Bishop writes in support of WW1 Centenary Commemoration project

We have received a message of support for our Guild’s WW1 Centenary Commemoration project from Bishop Christopher of Portsmouth and I’m pleased to share it with you here.
Viv Nobbs
WW1 Project Coordinator

Church bells, rung by people combining their skills, concentrations and energy, proclaim an audible and harmonious message to church congregations and communities. The teamwork of a band of ringers reminds us that the collaborative work when we come together in fellowship can achieve much more than a number of individuals working alone.
The ringing of church bells across the U.K. remained restricted throughout World War 1 and bells were only rung freely once Armistice was declared on 11 November 1918. We’re told that on that day, the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country, as an outpouring of relief that four years of war had come to an end. Today, we can only begin to imagine what emotions people were experiencing and the terrible hardships so many had endured.

How wonderful then that we are free to play our own part in honouring those, ringers and non-ringers, that died as a result of the dreadful conflict.

The special ringing for our Guild’s World War 1 Centenary Commemoration project, and the resulting archive material stretching across one hundred years, is a real testament to the role that ringers continue to play in parishes and communities across our wide geographical area. The project gives all ringers the opportunity to participate fully. We can all offer our skill whether we’ve been ringing for a short while or over many years.

Towers have been doing sterling work already, researching their own local records, such as war memorials, and ringing for named individuals, for example. There will be many more occasions when fitting tributes can be made in the form of special ringing, including for the Armistice Day 2018 services when you will pay your respects in the traditional way with half-muffled ringing. The nationwide recruitment campaign, Ringing Remembers, will surely work well alongside our own project. It aims to teach 1,400 new ringers to symbolically replace those ringers who gave their lives one hundred years ago, linking us together across the century and looking forward positively.

Please be assured of my continuing support for the World War 1 Centenary Commemoration project, and thank you all.

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