I hear the bells ringing, I will tell them ‘I was there’. It was brilliant.’”
It has become a new tradition in Roos that the young ringers ring for their school services in the church once a term; they arrive at the church early so that the bells are ringing as the rest of the school walks through the village, and the bells themselves are clearly visible to those entering the building via ‘bellivision’, a TV monitor placed near the door linked to a webcam in the bell chamber.
“Our existing young ringers proved to be great ambassadors,” says Helen.
“Ringing is seen as ‘cool’ and it is seen as a great privilege to be allowed up onto the church's ringing gallery!
“I always require at least one parent or responsible adult to be with me when I am teaching – this is common sense good practice, but has had the spin off effect of involving whole families.”
Encouraged by their involvement with Beverley and District Ringing Society, the young ringers had a landmark year in 2017 with six children involved from Roos C of E Primary School and six teenagers from various local secondary schools, a waiting list of children wanting to learn, and both ‘novice’ and overall trophies won at the Beverley and District Striking competition.
Following the award presentation at the annual ART conference in Royston, Hertfordshire, the ringers have two very smart certificates and £400 to spend on further enriching the bellringing experience at All Saints' Church, Roos.
Pictured top: all-age ringers of Roos with Helen Audley (3rd from left).
Lower: young ringers ready to roll.