Bishop Tim of Winchester says “I am pleased to express my deep admiration for this project and to offer you my full support. I look forward to seeing how this ringing inspires the communities we serve and am grateful for all the time and effort you give and will give.”
His letter in full:
The statistics are abhorrent: more than nine million fighting men, out of 65 million from 30 countries, died in World War 1. It was devastating and hard to escape its impact wherever you were. Today almost every one of us, whatever our ethnic, national or religious roots, is aware that we have inherited a world deeply shaped by that conflict.
The Guild honoured its own members who died as a result of the two World Wars on the Ringers’ Memorial in Winchester Cathedral’s Ringing Chamber. There are fifty-five names shown relating to World War 1 ‘though subsequent research has discovered more.
As on Armistice Day when half-muffled bells traditionally ring out, the bell ringing for the Guild’s ambitious World War 1 Centenary Commemoration project combines a great number of individual Acts of Remembrance.
The bell ringing is to honour those ringers and non-ringers who died in the conflict. Whether it is a band coming together or one ringer tolling one bell, each performance is a sincere offering of thanks and honour for another’s sacrifice. They offer us all time for reflection. One member has shared this – ” It is very poignant going up the tower with that particular person in mind.”
This very special ringing is creating genuine interest, and is much appreciated, in our communities. The archive of these special performances – across a century – will be of interest to ringers and non-ringers alike.
I commend the Guild’s World War 1 Centenary Commemoration project to you all and our active involvement with the Ringing Remembers recruitment campaign. I am pleased to express my deep admiration for this project and to offer you my full support. I look forward to seeing how this ringing inspires the communities we serve and am grateful for all the time and effort you give and will give.