Bells ring out on national radio from Suffolk tower church

One of the 38 round tower churches in Suffolk was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Bells on Sunday programme. The two-minute recording of the bells of St Andrew, Wissett, near Halesworth, was broadcast at 5.43am on Sunday, May 12.

A day earlier at the annual meeting of the Round Tower Churches Society at Belton, it had been announced that His Majesty the King had agreed to become the Society’s patron to the surprise of members. In a letter from Buckingham Palace to the society’s chairman, Stuart Bowell, the King wrote of his “delight” to become patron. As Prince of Wales, he had been patron since for the past three decades and taken a keen interest in the society’s affairs.

The ringers at St Andrew’s Church, which has six bells including the tenor weighing seven hundredweight (cwt), submitted a recording of Cambridge Surprise Minor.

The continuity announcer said that the church dates from the 12th and 14th centuries. It is actually listed in the Domesday Book. The tower stands 50ft high, according to Bill Goode, who first visited the church in 1976. Later, he noted that the four 15th century windows in the belfry were restored in the general tower restoration in 1977 when the walls were repointed.

Bells of Sunday was be heard again – go to BBC Sounds.

Photograph of St Andrew, Wissett – Stuart Bowell, taken on April 23, 2017