Ding, dong merrily on high, in heaven the bells are ringing!
These are the words of the first line of a Christmas carol we have been singing not that long ago.
They paint an image of what heaven is like – bells ringing along with angels singing.
Whilst the ringing of bells is not unique to this country, the way we ring them here is unusual.
In other countries bells are generally rung by swinging them backwards and forwards to make them chime so that people know that a service is about to begin in that particular church.
In this country we ring bells by rotating them in a full circle and then ringing the set of bells in a sequence so that we hear the sounds that we are familiar with from our church towers.
This involves one ringer per bell, ringing the bell accurately so that they follow on one after another.
To achieve a good standard of ringing we need to practice, learn to control the bell, and improve our accuracy of ringing.
We do all of this so that we can call people to worship God and as the words of the carol suggest so that we can experience a little of what we imagine it to be like in heaven.
This way of ringing bells has been going on for many centuries – indeed two of the bells at Sancton church were cast in the 1500s.
For this way of calling people to worship God we need a band of ringers.
We have eight bells at All Saints, Market Weighton and need at least eight ringers if all the bells are to be rung for a service.
If you would like to learn to ring the bells do come along to a Wednesday practice night at the Church (7.30pm onwards) and have a go.
You will be very welcome.
You could then become part of that band which calls people to worship!