News

Maryborough brothers some of the youngest bell ringers

Young Maryborough bell ringers, Jack Stewart, Andrew Chapman and Sean, Hugh and Blair Stewart, practice the church tradition at St John's Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane.
Young Maryborough bell ringers, Jack Stewart, Andrew Chapman and Sean, Hugh and Blair Stewart, practice the church tradition at St John's Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane. Ava Benny-Morrison

SEAN may have the looks, humour and smarts but his younger brothers have the bell-ringing pull.

The four tight-knight Maryborough siblings are the hands, coordination and timing behind the bell ringing each Sunday at St Paul's Anglican Church.

They are also some of the youngest bell ringers in Australia.

The teens have embraced the long-standing church tradition while bringing to it a healthy level of family competition.

"Well, Sean is good looking, funny and intelligent and I mean we are five brothers and we all have good qualities but I am a bit like the hybrid with all the good stuff," Sean jokes.

But Hugh is adamant: "Blair is the better bell ringer".

Sean, 16, Jack, 12, Hugh, 12, Blair, 14, and fellow bell ringer Andrew Chapman, 15, visited Brisbane this week to brush up on their bell ringing skills high above St John's Anglican Cathedral.

After a hair-raising walk up a flight of steep stone stairs, the five school students pulled on the ropes connected to 12 bells in the cathedral's bell tower with precise co-ordination and impeccable timing.

The boys' willingness to embrace the deeply rooted tradition is a welcome contrast from a decreasing trend of youth participation across the church community.

"I am really pleased these young guys who I hope will be around for quite a while to ring," Bell ringing captain Ruth Andersen said.

"Even if they do leave, it is one of those things you can do anywhere that has bells.

"You can walk into a bell tower and everyone welcomes you with open arms and it's really great."

Mrs Andersen, a 28-year veteran of bell ringing, said the practice created a sense of community.

The young boys admit the practice takes patience but is well worth it.

"To start up it takes six months to a year to learn and Ruth is a bit choosy with who she lets ring so you have to wait a bit before you can actually get in," Sean said.

"I remember the first time I rung the big heavy one, which is about a tonne, I was fairly nervous for that.

"But mostly now I have done all the weights of the bells its ok."

Topics:  editors picks, st paul's anglican church



Dumping tosses costs on charities and rates

FED UP: Lifeline's warehouse manager Marc Hutchinson and retail co-ordinator Jo Anne Auston are frustrated at the amount of rubbish dumped at the Toormina store.

Dumping costs charities and Coffs Coasts rate payers

Big prize on offer for the healthiest school canteen

HOMEGROWN: Grade 6 "Ministers for Health” Maggie McConnachie and Amilia Roberts help school canteen manager Meba Winter in the school's vegetable garden.

The Coffs Coast Healthy Canteen Awards kick off next term

Emma Moffatt calls it a day

BOWING OUT: Triathlete Emma Moffatt racing during the triathlon at the recent Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Emma Moffatt calls time on a great Olympic distance triathlon career

Local Partners

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Spring property hard to find

SHORT ON SELLERS: Spring is yet to see the usual influx of vendors keen to sell.

Spring selling season off to a slow start

Coffs region is hot property

The region’s housing market is looking up, with projects on the radar in Tannum Sands and Boyne Island.

Units and houses are both pulling strong returns for Coffs

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction