St Mary’s has a strong and friendly band of ringers. They practise on Monday nights at 7.45 pm, and ring for half an hour before the main Sunday service at 10.30 am. Individual visiting ringers are always made welcome. The tower captain is happy to arrange for bands from other churches to visit and ring.
The bells are a unique ring of eight bells – the only surviving complete octave cast by Thomas Janaway of Chelsea in 1777. The bells were recast with two new bells from the previous six – themselves recast in the 17th century from the four pre reformation bells.
The bell frame and fittings were completely renewed by Taylors Bell Foundry in 1938 and the installation provides a popular and easy going ring of bells.
The first documented ringing of the bells is for the passing by of Queen Elizabeth 1st on her journey by river to and from Richmond Palace and thereafter there are regular references to the bells being rung not only for the services of the church but at times to mark national events – as they still do today – maintaining a 500 year old tradition uniquely developed in England.