LOCAL church bell ringer, Chris Jenkins, is part of a team who will be attempting to ring a ‘peal’ of 5,040 bell changes, as he raises money and awareness for Diabetes UK.
Chris learnt to ring church bells at All Saints Church in Westbury at the age of 14 and continues to ring them at weekly practice sessions. He wants to undertake the challenge to show people that having diabetes should not affect people’s life ambitions.
Chris has had type 1 diabetes for 27 years, being diagnosed at the age of 7, and his father for 36 years.
In campanology, a peal is the name given to a specific type of performance of change ringing which meets certain conditions for duration, complexity and quality. Chris and the team’s challenge of 5,040 changes, will take place at Sherborne Abbey on Saturday 25th August. The abbey was chosen as it houses the heaviest ring of eight bells in the world, with a tenor bell weighing in at 46 cwt, which is just under two and a half tons.
Chris said, “Alongside myself is a very experienced band of bell ringers from East Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon! It is a team effort and we will work together and try to score the peal. We will be ringing a method called Cambridge Surprise Major.
“We had a practice session at the abbey a few weeks ago for just over a hour, this went very well but it was very, very warm. I think the heat may be the only issue here – even with five fans blowing away, it was incredibly hot. The whole band worked well together and are confident we can achieve the peal.
“Personally I’m feeling OK at the moment but will be a bag of nerves on the day. I do love to see the sun shining but I wish for it to disappear a few days before, to let the air temperature cool down.
“As far as the diabetes is concerned, I can only be a little more strict with myself on the lead up to the peal attempt and hope that it works in my favour on the day!”
So far, Chris has raised over £800 for the charity, with a target to reach £1,000 before the date. If you would like to sponsor Chris, visit his justgiving page via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-jenkins12.
If you are interested in learning bell ringing, the group is looking to recruit new ringers nationally and locally. For more information email Chris on email@example.com.