News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Church-bells-main_article_image.jpg
cc
UK News

Bell ringing to become a sport?

by Hannah Tooley

The task is said to improve muscle coordination, improve agility and tone muscles.

Some campanologists, better known as bell ringers, argue it is a form of exercise and being given sports status would give the activity more funding and encourage new recruits.

A bell ringing session can last around three hours and bell ringers say it is at least as strenuous as some sports like angling and rambling.

Michael Wigney, London Diocesean Guild of Church Bell Ringers, told Premier's News Hour some people are worried it will take away from worship: "Most bells are obviously in churches and to say it's a sport may detract from the objective to ring the bells for worship."

He added that it has even used in schools that use it: "There are schools who've taken up ringing as one of their alternatives to P.E."

Michael Wigney added that it is a great way for young people to get involved. 

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Ted Venn who wrote to bell ringing magazine, The Ringing World, said: "If active religion declines to such an extent that churches are no longer in existence as places of worship, then church bell ringing will end with it."

Sport England can categorise an activity as a sport based on the European Sports Charter definition of a 'physical activity' which aims to improve 'physical fitness and mental well-being and forming social relationships.'

Recently Bridge lost a High Court battle to be classified as a sport because the game did not require enough 'physical training'.

Research by the YMCA and the Churches Conservation Trust found that bell ringing could provide a range of benefits, from better cardiovascular fitness to muscle endurance and improve agility.

It requires climbing steep staircases and pulling on ropes to make the heavy bells chime.

But the Central Council of Bell Ringers are not happy with the push, they say it would jeopardise bell ringing's relationship with church bodies and it should be seen as a part of Christian worship and not as a sport.

The Council's President Chris Mew said: "Where is the glamour of the sports field and where are the David Beckhams if the belfry?"

But Robert Lewis, The Ringing World editor, disagrees.

He told the paper: "Ringing is great fun as well as being a healthy physical and mental workout.

"We would like many more people to have the opportunity to try it, and identification as a sport could help achieve that."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speak to Michael Wigney, London Diocesean Guild of Church Bell Ringers, here:

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate