St James’ Handbells – Take it From Here

Cheque Presentation

Yesterday night I was up at the Church for a musical event where for once I didn’t have to do anything at all!

The event was the launch of the St James’ Handbell Ringers “Take it From Hereâ€? initiative – where they are planning to take their music into a variety of the local care homes, doing various activities related to music therapy with the residents. The video below includes a demonstration of the kind of things they are planning to do by Sandra Winter, Secretary of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain, who already does this kind of work.

This is quite an impressive level of progress as it is less than two years ago that the team were absolute beginners – as one of the representatives of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain said during her presentation, when she first heard them, they were a group of people all ringing their bells individually, now they are a team.

Initially, the team had no bells of their own, and were borrowing a set. A full set costs over £7000, so they raised some money, and the PCC provided about £3000 to get the bells. From there they have now obtained grants from various local bodies, and grant of over £8000 from the National Lottery to enable them to launch their initiative, and this was a special concert, attended by the local mayor, to launch the initiative to the public, and officially receive the cheque from the lottery.

I have to say, that I’m not the greatest fan of handbells – although I suspect that is mainly having sat through a number of really bad handbell renditions where the timing goes off as the team struggle to keep in time – probably the hardest thing to get right with a group of handbell ringers I’m sure. However, with all their hard work, the St James team really don’t seem to have any of the timing issues that usually bug me about other groups that I’ve heard in the past. All in all it was a really enjoyable evening of great music.

I’ve uploaded a load of pictures to Flickr, which can also be found in our photo gallery.

I also tried out the video recording on the new camera, the results of which can be seen below – although I will say it’s slightly more fiddly to work with video off the new camera as it seems to be producing movie clips in a non-iMovie friendly format…

Update: A few related items that might be of interest:

Press release from the local Borough Council about the same event. Some nice quotes from both the mayor, and from Meg.

Wokingham’s Valuable Volunteers includes another mention of the group.

Handbell Ringers’ Ministry – short article from the Diocesan newspaper about the group.

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