Sharing Beauty through Handbells

Ringing collectively to create music

by Donna Hughes, Handbell Director

Christ Church Cranbrook has enjoyed a summer season of carillon music and concerts on the lawn and will be preparing to bring the sound of bells indoors for the upcoming handbell season.

About Our Handbells

The church has been blessed with nearly 160 Malmark and Schulmerich handbells and handchimes, most of which have been graciously donated in memory or honor of parish members.  We have many more bells than ringers.  Cranbrook Ringers, 13-14 members, generally ring 48 handbells with 24 handchimes, out of the 160 total instruments that we own.  Some of our handbells and handchimes are REALLY BIG! Additionally we own 40+ Petit & Fritsen, Dutch handbells, which have a very unusual sound. All these instruments contribute to the wide range of color and harmonic tones this instrument brings to our worship.

About the Cranbrook Ringers

Cranbrook Ringers is currently comprised of members of the congregation who gather to make music together. We must rely on each other, and work as a team, in order to make our music ring out beautifully. As an example, imagine a piano with its many keys.  In handbells, each ringer plays two of those keys. Collectively, we create music that encourages us all in our mission to ‘Meet Jesus, Share Beauty, Serve Others, and Find Joy’.

We lead in worship, playing before and during services.  We also enjoy playing in the community as part of our outreach. This past season we entertained the residents at Cedarbook with our ringing and singing! We encouraged the residents to join us with ringing handchimes.  A good time was had by all.

If you have ever considered joining the handbell choir – September is a great time! Cranbrook Ringers are all volunteers and parish members, just like you.  Some were already musicians but some have come to bells with a beginner’s understanding of notes and rhythm. As only a portion of the bells that we own are currently being utilized, it would be a wonderful thing to empty the bell closet and play all the instruments we own! It is a team effort in which we are always learning and supporting each other, both in and out of the rehearsal room. We think of ourselves as a dedicated small group ministry where every person is essential. It is our joy to play this beautiful music as an act of worship.

Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings, 7 – 8:30 PM in Rooms 201/202.  If you are interested in joining or learning more about Cranbrook Ringers, please contact: