Fun with Bells - bell and handbell ringing interviews

Cool Kenyan Ringers from Kilifi Bring Bell Ringing Back Home

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Episode notes

‘Unique’ is often overused as a word, but host Cathy Booth’s guests on this wonderful episode, John, and Debbie, can certainly claim it for their ringing experience. That’s because they ring at St Thomas’s Church, Kilifi in Kenya which is one of the remotest rings of bells in the world, with the nearest bells hung for change ringing being at Harare in Zimbabwe over 1,000 miles away.

Cathy learns about the fascinating history of the church and the bells, as well as hearing how John and Debbie became ringers, their learning experience, and their amazing ringing trips to the UK.

Although much will be familiar to other ringers, such as the ringing room with its set of handbells, cabinet of ringing books and bottomless sweet tin, there are also some eye-opening challenges of ringing in a tower that is, well, unique!

If you are beginning to take ringing a little bit for granted, this podcast will stop you in your tracks and possibly rekindle your romance.

Top takeaways

  • Read all about the Kilifi ringers 2015 adventures in the UK The Whiting Society of Ringers - Kilifi
  • Check out the bells on DOVE Tower details (
  • Struggling to ring or explain plain hunt to a learner? Try thinking about it being like using the stairs – slowly up and faster down!
  • Inspired by John and Debbie’s charity work? Is there anything more your church or tower could do to support struggling families in your local area? Or contact John to hear more about John and Debbie's work: [email protected]
  • Looking for some new ringing recruits? Members of the church choir are often a fruitful hunting ground.

Sponsor: This podcast is sponsored by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART).  To find out more about learning to ring, learning to teach or other resources to support your ringing go to

Podcast team:
Anne Tansley Thomas
Emily Roderick
John Gwynne
Emily Watts
Cathy Booth

Ringing by:
The Cambridge Youths (supplied by David Richards) and for later episodes, The Liliputters Guild (supplied by Simon Edwards).