Our church doesn't have churchbells - that is, tower bells.
But we do have handbells.
I had completely forgotten that we had arranged to meet up at 7:30 this morning for a short prayer meeting and then ring the handbells outside the church at 8:12. I was sitting in front of the television at about 7:15 (BBC Breakfast News) chomping through a bowl of muesli when the presenter started talking about the nationwide bellringing about to start.
Aaargh! I swallowed the last mouthful of cereal, finished my mug of coffee and threw some clothes on. I only live a mile or so away from church, so managed to saunter through the door with a couple of minutes to spare.
I'm dead impressed that we managed to ring a respectable peal (OK, so we didn't attempt change ringing with only a few minutes to teach everyone how to ring handbells!). They aren't very loud, so the sound didn't carry very far.
It's not about the noise - it's about being a part of something big, grand, inspiring, aspirational.