St Paul's Cathedral Guild of Ringers

The St Paul's Cathedral Guild of Ringers is responsible for ringing the bells at St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London for services, and for other occasions of celebration and remembrance.

On Saturday 12th November 12 Guild members rang a peal of 5,040 Cambridge Surprise Maximus for the Lord Mayor's Show. Video of the ringing can be found on the Cathedral's Facebook page.

Ringing times

Ringing takes place three times on a Sunday (except when service times change) - for half an hour before Mattins (9:45–10:15), Eucharist (11:00–11:30), and Evensong (2:45–3:15).

Peals (long periods of ringing, rung by the same band of ringers, and at St Paul's taking around four hours) are rung on New Year's Day, Easter Monday, and for special occasions. Recently these have included the Queen's 90th birthday, the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

The bells

The ring of twelve bells is housed in the north west tower. The heaviest bell in a ring is known as the tenor. At St Paul's this weighs more than three tonnes, giving the Cathedral the third heaviest ring of bells by tenor weight, and the second heaviest by total weight of bells.

The bells were cast in 1878 by John Taylor & Co, Loughborough. Bells are traditionally weighed in hundredweights (eight stone, abbreviated to cwt), quarter-hundredweight, and pounds. The tenor, at 61cwt 2 quarters and 12 pounds, is therefore 6,900lb.

BellWeightNoteDiameter
18-1-4F3078"
29-0-20Eb3212"
39-3-12D34"
411-2-22C36616"
513-1-0Bb3858"
613-2-14A3958"
716-1-18G4334"
821-3-18F4758"
927-1-22Eb5212"
1029-3-21D5514"
1143-2-0C6114"
1261-2-12Bb69"

Each bell carries an inscription recording its donor, and one recording the founders:

JOHN TAYLOR AND CO. FOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH MDCCCLXXVIII

BellInscription
1–2PRESENTED BY THE DRAPERS' COY.
UNTO GOD ONLY BE HONOUR AND GLORY.
PETER ROLT, ESQ., MASTER.
3–6PRESENTED BY BARONESS BURDETT COUTTS AND THE TURNERS' COY.
BY FAITH I OBTEIGNE.
EDWARD CAFFIN, ESQ., MASTER.
7THE GIFT OF THE SALTERS' COY.
SAL SAPIT OMNIA.
JAMES CARR FISHER, ESQ., MASTER.
8PRESENTED BY THE MERCHANT TAYLORS' COY.
CONCORDIA PARVÆ RES CRESCUNT.
SAMUEL MASON, ESQ., MASTER.
9THE GIFT OF THE FISHMONGERS' COY.
ALL WORSHIP BE TO GOD ONLY.
EDWARD EDWARDS, PRIME WARDEN.
10PRESENTED BY THE CLOTHWORKERS' COY.
MY TRUST IS IN GOD ALONE.
JAMES WYLD, ESQ., MASTER.
11THE GIFT OF THE GROCERS' COY.
GOD GRANT GRACE.
W. I. THOMPSON, ESQ., JUNR MASTER.
12THE RIGHT HONBLE. W.I.R. COTTON, LORD MAYOR.
XIV SEPTEMBER MDCCCLXXVI
DOMINE DIRIGE NOS.
THIS TENOR BELL WAS PRESENTED BY THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF LONDON.