Wellington Bell Ringing

Wellington Towers

Wellington Cathedral

Wellington Cathedral has 14 bells, ranging in size from Little James(4 cwt) to the People's Bell(27 cwt). A sharp treble and flat 6th allow us to ring a light six (5 cwts) and a light eight and ten (10 cwts). The bell tower was completed and bells were installed by Taylors of Loughborough in 1984. Seven of the current bells were already 100 years old at that stage, being recycled from the demolished St Edmund's Church in Northampton, England. The eighth bell from St Edmund's was of poor quality and was melted down and the metal included in the seven new bells.

Wellington Cathedral is fortunate to have a lift from the Ground Floor to the Ringing Chamber. The Ringing Chamber is spacious enough to have ample seating and house the John David Mini Ring.

There are magnetic sensors on twelve of the bells, connected through a Bagley box to a computer in the Ringing Chamber. These allow us to have simulator ringing up to maximus and avoid annoying the neighbours with open ringing.

Each year we hold the Wellington Ringing Festival at New Zealand Labour weekend. In 2014, we welcomed ringers from England, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Hamilton, Auckland, and Dunedin. As well as plenty of general ringing for all levels of expertise, we have a dinner and several quarter peal attempts. All ringers are welcome. For more details see Ringing Festival.

The John David Mini Ring

The John David Mini Ring was bought from Matthew Higby & Co in 2015 by the Wellington Ringers. Donations towards the cost were made by many ringers, by the Australia and New Zealand Association of Bellringers (ANZAB), and by Wellington City Council. The bells were cast by Mark Prior and tuned and hung by Matthew Higby. The tenor weighs 9lb 10oz, with a note of F#.

The ring is named after two members of the Caldwell family, four generations of which have been ringers in New Zealand. David Caldwell was a ringer at St Matthew's, Auckland and Hamilton Cathedral. His son, John, learnt to ring. John died at a relatively young age. John's son, Andrew learnt to ring at Wellington Cathedral, becoming the fourth generation of Caldwells to ring.

Each bell is named after a donor. The treble and tenor are named Gill and Gerald respectively, after Gill and Gerald McIlhone. The second is named Rei, after Rei Ngatai. The third is named Jarman, after Chris Jarman. The fourth is named Barrett, after Terry Barrett. Gerald, Rei, Chris and Terry are Wellington ringers. Rei is the first Maori to ring a peal. The fifth is named Pleasance, after Pleasance Purser, who was Ringing Master at the Cathedral for 25 years.

The mini ring is used for demonstrating and teaching ringing. It is regularly used for quarter peals.

Old St Paul's

There are 5 bells at Old St Paul's, the tenor being nearly the same weight as the lightest bell at the Cathedral (4 cwts). It is a ground floor ring. There is no regular practice at Old St Paul's. We try and arrange for visitors to the Cathedral to ring at Old St Paul's, if they are visiting on a Sunday. We ring here for about twenty five weddings each year, most of which take place in the summer.

St Peter's on Willis, Wellington


There is a ring of 8 bells installed at St Peter's. They are unringable. More details of the bells can be found on St Peter's web site.