Three Bells Walk

If you fancy having a go at church bell-ringing and your up for a winter stroll, then The Three Bells Walk could be just the thing. The event is based on a centuries-old tradition, which has caused much controversy in its history, but has been marked in more recent years by a guided walk. It celebrates the Christmas Eve ringing of bells in the parishes of St Ouen, St Peter and St Mary, a custom which dates back to the 15th centuary when Pierre de Breze, Compte de Maulevrier and Grand Senechal of Normandie sent an expedition against Jersey, under Sir Jean de Carbonnel, to gain possession of Gorey Castle in 1461. Jersey remained under French rule for seven years until 1468 and after a seige lasting five months M de Carbonnel surrendered Mont Orgueil to Sir Richard Harliston, Admiral of the English fleet.
 
The story goes that the western parishes were the first to be liberated and so the bell-ringing tradition began.
 

The Three Bells Walk
 
During the Calvinist years, there were no Christmas services and the tradition of 24-hour bell-ringing arose. However, the introduction of Christmas Day services caused friction between Rectors trying to hold services and the bell-ringers. One Rector was assulted by ringers and when two other Rectors locked the doors, the ringers took the doors off the hinges. It came to a head with the Rev Le Couteur Balleine of St Mary's Church, who changed the locks, removed the bellrope and clapper and even removed the belfry ladder. But the ringers were just as determined and broke the locks, dumped the doors in the rectory garden, found a ladder and made a new rope and clapper.
 
These days, bell-ringers are a little more civilised and the Rectors less hostile.
  
The six-mile walk, complete with commentary on the history and tradition, starts at St Ouen's Church at 9.00am on Christmas Eve. At each of the three parishes, the walkers will be ringing hand bells to join in the tradition. All proceeds are in aid of underprivileged or disadvantaged children in Jersey and Father Christmas has kindly approved!
 
If you would like further information, or would like to book a place, please email admin@varietyjersey.org.je or call the Variety Office on 01534 856937.
 
Date: 
Sunday, 24 December 2017 - 9:00am
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