York Oratory Bellringers

Welcome to York Oratory

Bellringing is a peculiarly English art and science. Some 7000 church towers, the majority in the British Isles, contain rings of bells numbering from 3 to 16 hung for English-style change-ringing. Of these 7000, fewer than 50 are Roman Catholic churches.

The Roman Catholic Oratory Church of St Wilfrid's stands only a few yards west of York Minster on Duncombe Place, nestling between the Dean Court Hotel and the Theatre Royal. The church was completed in 1864, but it was not until 1995 that the current ring of 10 bells was installed. Originally a chime at the parish church of Thornham in Lancashire, the two trebles were recast by Taylors of Loughborough to make them of sufficient weight and volume to be part of a full-circle ring.

Today the bells are rung by an experienced and enthusiastic band of volunteers who ensure that the faithful are called to worship at the 1030 and 1200 Masses every Sunday, weddings are proclaimed, and significant civic and national events are celebrated.

Read about our trip to London for New Year 2015. 

The band, and friends, at Westminster Abbey on 1st January 2015. 

Ringing Times


The bells are available for peal attempts on Saturdays and weekdays during the day, subject to any other events in the church diary. The peal fee is £50 irrespective of success (with the exception of losses due to mechanical failure).

Applications should be made to peals@yorkoratoryringers.org, specifying three preferred dates, and attempts will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Under church rules, band organisers will be required to submit a list of those ringing in advance of their attempt.