The Miami Guild of Change Ringers is a group ringing at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.  Some of us have been ringing a year or so, others as much as 25 years.  Several members regularly drive two hours to ring at the cathedral;  the next nearest ringing towers are in Charleston, SC, ten hours drive away.

Diagram of ringer at backstroke Diagram for Bastow "Little Bob" Minimus Change ringing is the ringing of a group of bells in a sequence of patterns.  It originated in England around the time of Shakespeare;  the patterns are mathematical and often strikingly beautiful to hear.  Each ringer controls one bell.  The band of ringers stands in a circle, and they coordinate their ringing by looking at each other, counting, and listening to the bells.  See these YouTube videos of ringing here in Miami and of some very fine ringing at Washington National Cathedral.

A ringer controls the bell, and feels what the bell is doing, through its rope.  The first part of learning to ring is learning how to safely and accurately control a bell and its rope.  You sense where the bell is in its swing by how the rope feels in your hands, you guide the rope so it pours up and down a vertical path a few inches in front of your face, and you control when the bell strikes by boosting the bell up to the right height and “turning” it to swing down at the right instant.

We welcome new ringers with classes for novices and coaching sessions for motivated ringers.  Ringers can begin at almost any age.  One of us started in England at the age of 8, though in the U.S. it is more common to begin no younger than middle school;  for example, a few years ago a new ringer started in Miami at the age of 11 and another at 14.  Another of us started in the mid-fifties.  Two of us have been ringing here since the bells were installed in 1984.

Ringing is a social activity, good physical and mental exercise, and keeps you young (if you are old enough to want that).  For Trinity members, ringing is a service to the fellowship.  Local high school students can get community service credit for ringing.  For anyone, ringing sharpens your mind, trains you in real-time mental multitasking, and opens to you a worldwide community of welcoming fellow ringers.


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Holy Eucharist: 4Feb2018


What a treat to have 8 bells ringing for the second Sunday of February, Super Bowl Sunday, and such a thrill to have Barbara in the tower again!  We stayed for the service and were delighted that our dearly beloved bell ringer “Canon Jim” was mentioned twice and that our soon to be dearly missed Bobbie was recognized as well.  In addition, the Bell Ringers were mentioned in the “Trinity Cathedral 2017 Ministry Report” submitted by Robert Bannister, Bell Tower Captain.

Trinity Cathedral’s Patterson Memorial Bells are a ring of eight bells cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in England and installed and dedicated in the Cathedral bell tower in 1984.

The Miami Guild of Change Ringers oversees the maintenance of the bells and practices the centuries-old art of change ringing.  It is the local chapter of the North American Guild of Change Ringers and comprises volunteers who are members and friends of the Trinity Cathedral.  Over the past year, bell ringing continued to summon visitors to the Cathedral’s 10 AM Sunday service and helped to celebrate the joy of weddings and special services at the Cathedral. 

In just the last 12 months, the band welcomed visiting changed ringers from across the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia who supplemented the ranks of local ringers at service ringing and weekly practices.  In addition, a band of change ringers on hand bells from Winter Haven FL led by experienced tower bell ringer Kemp Brinson, made monthly visits to Miami to support service ringing and learn to ring on Miami’s tower bells. 

Ringers who are currently active in Miami include Rob Bannister, Dr Andrew Boulton, Bobbie Ibarra, Casey McClellan, Marguerite Merrill, Judy Paul, Pamela Pohling-Browne, Robert Stambaugh, Jody Vargas and Ken Whiting.  Currently non-active ringers also include Canon James Nolan and Barbara Lawless.

The Miami Guild of Change Ringers is always looking for novice and experience ringers to join our ranks and is dedicated to teaching the art of change ringing to new recruits.  Rob Bannister recently completed the Teaching Bell handling module of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers endorsed training scheme offered by the Association of Ringing Teachers.  Rob conducts training primarily in the winter months and is currently teaching new recruits.




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