Order of St. Dunstan

The Order of St. Dunstan is an honor presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the field of campanology, the study of bells. The Order recognizes men and women of distinction who have rendered uncommon service to bell heritage, bell making, bell ringing, or bell appreciation. The Order takes its name from St. Dunstan, the patron saint of bell ringers. The Order's primary emblem is the bat hanging in repose, evoking the untapped potential of a silent belfry. Honorees are announced annually during the National Bell Festival on New Year’s Day.

Cover image: Bells in a belfry hung for English change ringing.


Anyone who has demonstrated impressive accomplishments in campanology is eligible for the honor. It is awarded at the discretion of the nominating committee comprising current recipients of the honor, but nominations are open to all. Those in the Order of St. Dunstan are leaders in artistry, performance, community building, foundry science, historical research, record keeping, or philanthropy, and work tirelessly to keep bells resounding for generations to come.

Nominate someone for the Order of St. Dunstan

Section image: Bells at the Guild Church of St. Dunstan-in-the-West on Fleet Street in the City of London, United Kingdom.

Who is St. Dunstan?

St. Dunstan is the patron saint of bell ringers. Living and rising to prominence in the 10th century, St. Dunstan became an important minister of state to several English kings; was appointed, successively, Abbot of Glastonbury, Bishop of Worcester, Bishop of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury; and was later canonized a saint. Throughout his life, he worked to restore monastic traditions in England, reformed the church, and experimented with the design and forging of church bells.

Meet St. Dunstan, Patron Saint of Bell Ringers

Section image: A figure of St. Dunstan at St. Dunstan's Parish Church, Mayfield and Five Ashes, United Kingdom.