English Handbell Ministry at  St. Matthew’s

The English Handbell Ministry at St. Matthew’s, directed by Susan Lee, began in 1997 with a group of interested ringers playing on borrowed handchimes during our fundraising efforts. Our 3-octave set of Schulmerich handbells arrived in August 1998, and over the years we have increased to 5 octaves of handbells and 5½ octaves of handchimes.

There are several ensembles at St. Matthew’s:

  • Bells of St. Matthew’s (BoSM)
  • Ringtones
  • Spirit Ringers
  • Small Ensemble
  • Select Ensemble

Rehearsal and Ringing Schedule

Ensemble Rehearsal Time
Ringtones Tuesdays, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Bells of St. Matthew’s  (BoSM) Tuesdays,  5:00-6:30 p.m.



Bells of St. Matthew’s is an adult group of thirteen ringers who ring levels two, three, and four music and ring at least once a month for morning worship.  We have openings for interested ringers who have had some experience with reading music and ringing handbells/handchimes.

Photo: Handbell Ringers


Spirit Ringers is our young ringers ensemble.

Ringtones (formerly Handbells for Fun) is a small group that meets for fun, to ring different ringing placements, and to learn or perfect  new techniques. This group rings two octaves of bells of L2 or L3 difficulty. This group meets Tuesday, 3:00-4:00 PM, and ring about once a month for the early service.

Interested but don’t see something that fits your schedule?   If you want to learn more about these groups, especially with an interest in learning to ring handbells or in joining one of these ensembles, please send an email to Susan Lee, Director of Handbell Ministries, at handbells@saint-matthews.org.  We can work together to find an opportunity for you to ring.

 – The Bells of  St. Matthew’s co-sponsors, with the Lincoln Ringers, a workshop in early fall with several classes for Skill Building in the morning and an afternoon of Repertoire Reading.  Classes are taught by highly skilled handbell ringers, several who are members of Merrimack Valley Ringers (mvringers.org), of which Sue Lee is a member. Our next workshop will be September 30, 2017.
Several handbell ringers from St. Matthew’s  attend the Area1Handbell Musicians F/C, which is held every two years.  This is a three and a half day event filled with many classes, numerous rehearsals and concerts, and interesting interaction with other handbell ringers from the six New England states and even further away.
The next F/C will be  June 29 – July 2, 2017 at UMass Amherst
Visit the Area1 web site for more information. area1.handbellmusicians.org/festival-conference.

Area 1 Handbell Festival
The above photo shows a previous year’s conference

*Handbell Musicians of America was formerly known as the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.