Challenge has a nice ring to it

Brought to you by the News Guardian.
Brought to you by the News Guardian.

Churches are being challenged to show people the ropes by bringing to life the 400-year-old tradition of English-style bell ringing.

The call to the ringing world to open up 500 sites is part of Heritage Open Days from Thursday, September 8, to Sunday, September 11.

Bell ringers across the country are already signing up to take part in Challenge 500, including Christ Church, North Tyneside, and St Paul’s Church and Bell Tower, Whitley Bay.

At Christ Church, volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and highlight notable features of the church and its history. On Saturday, September 10, the ringing chamber in the tower will also be open and there will be bell ringers present to show visitors around and answer questions.

At St Paul’s, the bell tower will be open for a bell ringing demonstration. Visitors can hear the bells ring, meet local members of the Bell Ringers Guild and try ringing a bell.

As well as Challenge 500, ringers are invited to come together to create a collective bell ringing moment as part of the festival on Thursday, September 8, between 6pm and 7pm.

To take part in the challenge, bell towers need to register with Heritage Open Days by August 1. For more information, visit the website or email