An Ossett church which can boast one of the largest bell towers in the country is at the centre of a national bell ringing contest this month.
Trinity Church, Ossett is keen to promote the art of bellringing and has a vibrant ringing community made up of young and old. And over the last six weeks it has been the venue for a series of pre-contest practice sessions for the National 12-Bell Striking Contest– open to any tower where 12-bell ringing is practiced regularly.
On Saturday March 24 it will be the one of only three venues in the country to host the six team eliminator rounds, alongside Selby Abbey and Southwell Minster, both with 12 bell ringing chambers – and the Leeds branch of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers – which ring at Leeds Minster - have been drawn as one of the teams in that eliminator.
The national final will be held on June 23 at Great St Mary’s in Cambridge with the top three from each of the eliminators competing for the coveted Taylor Trophy.
The National Twelve-Bell Striking Contest is the principal change ringing striking competition in the UK and has been held annually since 1975.
The vicar, the Revd Clive Hicks has offered an open invitation for people to come and listen on competition day. Doors open from 10 am; refreshments and breakfast buns to raise funds for Christian Aid will be available til 11.30am.
Said Clive: “We have a fantastic team of bell ringers, including some who have rung for 40-50 years, and continue to do so faithfully for weddings, Sunday services, and practice every Thursday evening. One of the dedications on the newest bell - installed in November 2016 - is to David Lockwood, now in his 90s, who was ringing right up to 2015."
“Bellringers are made up from all walks of life, young and old, and we are keen to promote the art of bell ringing here at Ossett,” he added.
Anyone in the area interested in bellringing should contact the Tower Captain, David Pygott through the church office on 01924 263497.