The quest to find enough bell-ringers to ‘ring the King’ on the day of the coronation is unlikely to reach its goal despite the advance of hundreds of new recruits.
The appeal was launched to find enough people to ring each of the 38,000 bells on May 6 in October.
But of the 8,000 extras needed, only 1,500 have volunteered so far.
Ten-year-old Lexi Roberts is one of them. Nicholas Church in Sevenoaks, Kent, and can’t wait to play your part on this historic occasion.
“My mom told me I might be able to call the king’s coronation if I practiced a lot,” she said.
“There will be tons of people all over the country doing that.
“It would be cool because I could brag about it to my siblings!”
Elisa Wickham, 11, used to ring the school bell to call everyone at the start of the day, but this is something different.
“It’s very exciting but I’m nervous I’m going to do it wrong,” she said.
“You’d think you’d have to pull the rope really hard, but you have to be a little more relaxed while doing it.”
As Leader of the Tower, Caroline Stockmann is the church’s bell-ringer and is delighted that the challenge of finding new recruits for the coronation brings skill to a new audience.
“It’s a catalyst for them to do something really special that might be their only chance in their lives, who knows,” she said.
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“Hopefully, it will bring in different generations, different people from diverse backgrounds.”
Church was also among those tolling the muffled bells at the Queen’s funeral.
Stockmann added, “For the coronation of King Charles, we can ring in a ceremonial way all over the country and it would be great to hear that sound.”
Vicki Chapman of the Bell Rangers Central Council of the Church is worried there won’t be enough time to train a full rookie in the next seven weeks.
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“It will be too much for them unless they have a lot of free time,” she said.
She suggested that experienced ringers end up traveling from church to church to make sure that every community can hear the bells ringing.