Report from St. Peter’s, Petersfield

We held our AGM on 16th January, chaired by our ringer-friendly vicar Canon Will Hughes and attended by 14 ringers.  We elected three new members to the Band: Bob Duffy and Eva Koritsas who have both been ringing with us coming up for a year, and Malcolm Wigmore, an established ringer who luckily for us has just moved to Petersfield from Kent.

Madeline for her sins was re-elected Captain, Melanie Secretary and Andy Steeple Keeper, but we have a new Treasurer Sue and a volunteer Weddings Co-ordinator Mary.  Moo, Melanie and Mary take it in turns (‘ring the changes’?!) to lead the practice.

We’ve had a very busy 2016 and the Band has grown and continues to grow.  Moo and Melanie, recently joined by Mary, are teaching two beginners and a third is due to start next week.  Our newer ringers continue to progress through the ART Scheme and the Sherbourne Bell Awards, hoovering up certificates and badges on the way.  We hope soon to try for a Quarter Peal in which we would have two first-timers, on the Treble and the Tenor, and a first-time Conductor.  We incorporate bits of Kaleidoscope Ringing in most of our practices and are getting quite good at doing unconducted Mexican Waves.  We increasingly have enough ringers to get all 8 bells going on Sundays and Mondays, even if it’s only for Rounds.

After our enjoyable trip to Whitechapel Bell Foundry (just in time?) last year and a ringing outing to Sussex, this year we are planning a foray into the dark depths of the Surrey countryside.  One of our ringers has offered to host a barbecue in his garden later in the year.  Our annual church fête will take place in September and we will no doubt be asked to hold the popular Tower Open event again.

As we have done for the past few years, we joined in the ‘Ringing for England’ event on St. George’s Day.  And for the first time for many years (?decades) we rang the New Year in.  The church had had queries asking “why don’t the bells ring at midnight?”  Naughty bells!  As we all know, they ring themselves with no help from humans.  We also tried to get a band to ring for the Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve but fell just short of enough ringers – better luck next December! 

We have ordered a set of new ropes, paying £1000, nearly the whole amount, out of our Tower Funds. We have agreed with the vicar that the ropes will be blessed during a Sunday morning Eucharist – there are plans to unwind one rope to its full length and get our two Juniors to show the congregation just how long the rope is and how the tenor on the rope’s end is approximately the weight of a Smart Car!  Good publicity, as like most ringers, we are usually ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’, not having a ground-floor ring

Madeline King – Tower Captain

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