Broadwindsor’s Bells Ringing This Week

This morning (8th July) at 10am a visiting band will attempt to ring a Quarter Peal which will last approximately 20 mimutes 🙂

On Thursday, 11th July, there is a wedding in St. John the Baptist church at 2pm.  A team will raise the bells some time in the morning ready to ring as the happy couple leave the church following the ceremony.

Our congratulations to them both.

Photo credit: Annie Collins

#Broadwindsor #Burstock #Blackdown #Drimpton #Hursey #Kittwhistle #Seaborough #Dorset #Village #Community #ChurchBells #StJohnTheBaptist #Wedding #BeaminsterChurches #PCC #Celebrate #BeKind #BeSafe #StaySafe

Full Peal Bells Attempt – Wednesday, 8th May

After so many enjoyed the music from the bells rung by a visiting team yesterday, villagers can look forward to a band of bellringers attempting a full peal on the bells of St. John the Baptisit church on Wednesday, 8th May beginning at 10am.  These ringers from Devon, Somerset and Dorset come together as a band once or twice a month to attempt a peal in different churches in the South West.
A good question to ask is why? Bob Crighton explains…

To begin with, there is the physical challenge of ringing a bell for around 3 hours non-stop (the tenor bell (ie heaviest) at St John’s weighs almost 15 cwt), and then the mental challenge of concentrating for that length of time.  To be a true peal on 6 bells there has to be 5,040 different combinations in the order the bells ring, and we shall be attempting 17 different methods – mathematical patterns – in the course of the peal.

A lot to think about  – especially for the conductor who also has to remember the composition necessary to achieve the 5,040 different changes and put anyone right who goes wrong.  Fortunately, we have one of the most experienced conductors in the country who has rung well over 5000 peals and conducted over 3000 of them.

As well as the personal challenge for the ringers, peals are rung to mark special occasions: local, national and international, and we are often asked to dedicate a successful peal to a recently deceased member of the local community, opening of the refurbished village hall etc., and of course many peals were rung last year for the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Intrigued? Well come and talk to us afterwards at around 1pm.  We hope that you will appreciate the music of your bells and that we won’t disturb the peace too much!’

Bob Crighton

Social media had many comments including some who expressed interest in forming a new team of a campanologists in Broadwindsor!
It’s a great skill to learn, good exercise and really makes you feel physically in touch with the past.” commented Margery Hookings who has offered to get some information together to possibly get a team together 🙂 Anyone interested – please email Margery at

Photo credit: Annie Collins

For Whom Do The Church Bells Toll in Broadwindsor – April 23rd

#Broadwindsor #Burstock #Blackdown #Drimpton #Hursey #Kittwhistle #Seaborough #Dorset #Village #Community #ChurchBells #StJohnTheBaptist #ForWhomTheBellTolls #PCC #Campanology #BeKind #BeSafe #BeaminsterChurches #StaySafe

For Whom Do The Church Bells Toll In Broadwindsor?

There are many angry and disappointed village residents in response to the church bells at St. John the Baptist church being ‘silenced’.

The Parochial Church Council met last week and have released the following statement:

The Church Clock Chimes

The church of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, Broadwindsor has a clock which sits in the 15th Century tower, striking the hour day and night.

After a relatively recent failure, the striking had been silent until, thanks to a local engineer, the chimes of the village church clock were to be heard once again. Many local residents were delighted to have the sound of the clock back in their lives. However, some were not as thrilled and have asked whether it might be possible for the sound to be silenced during the night when people are asleep.

Investigations have been made and it is possible to purchase a device which will allow the chimes to be heard by all at certain times of the day whilst silencing them for certain periods of the night to allow the lightest sleepers a peaceful rest.

At the annual meeting of the Parochial Church Council the opinions of parishioners were heard. It became clear that many had views one way or the other on the subject. The PCC heard that the cost of purchasing and fitting the device had been reduced from an initial estimate of over £2,600.00 to a figure just over £800.00. This would enable the chiming of the clock to be set between certain hours of the day/night.

The feeling by many members of the PCC that although the aim of the Church in our villages was to “make Jesus known,” it was not felt necessary to remind everybody of his presence throughout the night.

The members of the PCC took a vote and decided that as a good neighbour the church should for the good of the whole community, and taking all views into consideration it would be most important to compromise, and those who wished to hear the clock chiming should be allowed to do so, whilst those who wished for an uninterrupted nights’ sleep should also be allowed their wish. By a majority, the PCC elected to keep the clock chiming from 6.00am in the morning until 9.00pm at night.

The Parochial Church Council of Broadwindsor with Blackdown and Burstock.

It truly seems incredible that just one complaint can bring about this outcome when it appears most of the village want the clock to chime throughout the night. (What will happen on Hogmonay? – Editor)

When asked, Rev. Jo Neary commented “I didn’t attend that meeting so I wasn’t part of the discussion But I support the decision of a compromise and finding a way forward that is kind, considerate and makes Jesus known by sharing his values of love, compassion, kindness and mercy. The clock will still chime.”

To contact Rev. Jo – please email

Rev. Canon David Baldwin, who conducted last week’s meeting commented “...I have always turned to the very useful advice from the Council for the Care of Churches (now called the Church Buildings Council). Amongst other points they suggest that you consider your neighbours and be reasonable so as to avoid your neighbours bringing a claim against you and to prevent the possibility of the local authority bringing a prosecution against you on the grounds of noise abatement.”
He added “On dealing with complaints about bell ringing and Clock Chimes issued by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers they advise that reactions, for example, “the church was here first” and ” we have been doing this for hundreds of years” are not helpful.”

To contact Rev. Canon David – please email

From local poet, Peter Roe:

A Townie goes Wild in Dorset

“Stop the church clock…” he said
“My children lie awake in bed
Disturbed by the chimes in the night
I’m telling you, this place isn’t right

We left the city with planes overhead
Now we have screaming foxes instead
Then the noise from people leaving the pub
I’m telling you this place isn’t any good?

Harvesters working through the night
All those animals fornicating in plain sight
Shit on the field that God awful smell
Creeps into the house makes us unwell

Bloody great, tractors blocking the lane
Refusing to back up drive me insane
Hooting owls and Cockerels crowing at Dawn
This incessant noise is making me yawn

Escape to the Country, get a new life?
It just isn’t worth all this trouble and strife
This village is not the haven promised to me
I’m going back to the city where I can just be!”

Peter Roe – April 2024

Main photo: Ruthie Stevens

#Broadwindsor #Burstock #Blackdown #Drimpton #Hursey #Kittwhistle #Seaborough #Dorset #Village #Community #ChurchBells #StJohnTheBaptist #ForWhomTheBellTolls #PCC #Compromise #BeKind #BeSafe #BeaminsterChurches #PeterRoe #StaySafe