York St Wilfrids – The Story of Their Open Day 7 June

York St Wilfrid’s hosted their Open Day and Bell-Ringing Demonstration on Saturday 7 June.  It was a great event.  Bells, cakes and brilliant technology overcame the adverse weather. Photos via the Facebook link below.


Listen to the bells at


St Wilfrid’s also featured recently on BBC Radio 4 Bells on Sunday


Full story of the Open Day now follows:

“Much as we’d like to tell our French visitors this summer that the hot sunny weather they will (undoubtedly) experience when Le Tour arrives is normal, the truth is that is it does sometimes rain quite heavily throughout the day in Yorkshire.

The day of the St Wilfrid’s York Open Day was one such day. Cakes were lined up at the ready to cater for people fleeing the assault of the elements, but most people seemed to have opted to stay in, or were on a mission to get somewhere.

It wasn’t the best day for a wedding either, especially if you have opted for a vintage camper van for your bridal transport and it refuses to start. So the St Wilfrid’s Ringers found themselves helping to jump start the wedding car – not their usual role at a wedding !

Home made cakes and other refreshments were provided for wedding guests and other visitors, and, after the wedding, the bell-ringers gave demonstrations of bell-ringing.

How are bells rung ? How are the musical patterns you hear chosen ? What actually happens to the bell when the bell-rope is pulled ?  Some ringing helped to show what had been described, and a live feed from a camera up among the bells showed what was actually going on when the bell-ringers pulled ropes in the chamber down below.

There were enthusiastic responses from people after their tours. Visitors included church members, local residents and tourists. Many had a go at ringing a bell themselves – some of them so enthusiastically they didn’t want to stop.

At the end of the day  our visitors had had an enjoyable and informative experience, and over £400 had been raised for bell maintenance funds. It wasn’t the easiest day to be doing an event like this, but it proved worthwhile , and the ringers at St Wilfrid’s are grateful to everyone who braved the rain so cheerfully, and came and joined us. We hope for better weather when Le Tour passes through.”

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