Lammas Handbell Ringers

A bequest of £2000 in 1997 by Miss Eva Childs, the daughter of the church’s Tower Captain, enabled the restoration of the 1919 set of handbells owned by the church. The Lammas Ringers were then formed in December 1998 to make use of the fully chromatic set of 25 bells. Since then there has been the addition of more bells, chimes and bell plates. The team now numbers up to a dozen ringers and plays a variety of music arranged for handbells, from well-known classical tunes to hymns and popular songs as well as new music specifically composed for handbells.

“Lammas” comes from the Anglo-Saxon “loaf mass” associated with the Quarter Day of August 1st, which is also the festival of St Peter’s Chains. The other Quarter Days are Candlemas (2nd February), May Day and All Saints’ Day (1st November). In the early English church the loaf mass was a harvest celebration when the loaves made from the newly-harvested grain were consecrated. The Godalming Lammas Lands form part of the River Wey floodplain next to St Peter and St Paul’s Church. These lands were traditionally held in severalty during the crop-raising period, Candlemas to Lammas, when hay would have been the main crop, but under common right of pasturage during the rest of the year. When the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in 1752, Lammas changed to the “glorious” 12th of August.

The Lammas Handbell Ringers rehearse in the Octagon on Thursdays from 6.30pm to 8pm.

If you would be interested in joining the Lammas Ringers, please contact the Director of Music, Matthew Greenfield who will gladly put you in touch with Barbara Saunders, the Team Leader.