Three of the Benefice Churches have bells that are hung for full-circle ringing and in working order.
Holy Cross, Church Street, Cowbridge (the Parish Church) has a complete ring of eight bells from the Evans foundry at Chepstow, dating from 1722.
St. John the Baptist Church, Llanblethian, has a ring of six, the oldest bell (dated 1680) being the tenor, another Evans’ bell. There is a mixture of other founders, the most recent to work here being Whitechapel Bellfoundry who cast the second bell in 1995 to replace an unsatisfactory bell which is now housed in the baptistry.
St. Hilary Church is in the village of St. Hilary, 1½ miles Southeast of Cowbridge. This tower contains a ring of six, consisting of Rudhall bells dating from 1742, which were recast into a ring of five by Taylors of Loughborough in 1906. As a community project to mark the beginning of the third Christian Millennium, Taylors added a treble, which was dedicated by the Archbishop of Wales on March 20, 1999.
(A fourth tower, at St. Mary Church, 2½ miles South of Cowbridge has four bells, which await restoration.)
Ringing at these churches is arranged by a Parish band, which moves around all three churches for practice nights, and for Sunday service ringing. A Parish Ringing Master, who works in co-operation with three Local Tower Captains, directs the ringing. Visitors are, of course, always welcome to join in Sunday ringing and practice nights. Enquiries are also welcome from potential new members.
Handbells: In addition, the Parish possesses a set of 17 chromatic hand-bells, and a team of hand-bell ringers meets regularly at 1.30pm on Wednesday afternoons in the Taynton Room of Holy Cross Parish Church. Once again, new people are encouraged to join in.
Correspondent - A J (Alf) Charles, can be contacted via the Parish Office.