Church bells have historically been rung across the country to celebrate special occasions, so it's no surprise that the bells will be pealing out all over the UK to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III.


The coronation service will start at around 11am and Westminster Abbey bells will ring out for two minutes after the crowning.

It is likely that the bells of Westminster Abbey will be heard after the service as well, as the bell ringers will probably ring a full peal to mark the momentous occasion. A full peal comprises of a minimum of 5000 different changes (or sequences) and takes over three hours to complete.

And while not all dioceses will ring the full peal, it is expected that churches will follow suit and ring their bells for the newly crowned King Charles III.

We spoke to Vicki Chapman from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers to find out more.

Why are church bells used to proclaim new monarchs?

Church bells are synonymous with the soundscape of England. Bell ringing is a quintessentially English activity and has been used in times of local and national celebration. For centuries church bells have sounded, calling people to worship, in celebration of special occasions, in remembrance and to mark special events.

What time will the bells ring out across the rest of the country?

As the time of the Service has not been made public, bellringers are being invited to ring at a time convenient to them and with the permission of the local church authorities.

What do they play?

We ring 'methods'. A method is a pattern of changes that the bells make. There is no set method as it depends on the ability of the band participating.

Some may only be able to ring rounds and call changes, whilst others may try something more complex. There are methods with names, such as the Coronation Surprise Major, which can be rung on eight bells. There are many other appropriately named methods, according to the ability of the band.

How long will they ring the bells for?

Less experienced ringers may ring for, say about half an hour, whilst more experienced ringers might ring a quarter peal, which lasts approximately 45 minutes. Others may attempt a full peal, which lasts about three hours.

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How long does it take to become a bell ringer?

Bellringing requires skills learned over the course of several months, and over the last few months bellringers across the UK have been recruiting new ringers to help on the day.


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