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



Steady growth in a Coffs buyer's market

Boambee stood out as the region's most expensive suburb for houses with a $650,000 median sale price.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

Win an A-League experience

Win a coach's perspective of Coffs' first ever A-League match

Strong surf expected this weekend

Strong surf conditions expected to hit the NSW coast this weekend.

The NSW coast is expected to receive strong surf this weekend.

Local Partners

41-year-old playgroup under threat of closing down

IT'S been an important part of the Ballina community for decades, but this playgroup could be forced to shut its doors.


Fans invited to meet Jets at training session

FLYING IN: Catch the Newcastle Jets at the free training session at the international stadium on Thursday.

Catch up with the Newcastle Jets at the free training session

Legendary batsman opens up

STAR: Sir Viv Richards.

Cricket hero Sir Viv Richards will tell his tale at Coffs race club

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Steady growth in a Coffs buyer's market

Boambee stood out as the region's most expensive suburb for houses with a $650,000 median sale price.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Our coastline suburbs offer cheapest beach living in NSW

GOING CHEAP: You can snap up a property at Nambucca Heads for as little as $95,000.

Could you imagine buying a beach property for less than $100,000?

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!