New Head of Bell Tower for York Minster
Posted on Friday 09 June
York Minster today announced Angela Mitchell as the cathedral’s new Head of Bell Tower. Mrs Mitchell’s appointment starts in June for an initial period of 12 months.
A member of the Minster’s former bell ringing team for more than 20 years, Angela will be responsible for the ring of 12 bells at York Minster – widely regarded as some of the best sounding bells in the country.
A headteacher at a school in York and a member of the Minster’s congregation, Angela comes from a family of bell ringers, is married to a bell ringer and has a daughter who is also a ringer. She had her first bell handling lesson at the age of 11 and then learnt to ring at St Michael’s Church Flixton, Manchester, where her parents rang. Eight months later Angela’s family moved to Australia for a year. Within 14 months of first learning to ring, Angela had rung at two towers in England and 10 in Australia.
One of Angela’s first tasks will be to help recruit and establish the Minster’s new band of volunteer bell ringers. The Minster received applications from 42 bell ringers from York and the wider region with more than three quarters of the applications coming from members of the previous band.
Commenting on her appointment, Angela Mitchell said:
“The reason I applied for the job is quite simple. I want York Minster’s magnificent bells to ring out again each Sunday and for other key occasions. The Minster needed someone who could help to achieve that and someone with a set of specific skills including risk assessments, safeguarding, health and safety and safer recruitment – all of which I do as part of my everyday work as a headteacher.
“The recent history of bell ringing at the Minster has been difficult and there is some healing to do. However I am really looking forward to working with the new team and I hope that the news of my appointment will help to move things forward.”
Recruitment and induction of the new volunteer bell ringing team will take place during the summer using the Church of England’s Safer Recruitment processes focusing on safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, security, health and safety. York Minster’s new volunteer bell ringing team will be fully up and running in the early autumn.