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Whether you're an experienced ringer, or have no idea what bell ringing is, all are very welcome to visit the tower at Trinity Wall Street!

What is change ringing?

Change ringing, or simply "bell ringing", provides about 40,000 people in at least 10 different countries with a pastime that includes an intellectual and physical challenge, a strong social component, and an opportunity for lifetime learning. Change ringing has aspects that are mechanical, rhythmical, musical and mathematical, and above all it involves teamwork. Change ringing is an art form with a history that dates back more than 400 years.

There are over 5,000 towers across the world that contain change ringing bells. The majority of these are in the United Kingdom, where change ringing originally developed. There are around 40 installations of change ringing bells in towers across the United States, and another 7 in Canada.

Most change ringing installations comprise 6 or 8 bells, though at larger churches and cathedrals there can frequently be 10 or 12 bells. At Trinity we are lucky enough to have 12 bells: the only place in the United States to do so!

The websites and articles listed below provide some background on change ringing, and further information on the Trinity Ringers.

  • Read an article about change ringing at Trinity Wall Street that was published in the New York Times in September 2009
  • Read this article, written by one of the Trinity Ringers
  • The Trinity Ringers are part of the North American Guild of Change Ringers. Visit the NAGCR website
  • The NAGCR is affiliated with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Visit the CCCBR website
  • Visit the bells page of the Trinity Wall Street church website

If you would like to visit to see and hear the bells and watch how we ring them, just learn more about change ringing, or even take a lesson in how to ring, then please feel free to join us at one of our regular weekly ringing events. It's free, but please use the "Contact Us" link above to let us know you're coming. Want to read more? Then visit our FAQ!

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Change Ringing at Trinity!

Visiting our Regular Ringing Events

Sunday Service Ringing: 9:45am - 11:15am, and 12:20pm - 1:30pm

On Sundays access the tower via the main entrance to Trinity at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street. The door that leads up to the ringing room is on the left hand side as you walk in, between two sets of double glass doors that lead into the main body of the church.

If the tower door is locked, please find one of the Trinity security guards, let them know you are a bell ringer, and ask them to unlock the door for you.

Please be quiet on the stairs as the choir may be singing in the gallery, and/or a sound engineer may be working in a booth next to the steps.

Wednesday Practice: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The main Broadway entrance to Trinity is usually locked by 7:00pm. Instead go to the "Dungeon Door" entrance, which is on Trinity Place. This entrance is a small black metal door built into the high church wall, almost beneath the pedestrian footbridge that crosses Trinity Place. Meet at the dungeon door at 6:50pm. If you arrive after 7:00pm, phone the ringing room: +1(646) 216-6548.

If you arrive early on a Wednesday, you can wait in the Trinity Parish Center until 6:50pm. The Parish Center is located on the northwest corner of Trinity Place and Rector Street. The address is 2 Rector Street, but note that the entrance is on Trinity Place.

News

May 6, 2018 Today’s ringing saw much of our repertory, including Stedman, Erin, Grandsire, Plain Bob, Cambridge, Bristol, and of course Plain Hunt and Rounds & Call Changes. Our post-service open ringing closed with something borrowed from the orchestra tradition for a farewell, by which individual groups or instrumentalists drop out one by one. We started with rounds on 10, and on command of the conductor “Treble Stand”, the 1 was set, and a minute or so later the same call meant the 2 was set, and onward with rounds on 8, 7, 6, 5, etc. until only the tenor remained ringing, and it tolled 11 times, once for each year since the bells were installed.
May 6, 2018 Today was a poignant day in the Trinity tower, it being the last Sunday that services will take place in Trinity Church for what is likely to be two years. It remains unclear as to how much access to the belltower we’ll be given after this date, but early indications are that our access will be severely limited over this period, bringing a long pause, if not a halt, to a vibrant ringing tradition built up over 11 years of hard work and commitment. We’re very uncertain as to what lies ahead for us. As the Vicar stressed in his sermon today bearing upon the whole subject of the church closure, we’re all in this together, and it’s not going to be easy. We’ll keep everyone posted as information becomes known to us, and as plans for this unexpected interval begin to take shape.
March 21, 2018 Note that practice tonight is cancelled due to the snowstorm.
March 1, 2018 We’re still a few weeks away from Wednesday, March 28th, but we’re asking if everyone could note in their calendars that there will be no ringing practice on that date. The 28th is Wednesday in Holy Week, and the Service of Tenebrae takes place in the church on that day during the general time of our weekly practice; given the nature of this service, a simultaneous bell practice wouldn’t be appropriate. Also, please be aware that Trinity Church is implementing security checks on all persons entering the church building, so please be prepared for that going forward.
February 19, 2017 The American Guild of Organists (AGO) holds a regional conference annually in New York City on this weekend, and this year the new organ installation at St. Paul's Chapel featured prominently in the event. A tour of the Trinity bell tower and a presentation in the ringing room of the art of changing-ringing was offered as one of the events of this year's conference. About 30 organists made the climb up the steps (including one individual who was blind). Over the course of an hour and a half, our guests heard something of how change-ringing works and what differentiates it from other types of ringing, followed by a demonstration of Plain Hunt on 4. Jeremy and Tony offered those who were interested (and many were!) a few backstroke pulls, while Charlotte and David mingled with the guests, answering their many questions - and they were all good questions! It was a great public relations event for the tower and for change-ringing, and the audience was very enthusiastic.
Feb 14, 2018 Reminder that there is no practice on Wed Feb 14th due to Ash Wednesday.
January 21, 2017 Today's pre-service ringing saw the debut appearance of our new light ("heather") grey-colored uniform polo shirts for the Sunday webcast. We had a good turnout of ringers, with Erin Caters as the service touch. We're pleased with the new look, and with the choices that were made in the redesign.
January 7, 2018 The first Sunday of the New Year - Epiphany Sunday at Trinity - saw some good 12-bell ringing, with 18 ringers present for the occasion. Dividing the bells front and back into two groups of six, each simultaneously ringing Plaint Hunt on 5, allowed ringers at various levels to participate. Erin and Stedman Cinques were also rung for the occasion. Ringing continued into the afternoon, concluding with a quarter peal of Stedman Cinques.
Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018 A month that began rather auspiciously ended somewhat quietly, with so many of our ringers being away for the Christmas holidays that we had to cancel ringing, a great disappointment, as we strive to maintain a sense of service to Trinity Church as paramount to our activities. But many of us provided supply ringers to towers in the communities we were visiting, many of which were experiencing the same problem of their local bands being diminished by Christmas travel plans. The bells were also silent on New Years Eve this year – but we look forward to pulling the ropes again as 2018 begins, and we wish all of our members and friends a Happy New Year.
December 9, 2017 The ‘Trinity Shield’ 8-Bell Striking Competition, the first of what we hope will become an annual event, took place today. Five teams participated, one from Boston, two from New York, one from Washington DC and one from the Kent School. Dave Bassford served as the judge. The test piece was 154 changes of Plain Bob Triples, rung by each team in an order determined by a draw, after a period of general ringing followed by socializing and refreshments in the Manning Room. When the day’s ringing had concluded, everyone made their way to Trinity Place bar and restaurant. Towards the end of a fine dinner, Dave addressed the group with constructive, insightful critiques of each team’s ringing, concluding with the announcement of the results in reverse order, with Washington DC being named as the winner. The event concluded on Sunday, with 12-bell ringing for both the 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 liturgies. Thanks to Stuart and Kira for organizing this, and to all who participated and helped make it a success.
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