Category Archives: 2 Less Commonly Used Categories

Categories less commonly used

Guild Inter-Tower Striking Competitions – REMINDER

REMINDER

The Guild Intertower 6 and 8 bell Striking competition closing date for entries is the 8th May. If your tower has not thought about entering a team yet why not come along, have some fun and give it a go.  Even if you only ring Rounds and Call changes you can enter a band.

Let’s make the return to ringing after Covid a success!

If you have any questions please contact Pete Jordan  for more details.

Pete Jordan

Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers. 

6-bell Inter-Tower Striking Competition rules

8-bell Inter-Tower Striking Competition Rules

Guild PRO Message – April 2022

Happy Easter!

Hopefully we’ll all be able to enjoy some ringing over this special weekend.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW OF YOUR RINGING ACTIVITIES and ACHIEVIEMENTS for potential inclusion in a PRESS RELEASE!

We hear how much ringing is missed by our communities when towers cannot ring for whatever reason. It would be good to reach out again and remind folk that we are still here for them. It would be great to build on the wonderful recruitment ‘green shoots’ we are seeing across the Guild this year so, it is my hope to issue another Guild Press Release in the next few weeks.

We have some special opportunities coming up to showcase our ringing:

17 AprilEaster Sunday
21 AprilQueen Elizabeth’s (actual) birthday
23 AprilSt. George’s Day Patron Saint of England
18 MaySt. Dunstan’s Day. Patron Saint of Bell Ringers,
Archbishop of Canterbury 960 – 988 
26 MayAscension Day
2-3 JunePlatinum Jubilee Bank Holiday
25 JuneNational 12-bell competition (Guildford Cathedral)
2 JulyRinging World National Youth Contest
https://rwnyc.ringingworld.co.uk/
28 July – 8 AugustCommonwealth Games (Birmingham UK)
9 – 18 SeptemberHeritage Open Days
Theme for 2022 ‘Astounding Inventions’
Registering available now: https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/

If you wish to see more there is a list here –https://cccbr.org.uk/bellringing/things-to-ring-for/

I’m very much looking forward to hearing your exciting ringing news.

Thank you.

Viv Nobbs
Public Relations Officer
wp.public.relations.officer@gmail.com

14 April 2022

Guild Inter-District 8 bell Striking Competition – West Meon – Saturday 11th June 2022

2022 Inter-District 8 Bell Competition – Rules & information

Date:Saturday 11th June 2022
Location:St John the Evangelist, West Meon. GU32 1LF (8 bells, 12-2-27)
Start:10.00 meet for 10.30 start
Results:Will be given in at the end of the competition in the church.
For more info and to enter contact:Pete Jordan 07583356936 petejordan.wp@talktalk.net 
Closing date
for entries:
  Saturday 28th May 2022
Draw:The draw will be held at the start of the competition. Bands with any legitimate time constraints please advise with your entry.

Rules:

  1. The team to represent each District will be chosen by the District Ringing Master or some other person appointed by the District. If districts wish to enter another team, a maximum of 3 people from the first team are allowed to be in the second team
  2. Each competing ringer must be a member of the District.
  3. Each team may have four minutes ringing in which to prepare for the test piece. The treble bell shall then be rung several times to indicate that the team is about to commence the test piece.
  4. The competition ringing will comprise either:
    • 224 changes in any Triples or Major method(s) of the team’s own choice. All of the changes (but not the rounds before or after) will be judged.
    • Call changes. The team may choose the changes to be rung but all the bells except the tenor are to take a turn at leading. The opening rounds and the stand will not be judged. Teams must ring for at least seven minutes after the first change is called.
  5. The decision of the Committee shall be final in any matter concerning the conduct of the competition and the interpretation of these rules.

Guild Inter-Tower 6 and 8 bell Striking Competition – Fawley and Eling – Saturday 21st May 2022

***PLEASE NOTE THE 8-BELL COMPETITION HAS BEEN CANCELLED***

The 6-bell competition is going ahead at Fawley with the results being announced there.

2022 Inter-Tower 6 Bell Competition – Rules & information

Date:Saturday 21st May 2022
Location:All Saints, Fawley  SO45 1HB (6 bells, 6-3-16 cwt)
Starting time:14.30
Results:***Results will now be announced at Fawley***
Will be given at the end of the competition at Eling church SO40 9HF where refreshments will be available.
For more info and to enter contact:Pete Jordan 07583356936 petejordan.wp@talktalk.net 
Closing date
for entries:
Saturday 8th May 2022
Draw:The draw will be held at the start of the competition. Bands with any legitimate time constraints please advise with your entry.

Rules:

  1. All ringers in each team must be regular members of the band that is entering the team and must be Guild members.
  2. Bands may enter more than one team provided that the total number of entries is not excessive.
  3. Two bands may enter a joint team.
  4. The following rules of participation apply:
    • Each participant may ring with one team only.
    • Each team may contain no more than 2 ringers that are taking part in the 8 bell competition.
  5. Each team may have four minutes ringing in which to prepare for the test piece. The treble bell shall then be rung several times to indicate that the team is about to start the test piece.
  6. The competition ringing will comprise either:
    • 120 changes in any Doubles or Minor method(s) of the team’s own choice. All of the changes (but not the rounds before or after) will be judged.
    • Call changes. The team may choose the changes to be rung but all the bells except the tenor are to take a turn at leading. The opening rounds and the stand will not be judged. Teams must ring for at least four minutes after the first change is called.
  7. The decision of the Committee shall be final in any matter concerning the conduct of the competition and the interpretation of these rules.

2022 Inter-Tower 8 Bell Competition – Rules & information – CANCELLED

Date:Saturday 21st May 2022
Location:St Mary, Eling  SO40 9HF (8 bells, 11-3-4 cwt)
Starting time:14.30
Results:Will be given at the end of the competition at Eling church where refreshments will be available.
For more info and to enter contact:Pete Jordan 07583356936 petejordan.wp@talktalk.net 
Closing date
for entries:
Saturday 8th May 2022
Draw:The draw will be held at the start of the competition. Bands with any legitimate time constraints please advise with your entry.

Rules:

  1. All ringers in each team must be regular members of the band that is entering the team and must be Guild members.
  2. Bands may enter more than one team provided that the total number of entries is not excessive.
  3. Two bands may enter a joint team.
  4. The following rules of participation apply:
    • Each participant may ring with one team only.
    • Each team may contain no more than 2 ringers that are taking part in the 6 bell competition.
  5. Each team may have four minutes ringing in which to prepare for the test piece. The treble bell shall then be rung several times to indicate that the team is about to start the test piece.
  6. The competition ringing will comprise either:
    • Not less than 224 changes in any Triples or Major method(s) of the team’s own choice.  All of the changes (but not the rounds before or after) will be judged.
    • Call changes. The team may choose the changes to be rung but all the bells except the tenor are to take a turn at leading. The opening rounds and the stand will not be judged. Teams must ring for at least seven minutes after the first change is called.
  7. The decision of the Committee shall be final in any matter concerning the conduct of the competition and the interpretation of these rules.

Winchester Annual District Meeting Minutes – February 2022

Winchester District Annual Meeting – 12th February 2022

Held at 4pm in St. Mary’s Church, Easton, SO21 1EH and via Zoom

(Ringing from 3pm and following the meeting)

UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

Attendees: The following 34 people, representing 17 towers attended the meeting, either in person, or via Zoom.

In person – Elizabeth Skinner (Bishopstoke), Jinny Kufluk (Hursley), Charlotte and Jonathan Smith (Kings Worthy), Gary Davies (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Micki Nadal (District Secretary, Stockbridge and Kings Somborne), Paul Fitzgerald and Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), Caroline Fairley and Bruce Purvis (District Chairman) (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft (unattached), Pete Jordan (Guild Chairman, Basingstoke St Michael). Also present were the following five members from the host tower, Easton: Judy Bishop, Pam Chrismas, Sara Janssen, Lyn Russell and Trisha Shannon, and the District Ringing Master, Edmund Wratten (unattached). 

Via Zoom – Amanda Bayford (Crawley), Christine and Ian McCallion and Tony Smith (Hursley), Margaret Goodfellow (Kings Worthy), Jen Churchill, Carol Higgins and John Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth (New Alresford), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), John Colliss (Winchester Cathedral), Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore –  guest).

  1. Chairman’s Welcome: Chairman Bruce Purvis warmly welcomed guests to the ADM, particularly welcoming Guild Master Pete Jordan, and thanked Judy Bishop and her colleagues for arranging the tower and church facilities and refreshments for the meeting and Andrew Glover for organising the technical aspects of the hybrid meeting.
  1. Apologies for absence:  These were received from Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke) and Brenda Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley)
  1. Minutes of the previous meeting held on November 13th 2021 were agreed nem con and signed.
  1. Matters arising: John Palk remarked that some of the Insurance matters discussed at the Executive Committee Meeting were still outstanding.  Roger Booth advised that Helen Woolford (Guild Honorary Treasurer) had written a paper explaining the situation; also that Ecclesiastical Insurance could offer an online presentation.  Guild Master Peter Jordan reported that the issues were being discussed with Marcus Booth from Ecclesiastical.

  1. Loss of members through death: John Collier and Brian Billimore, both formerly of Easton.  A minute’s silence was held in memory of these former members. 

  1. Confirmation of belfry elections
    • Probationary members:

Geoff Robinson of Kings Worthy on 4 January 2022, proposed by Ted Banks, seconded by Jonathan Smith.

Richard Lording, Dylan Price and Stuart Price of Hursley on 11 January 2022, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Christine Saunders.

Jill Fuller of Winchester Cathedral on 6 February 2022, proposed by Lucy Hopkins Till, seconded by Mike Hopkins Till.

Norman Boakes of North Stoneham on 8 February 2022, proposed by Robert Ryder, seconded by Alison Martin. 

Tim Conway, William Knowles and Clara Knowles of Cheriton on 10 February 2022, proposed by Roger Booth, seconded by Caroline Fairley.

  1. Election of new members:

David Dunning of Broughton and Houghton, proposed by Bob Gosse, seconded by Jenny Hebburn.

Craig Robb of Cheriton [lapsed, re-election], proposed by Roger Booth, seconded by Caroline Fairley.

Christine Hyde of Sherfield English, proposed by Caroline Daniels, seconded by Martin Daniels.

Marion Attree and Madeleine McHardy of Sparsholt, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley.

  1. Officers’ Annual Reports
    • Secretary’s Report:  copies were distributed. The move to adopt the Secretary’s Report was proposed by Bruce Purvis and agreed nem con.
    • Treasurer’s Report: – There were no questions to Treasurer Tony Smith from the floor.  The move to adopt the Treasurer’s Report was proposed by Bruce Purvis, agreed nem con and signed as a true record.

  1. Election of Officers: The following people were proposed and elected for posts as follows:

Chairman Bruce Purvis proposed by Jenny Watson and seconded by Elizabeth Johnson;

Secretary Micki Nadal proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover;

Treasurer Tony Smith proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;

Joint Ringing Masters Edmund Wratten and Roger Booth, proposed by Elizabeth Johnson and seconded by Micki Nadal;

Executive Committee Representative Roger Booth, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover;

Independent Examiner of Accounts, John Collis, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Jenny Watson;

Webmaster Andrew Glover, proposed by Trisha Shannon and seconded by Micki Nadal;

Newsletter Editor Roger Booth, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by John Croft.  

John Croft was thanked for his work as Executive Committee Member and it was agreed he would review his decision to step down if meetings were once again held in person.  Roger Booth agreed to carry on as Newsletter editor, but would co-opt people to help with the task over the next year.

  1. Future events: 

Attendees welcomed the list of proposed events.  John Palk questioned who would pay for the use of the Charmborough Ring at 2 events.  Micki Nadal reassured him that the Trout ‘n About Committee would be paying for the use of the ring in Stockbridge.  Roger Booth hoped to obtain a grant from the Education and Training Development Fund for its use at the Alresford Show, adding that no funds had yet been raised for that purpose.  There was also a possibility of the ring being installed at the Cheriton Fête, which would not necessarily result in a claim on District funds, but any contributions would be gratefully received.

  • Twyford Bells – Andrew Johnson gave attendees an update of works in progress at Twyford.  Four bells would be taken out on Tuesday 15th February and the other four on Wednesday 16th, all to be taken to Appleton to be retuned (1,2,6 and 7), recast (3 and 4) and newly cast (5), with the existing 5 (the last survivor of the original 1766 ring) being retained as a chiming bell. The frame would be retained, the running gear replaced.  The fundraising was nearly complete.

  • Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Initiated by Roger Booth, a wide -ranging discussion took place between attendees.  Roger intimated that is was not certain that the Twyford bells would be in place in time for Jubilee celebrations; he suggested that it would be good if a quarter-peal could be attempted within the District.  It was agreed by all that ringers would be encouraged to help out at as many towers as possible over the weekend.  Attention would be given to publicise events in parishes where bells are not often rung.  It would be essential to co-opt helpers to organise the various ringing events around the district.  Bruce Purvis would start the process for this in the near future.  John Palk suggested establishing the plans organised by each PCC.  Judy Bishop aimed to organise a quarter-peal in Easton on Thursday 2nd June and would be asking for help from ringers for this event.  Jenny Watson advised that the CCCBR had requested all towers to ring on the morning of Friday 3rd June when a service of thanksgiving was taking place.  Micki Nadal felt that an element of flexibility was required as many ringers would be involved in organising village and street parties.  Elizabeth Johnson felt it would prove impossible to have all the bells rung on Friday as there were simply not enough ringers.  Andrew Glover suggested the district aims to have every tower ringing at some point over the weekend.  Roger Booth emphasised we should encourage all standards of ringing, not just quarter peals, and that less experienced bands’ ringing should be encouraged equally enthusiastically.

  • Beyond Bob Doubles – In response to an enquiry from Jenny Watson, Micki Nadal explained this was a wish list rather than written in stone and would depend on the availability of our Ringing Masters Edmund Wratten and Roger Booth, who would jointly put together a programme based around Easton, Cheriton and Stockbridge (the use of these towers being kindly offered at the meeting).

  • District Practices – These would be arranged at suitable towers spread around the District.

  • Quarter-Peal Fortnight – The idea was received enthusiastically.  Andrew Glover suggested it be incorporated into the Jubilee weekend.

  • Striking Competitions – With Andrew Glover’s warm support for a competition, Bruce Purvis offered to research a simpler form of striking competition (Strictly Come Ringing) used in his daughter’s Diocesan Association [Derby].

  • Winchester Cathedral Tower Visit – The visit on 31st August had been proposed to the Cathedral ringers.  A response is still awaited.

  • QDMs – The next two meetings would be held on Saturday 7th May and Saturday 12th November.

  • Carol Service – This would be held on Saturday 3rd December at Twyford Church.  Micki Nadal had organised a priest and an organist for the service.

  1. Register of ringers – Following questions from the floor on whether this useful directory could be reintroduced in an updated format, attendees agreed it would be useful to investigate whether, data protection rules applying, it could be resurrected.  Andrew Glover explained the use of the consent form for GDPR and that it had proven ‘incredibly difficult’ to secure people’s consent.  Tony Smith offered to contact tower correspondents to find out what, if any, information their members would be happy to provide.  It was felt by attendees that, as a minimum, the directory should include e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and preferably home locations, if not addresses.

  1. Guild Master’s Address

Pete Jordan thanked attendees for their warm welcome at this, the 6th meeting of 7 he would be attending.  He was enjoying meeting people face to face once again and added that it was encouraging to see ringing getting back to normal.

  • Guild Secretaryship – Pete advised attendees that the Guild still needed to fill the role of Guild Secretary as no replacement had been found for Steve Lamb.  In June the Guild triennial elections would be taking place.  Any volunteers for the post would have the opportunity to try out the role for three or four months before undertaking a permanent commitment at the Guild AGM.

  • Guild action plan – Pete explained that, as part of the action plan, a new ringers’ welcome pack was being produced for new probationary members.  The Guild certificate had been revamped and incorporated into an A5 booklet with Guild and District information included, plus an introduction to the work of the Central Council and information on young ringers’ groups.  The aim was to supply these to new probationary members; they would probably be issued to towers via the district secretaries or via John Palk with the Guild report, with the District Secretaries holding the balance of the copies.

Bruce Purvis thanked Guild Master Pete Jordan for his presentation.

  1. Any other notified business
    • Subscriptions – Roger Booth reminded attendees that it had been over 10 years since the Guild had reviewed subscriptions and members were starting to question what, apart from the Annual Report and third party (public liability) insurance, was provided.  Insurance is covered under PCC insurance.  Some members, on the other hand, felt that existing subs, with only£2 for probationers, was too little and with churches under increasing financial pressure we will need to help more if we want churches to restore bells.  In some guilds up to 20% of restoration costs are provided.  With various restoration projects assisted and others in the pipeline, the amount of money in the BRF (bell restoration fund) has reduced considerably and will further do so, and this will need to be replenished.  In 2009 the age profile of the Guild consisted of 33% seniors paying reduced fees.  By 2019 this percentage had increased to 50%, reducing Guild income.  By increasing subscription levels, the BRF could be topped up and monies available for recruitment and training.  An additional idea would be to set up a District Young Ringers Group and to pay the first year subscriptions to the new Young Change Ringers Association.  By increasing the amount going into the Guild Training and Development Fund, more would be available to help towers.  John Palk felt that an increase in subscriptions to members who already felt they received little from the Guild could be counter-productive.  Bruce Purvis would support an increase in subscriptions to say, £15 or £20, provided an increased amount was put into Guild training, recruitment and advertising.  Elizabeth Johnson reminded attendees that, in the past, as well as the 200 Club, other fund raising events were organised by the Guild, such as dinners and open days.
    • Church closures – Bruce Purvis reminded attendees of GS2222 and brought their attention to St Barnabas’ Church in Southampton which, due to small congregations, was due to be sold to developers, with no plans for the fate of the bells, a ring of 6 which were hung in 2000.  He encouraged attendees to study the lists of those churches likely to be in some danger of closure and to consider the bells at risk from this.  Micki Nadal remarked that there were several churches at risk of closure and members would get a feeling for which churches were under threat from the list.  John Croft added that there were 900 such churches at risk nationally over the coming years, mostly in outlying areas.  Andrew Johnson added that once closure of a church was mooted, its bells had to stay put until the future of the church was determined, although local planning rules might afford some protection.  Elizabeth Johnson remarked that once a church was closed it could be difficult to get the bells out.
    • Youth ringers – It was felt that the District needed to establish a strategy for the future, using school visits, youth groups, such as Scouts and guides, open days and presentations as a basis for recruitment. In addition, towers with only one or two younger ringers could join together to provide small hubs.  Roger Booth would come back with detailed proposals at the next quarterly meeting.

Bruce Purvis thanked members for their participation.  The meeting closed at 5.30pm.

Chairman ……………………………………………………….………  Date ………………………

Winchester District Autumn Meeting Minutes – November 2021

Minutes of the Winchester Autumn District Meeting held via Zoom at 10am on Saturday 13th November 2021

Present: Bruce Purvis (BP)–Chairman, Winchester Cathedral, Tony  Smith (TS) – Treasurer, Hursley, Edmund Wratten (EW) – District Ringing Master (Unattached), Andrew Glover (AG)- District Webmaster, Romsey, Roger Booth (RB)– Acting District Newsletter Editor, New Arlesford, Micki Nadal (MN) – District Secretary, Stockbridge & Kings Somborne, Judy Bishop, Easton, Caroline Fairley (CF), Winchester Cathedral, Carol Higgins, Lockerley, Andrew Johnson (AJ), New Arlesford, Elizabeth Johnson (EJ), New Arlesford,  Christine Knights-Whittome (CKW),Wonston, Brenda Palk, Lockerley, John Palk (JP),Lockerley, Tricia Shannon, Unattached, Elizabeth Skinner, Bishopstoke, Rodney Skinner (RS), Ropley, Pam Thomson, Hursley, Richard Thompson, Hursley and Jenny Watson, Sparsholt.

19 members attended, representing 12 towers, plus 2 unattached members.

  1. Welcome and Apologies

Chairman BP welcomed members and accepted apologies from John Croft (JC), Steve Lamb, Jen Churchill and Mike Hopkins-Till.

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting held on Saturday 13th February 2021 were agreed with no comments and signed by BP.

  1. Matters arising:

Since Guild Executive Committee representative JC would be unable to attend the Guild Zoom meeting scheduled for Saturday 20th November, he had agreed with RB that a replacement could take his place.  BP agreed that an alternative member would be satisfactory.  TS agreed, providing only District matters were discussed by the replacement.  He felt that Guild Executive meetings would, in future, be held online and that this would be a continuing issue.  AJ asked which of the District Officers could attend normally – this would be the District Secretary and 1 other as elected.

BP proposed RB; seconded by RS and confirmed unanimously by a show of hands.

  1. Loss of members through death

BP led attendees in a short prayer and a minute’s silence for the District members who had died since the previous meeting:

Peter J Clarke (Bishopstoke), Rosemary Oakeshott (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Rosemary Haviland (formerly of Micheldever), Wally F Taylor (formerly of Wonston) and Jean Kelly (formerly of Candover Valley).

  1. Elections of new ringing members – the following probationary and new ringing members were proposed for election:
    • Election of probationary members

Mary Richards of Stockbridge on 1 October 2021 proposed by MN, seconded by JP.

Jan Conway, Ruth Horner, Jane Parker-Brown, Rosie Reay, Melanie Rose, Robert Spencer and Tim Stone of Cheriton on 11 November 2021 proposed by C F, seconded by RB.

  1. Election of new ringing members

Benjamin Knowles and Elizabeth A Skinner of Bishopstoke proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright.

  1. Training needs/purchases and programme

RB reported that a ringing simulator, borrowed from New Arlesford, had been used successfully for the training of the Cheriton learners.  He felt the District should purchase a SIMBEL simulator for use around towers in the district; this would cost £420 and would not require a faculty.  RB would offer a permanent loan of a laptop to run the programme.  TS suggested the simulator and associated equipment be held in the charge of the District Ringing Masters and that guidelines be issued regarding the length of the loan to each tower.  EW would be happy to be in charge of the simulator and its use and suggested a permanent ‘home’ be decided upon.  Both EW and RB suggested motorcycle tyres muffles be used as an inexpensive way to silence bells.  The simulator would be purchased by the District Secretary; RB would contact MN on this matter.

BP proposed a SIMBEL simulator be purchased.  This was seconded by CKW and passed on a show of hands.                                                                                                                                         Action RB/MN  

  1. Programme of future events

BP felt he, MN, EW, AG and TS should meet to discuss the future programme; he opened the issue to the floor for attendees’ views.  AJ suggested that, given the timescale before Christmas, plans be made for 2022.  EJ welcomed a decision immediately on the date and venue for the District Annual Meeting, which all present believed should be a live meeting and not held online.  Following a short discussion this was agreed as Saturday 12th February 2022 in St Mary’s Easton, with tower ringing and tea in the village hall.  BP thanked JB for agreeing to this proposal; JB would check to confirm the church and village hall would be available for this date. 

Action JB

  1. Any other notified business
  • Insurance matters – tower and Guild

As a result of questions, initially raised by a member of Andover District with Guild Treasurer Helen Woolford, regarding insurance cover for members and whether this was the responsibility of the PCC, Guild or individual members, a short discussion took place.  All agreed there was a need for greater clarity on the subject.  RB suggested District officers set up training sessions on insurance cover and risk assessments for towers and agreed to raise the matter with the Guild Executive at the next meeting.  MN would contact Winchester District Towers and produce a list identifying those towers with no risk assessment. 

Action MN/District Officers

  • Recovery after the pandemic

EW felt that those towers needing help were probably not represented at the QDM; AG referred attendees to the questionnaire produced by RB, which had identified needs in certain towers, particularly with the loss of between 20-25% of ringers during the pandemic.  It was agreed the District Officers should contact towers to establish suitable places for future events.  Towers with ground floor rings and plenty of space should be identified; small towers should be given help from suitable venues nearby.  RB suggested that, following the success of a recruitment programme in the New Arlesford area, the district should concentrate on 1 or 2 areas at a time for the next 2 years.  EW suggested that, when the correspondence on tower risk assessments was sent out, tower captains should be asked again what help they need.  BP agreed District Officers should proceed on that basis.

Action MN/District Officers

  • Bell and tower project updates

Ropley:  RS gave a short description of the overall damage to the church resulting from the fire in 2014 and the problems arising from increasing rebuild costs, insufficient levels of insurance and work stoppage due to the pandemic, resulting in costs which have escalated even further, by c. 25%.  The huge project to strengthen the tower with a steel frame and replace the bells requires additional funds, in spite of magnificent fund raising efforts by the village to rebuild the church and replace the bells.  It was hoped the District and Guild would be able to help the fund raising by allocating grants to Ropley.  TS advised that the District supports bell projects with grants of £500 and proposed that this amount be allocated to Ropley; seconded by BP.  The proposal was agreed unanimously.

Twyford:  AJ gave a short review of work completed to date at Twyford.  The recent visit by the Mayor of Winchester had stimulated interest in the bell improvements.  From a total predicted cost of £85,000, around £67,000 had already been raised.  Further fund raising events had been planned to help meet the shortfall of some £18,000.  TS proposed that the District allocate £500 to the Twyford project; this was seconded by BP and agreed unanimously.  MN reminded attendees that Diocesan grant information, including a grant specific to bells, had recently been sent out to all Tower Correspondents.

Action TS

  • GS2222 – church closures and churches at risk

BP reminded attendees of the recent Ringing World article from 03/09/21 and referred them to RB’s recent list of District churches at risk of closure and to examples of how church closures and sales can potentially affect the numbers of bell towers available.  RB believed future ringing bands would be most likely made up of groups ringing at several different churches for services.  EW felt that, since this was something which would affect churches from a Diocesan level, this should be first and foremost a Guild matter.  Following a brief discussion on churches at risk, i.e. those with regular congregations of <25 and who do not meet their share of the Common Mission Fund (CMF); what could happen to bells in redundant churches; which towers have some representation on Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) and/or links with the Deanery Synods; identifying those churches with mediaeval non-matching bells which could make use of redundant matching bells, BP outlined a course of action:

  • To find out which churches have representation on PCCs and to build and strengthen contacts with PCC members
  • To ask Guild Executive representatives to find out Guild views on GS2222 and how to identify churches at risk
  • To establish groups to obtain more contacts at deanery level with a view to gaining further information on diocesan plans at the grass roots level. 

Action District Officers

  1. Any Other Business

AJ referred attendees to a fund raising concert at Twyford to be held at 6pm on Wednesday 24th November in Twyford church.  MN would forward this to all tower correspondents.

Action MN

JP reminded attendees that the Guild Report would be issued again following a year’s absence and a questionnaire would be sent to TS and MN for completion.  AJ felt the numbers showing average attendance at Sunday services and ringing practices was very useful information. 

Action JP/MN/TS

The meeting closed at 11.17am

Chairman ……………………………………….  Date……………………………………………….

Guidance in England from 19th July

Ringing guidance for England for the period from 19th July onwards has been agreed with the House of Bishops Recovery Group today and can be found here. The lifting of any restrictions on how long we ring for and with how many other ringers is welcomed, although we need to be mindful that at a time of greatly increasing infection rates, and big regional variations, many ringers will still be cautious in terms of how much ringing they do. Some towers are actually discussing reducing the amount of ringing they do because of the rise in infection levels, not increasing it.

The Church of England’s own guidance has not been published yet, but should be later today. It includes a paragraph referring to the Central Council’s guidance.

Although the wearing of facemasks is no longer mandated in places of worship, and will not appear in the Church of England guidance, we have included a number of situations where due to the particular nature of ringing we would expect masks to be worn, including close face to face teaching, and ringing with unvaccinated children. Some clergy may retain a policy of facemasks in their church or cathedral, and if they do then their wishes take precedence.

The Government now wants us to take responsibility for our own actions. If you don’t think you should ring for as long as you are allowed to – don’t. If you want to wear a facemask when ringing – wear one. If a member of your band wants you all to wear facemasks to protect them – discuss it as a band and come to an agreement. Bellringing is a group activity and we are responsible for each other not just ourselves. The virus has not gone away by any means – we are learning to live with it.

This seems like an ideal time to thank the rest of the Covid guidance team – Phil Barnes, Mark Regan and David Pouncey – who have helped navigate this difficult process over the last 16 months, and the large number of ringers who have given their quiet support behind the scenes. As a team we would like to thank Mark Betson and Brendan McCarthy, the members of the House of Bishops Recovery Group, who have had an extraordinary burden put on them.

Simon Linford
President CCCBR

President’s Blog #38

When my parents chose the name Simon it was because it was unusual. Lots of other parents around the time thought the same and there was a bulge in Simon production, with three in my class at Junior school. But we are now a long way past Peak Simon, and the name languishes outside the top 100, replaced with the likes of Maverick (a famous Tomcat pilot at 73) and Leonardo (a famous turtle at 93). Bellringing Simons are a select yet strong group, with some perseverance enabling us to ring a quarter of Little Bob 14 in hand on Ringing Room. A last hurrah for the Simons on the platform? No – which shows how Ringing Room is going to continue to have a place in bringing groups of ringers together who might not otherwise meet easily and help develop progress in change ringing. As well as keeping many of us sane for the last year, Ringing Room and Ding’s ability to bring ringers together will be one of their legacies.

One of the joys of ringing is that so many resources are developed and provided by so many different people and without charge. Every so often something that is valued is at risk or possibly even lost. So we have a team led by the T&T workgroup looking to identify all the software programmes and assets that we as ringers care about and seeing what can be done about making sure they are as safe as they can be. What would you miss if it went down? I am not missing the Bellringers Facebook group, but would miss BellBoard, Ringing Room, and the Changeringing Wiki, which is the easiest place I can find my PPE articles. You can email the team at it4ringers@cccbr.org.uk and watch out for their forthcoming survey.

Ringing for the birthday of the NHS was well supported and covered by the media – quite a few towers managed to get TV coverage. We had been a bit sceptical when Bruno Peek had first mentioned this about nine months ago. The practicalities of ringing 73 times were mere detail when we didn’t really know what sort of ringing would be possible. Thanks to all who took part and registered their events. It’s supposed to be annual now, but I bet this is something that will wear out.

Unlike the Fourth of July, which will no doubt last forever! Washington ringers celebrated Independence Day with a full peal at the Cathedral – the first ten bell peal outside Australia since March 2020. Five years to the big 250 – the US Semiquincentennial Commission has already started a countdown https://america250.org/

Sadly, questions on whether it was appropriate to dedicate ringing performances to England’s win over Italy in the Euros became academic late on Sunday night.

Meanwhile quite a few peal bands are lining themselves up to ring peals on 19 July, on the reasonable expectation that restrictions are going to get relaxed. When I received an invitation for a 9am start for a peal of Bristol Maximus I assumed it was a joke! But no – some people really are that keen, and will be reminding local populations that have missed their bells quite how long they sometimes get rung for.

Personally, I am going to stick to handbell peals for a while. Making a late entry into the world of handbell ringing has made me realise how much more difficult it is to learn when you are older. For all those who have learned young and found making progress in ringing easy, discovering that learning can be quite hard when you’re just the wrong side of 50 is a good lesson.

I still haven’t finished the Cornwall edition of the Ringing World, despite it being kept handily in one of our rooms of quiet contemplation. Presumably we are now working on County issues and will be working north? I hope Rutland is going to manage a complete issue. I was fascinated by the article in the Cornwall edition about Rounds ringing. I was aware it was ‘a thing’ but not exactly what people do, or that there was a complete society dedicated to it.

I also liked the alternative vocabulary. I would be interested to know of regional variations in other distant outposts of the Exercise. When I learned to ring at Cannock the signal to start ringing down was “Look to the fall”. Who else says that? I only realised that wasn’t universal when I said it in Essex and no one knew what I was talking about.

Picking up on a thread from Ringing Chat (sent to me by my in-house social media monitoring team) there is a lot of discussion about how churches might be used more. In my business life I am close to this subject as I am working with the Church of England on the development potential of church buildings. Churches are often simply too big, and using the space better, or using less of it, is high on the agenda (see what the CCT did at All Souls Bolton – perhaps the best example of creative reuse). If a building can still maintain some worship space but with the rest put to good use this would be a welcome outcome. Bells are now seen as part of the solution. If we can attract visitors and use for buildings that is welcomed.

Once a year the Council has a meeting with Historic England and the Church Buildings Council to catch on various matters churches and bells. The relationship with them is as strong as ever but it was still useful last week to discuss such matters as church closures, historic bell frames, progress on the Dove database project, the Clerical Guild’s proposed ‘Theology of Ringing’, and how ringing is part of the fabric of the church.

Diana Evans of Historic England followed up with “How positive the CCCBR’s approach is. The amount of energy you are all putting into recovery from the pandemic is amazing. Bell ringing is an important part of the life of many historic places of worship and Historic England is keen to encourage the continuation of this tradition.”

Simon Linford
President CCCBR

Content taken from https://cccbr.org.uk and logo used with permission from Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

W&P Guild Ringing Room Striking Contest – Saturday 22nd May

REMINDER: Entries close Friday 21st May.

If you would like to just watch/listen, please contact Peter on the email address below for the meeting link.

Date:Saturday 22nd May 2021
Starting time:9:45 for 10:00am
Ringing Roomhttps://ringingroom.com/798465123/wp_competition
For more info and to enter contact:Peter Niblett
1 Oakland Road, Whitchurch, RG28 7HH
email: pdn3270@gmail.com
Tel: 01256 893997
Mob: 07825 657662
Closing date
for entries:
Friday 21st May 2021

While we’ve all missed being able to do much serious tower bell ringing over the last year, many of us have made use of the opportunities provided by the Ringing Room platform to stay in touch with each other, practice a different kind of ringing and maybe even learn some new methods.

I’m sure we are all looking forwards to getting back to real bells, but we thought it might be fun for the bands who have been using Ringing Room to get together and have an informal virtual ringing competition.

The idea is to run it like a traditional striking competition, but with the judges and participants joining via Zoom and naturally the ringing will be using Ringing Room.  We will send a Zoom meeting link out closer to the date, but if you have been using Ringing Room during the lockdown (either regularly or only just now and then) please get together with your fellow ringers and put in a team.

It’s intended to be a bit of fun and not get too serious, so no prizes, cups or certificates. However it wouldn’t be a striking competition without some rules, so we have put together a set that try and adapt the traditional format into a virtual event. Please feel free to ask questions or comment.

Rules:

  1. All ringers in each team must be Guild members and should have been ringing together on Ringing Room during the lockdowns.
  2. A participant may ring in more than one team, provided that the number of participants doing this is not excessive.
    • No more than half of the members of a team can ring in another team
  3. Each team shall contain 6 ringers, each ringing the same single bell throughout the test piece.
  4. Each team may have four minutes ringing in which to prepare for the test piece.  The treble bell shall then be rung several times to indicate that the team is about to start the test piece.
  5. The competition ringing will comprise 120 changes in any Doubles or Minor method(s) of the team’s own choice, rung on the Tower Bell setting of Ringing Room.
    • The test piece will be rung with a whole pull of Rounds at the start and with no additional Rounds at the end. The initial Rounds will not be judged, but the final row will be judged.
  6. Each team will be able to communicate with each other via Zoom during the practice ringing and the test piece, however they will be placed in a separate “break-out room” so their conversation will not be overheard by the judge or by other teams.
  7. The judge shall have discretion on how to score the test ringing and how much allowance, if any, to make for Internet-related issues. A team will be allowed to restart the test piece if a significant technical issue occurs (for example a ringer getting disconnected from the Internet during the test piece).
  8. The decision of the Committee shall be final in any matter concerning the conduct of the competition and the interpretation of these rules.

CCCBR Guidance from 17th May – England

Today we have published draft guidance for the period from 17 May to 21 June to enable ringers in England at least to plan for the next phase of lockdown release. This guidance has been agreed with the House of Bishops Recovery Group, but it remains in draft form until the Government finally confims that its four tests have been met immediately prior to 17 May. The guidance is a major step change from previous guidance.

There are two new documents on the Covid guidance pages of the Council website. The first is one specifically covering this five-week guidance period which can be found here, and then an update of the guidance note about individual risks.

The highlights of the guidance are that:

  • Rule of Six applies indoors – ringing sessions should be arranged for six people
  • Hands – Space – Face rules apply – face coverings, hand sanitising between ringing, 1m plus mitigations when ringing
  • Lateral Flow Tests – twice weekly, preferably timed for days of any sustained ringing
  • Consider your own personal risk
  • Restrict ringing time to 45 minutes whilst maintaining good tower ventilation

Please do read all of the two guidance documents as there is much more detail in them, and this is just a summary.

Guidance 17 May to 21 June

Is it appropriate for an individual to ring?

Simon Linford
President CCCBR

Ringing for the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – 17th April 2021

Guidance for ringing for the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday 17th April 2021

What the Church is expecting is tolling of a single bell during the hour before the funeral, which starts with a minute’s silence at 3pm on Saturday. You don’t need to toll for the full hour, just during the hour, e.g. up to 3pm. Half muffled preferred, but a single bell tolling slowly whether half muffled, fully muffled, or even unmuffled, will have the desired effect.

Initial announcement made on 9th April 2021

It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

Guidance for ringing for the Duke of Edinburgh 

Following conversations with the Church of England today, half-muffled tolling or chiming of a single bell on Saturday 10th April 2021 at 12 noon, 99 times or up to 5 minutes is recommended following the announcement of the death the Duke of Edinburgh. The Cabinet Office has declared 8 days of official mourning, during which time any other ringing should be half-muffled and in accordance with current Covid-19 restrictions. Half-muffled tolling or chiming of a single bell is recommended on the day of the funeral. There is no special dispensation of current ringing guidance on Sunday.

Survival and Recovery Newsletter – Issue 4

Here is the fourth newsletter from the Survival and Recovery team – an ART, CCCBR partnership. It’s a one-stop shop for news – what’s happening and what we are planning to happen which complements the BellBoard Virtual Hub.

Survival and Recovery Newsheet – Issue 4 

This issue leads on new initiatives and new pages added to the Survival and Recovery Toolbox.  The toolbox contains a plethora of resources, case studies and opinion pieces for ringers, Tower Captains and Guilds and Associations.

Survival and Recovery Toolbox

Winchester Annual District Meeting Minutes – February 2021

Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on Saturday 13th February 2021 on Zoom.

  1. Chairman’s welcome

    In the absence of the Chairman, John Croft, the Secretary, Bruce Purvis, took the chair. He opened the meeting at 3 p.m. and welcomed those present.

    The following 29 District members (representing 11 towers) and three guests were present: Rita Bibbo (Candover Valley), Janice Higgins, Christine & Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk, Christine & Ian McCallion, Tony Smith, and Pam & Richard Thompson (Hursley), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne & Stockbridge), Jen Churchill, Gary Davies, Carol Higgins, and Bren & John Palk (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Roger Booth, and Elizabeth & Andrew Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Angela Forder-Stent (Twyford), John Colliss, Steve Lamb and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Paul Fitzgerald (Wonston), John Croft (by telephone) and Edmund Wratten (unattached), and Charlotte Colliss, Pete Jordan (Guild Master) and Allan Yalden (Guild Vice-Master) (guests).

  2. Apologies for absence

    Apologies had been received from the rest of the Ropley band, John & Joyce Croft, and John Wesley. Further apologies were received from Trisha Shannon. [An apology was received from Amanda Bayford subsequent to the meeting.]

  3. Minutes of the previous meeting

    The minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on 11 February 2020 at Hursley were signed as a true record.

  4. Matters arising

    There were no matters arising

  5. Loss of members through death

    Members kept silence to remember Gerald Lambert of King’s Somborne and Stockbridge, Brian Lovelock formerly of Hursley, Colin Slade formerly of New Alresford and Carol Ward of Candover Valley; also, although not members, Alec F Fry of Kings Worthy and John Breslain of Cheriton. Bruce said the words of the requiem.

  6. Election of new members

    The belfry election of Marion Attree of Sparsholt as a probationary member on 24 February 2020 proposed by John Cleverley, seconded by Jenny Watson, was confirmed.

  7. Officers’ annual reports

    1. The Secretary’s report was received, subject to the addition of thanks to the Hursley band for hosting the last ADM, correcting the times when Easton’s bell was tolled to Thursday nights, and correcting “2022” to “2021” in the third paragraph.

    2. The accounts had been independently examined and were approved nem. con. on the proposition of the Treasurer, Tony Smith, seconded by Bruce Purvis, and signed by Tony on behalf of the Chairman.

  8. Election of officers

    1. Chairman

      Bruce Purvis proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Steve Lamb.

    2. Secretary

      Micki Nadal proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Jenny Watson.

    3. Treasurer

      Tony Smith proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover and Elizabeth Johnson.

    4. Ringing Masters

      Edmund Wratten and Steve Lamb proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Micki Nadal.

    5. Executive Committee Representative

      John Croft proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Peter Hill.

    6. Independent Examiner of Accounts

      John Colliss proposed by Steve Lamb and seconded by Rodney Skinner.

    7. WebMaster

      Andrew Glover proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Tony Smith.

    8. Acting Newsletter Editor

      Roger Booth proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.

  9. Future events

    Micki Nadal said they had pencilled in the Charmborough Ring for Stockbridge’s Trout ’n About festival on the first Sunday in August. The festival was cancelled last year, but she won’t know until next month whether the organisers are planning to go ahead this year.

    Peter Hill said that Hursley had been having a weekly quiz and other people were having striking competitions on Ringing Room and such events could be arranged between teams from towers in the District.

    Roger Booth suggested a Murder Mystery event.

  10. Guild Striking Competitions

    As convenor of the Guild Striking Competitions Committee, Pete Jordan said although it would not be possible to hold the competitions in towers in May and June as planned, it may be possible to hold them later in the year.

  11. Guild Master

    Pete Jordan summarised the Guild Forum Recovery after Lockdown that had been held on 24 January 2021 with representatives from all the Districts including Ringing Masters, the notes of which had been distributed. Allan Yalden was assembling a package of available resources from the Central Council, ART and within the Guild. Pete hoped each District would take responsibility for their own recruitment and training and would come up with a plan.

    Bruce Purvis had three observations from the Winchester District: towers especially in united benefices should share resources; it would be good to have access to the Guild database for contact details of District members so they could be called on to help; and offering revision in basic skills to address losses of confidence.

    Roger Booth offered to survey towers using the questionnaire prepared by the Central Council Recovery Team, to establish basic information such as how many ringers they expect to lose, and suggested that this could be followed a Zoom call of tower captains to discuss the outcome of that survey and discuss the way forward.

    Peter Hill suggested we should also identify those towers that had simulators, those in which it was easy to teach, and those who were able to teach and at what level, and offered to help Roger prepare the questionnaire.

    Lastly Pete Jordan advised that the November meeting of the Executive Committee had appointed Steve Lamb as Honorary General Secretary.

  12. Any other business

    1. Jenny Watson proposed a vote of thanks to the retiring chairman, John Croft.

    2. Roger Booth drew attention to his letter in this week’s issue of The Ringing World (p. 120) advocating reducing reserves held in society Bell Restoration Funds.

The meeting closed at 3.52 p.m.

CCCBR/ART Newsheet Survival and Recovery – January 2021

Here is the latest Newsheet from ART on Survival and Recovery.

ART also issued some ideas from Matt Lawrence entitled ‘Top Tips for Survival and Recovery‘. This is available in two formats to download below. The full article is available in the lastest edition of Tower Talk

Christmas Ringing – Advice from CCCBR released 8th December

Below is the latest guidance taken from the CCCBR website on ringing over the Christmas period for all tiers. Ultimatley the decision is with your incumbent, so please make sure you have their permission if you are proposing to ring.

We have agreed with the House of Bishops Covid recovery team that an exception should be made to the current ringing guidance across all Tiers in England for those bands that wish to ring for services over Christmas, in the period where the household restrictions are also being lifted. This will allow bells to be rung for key services including those on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and also for the 6pm Christmas Eve ringing which has been widely suggested.

This is on the assumption that the announcement on 16th December does not introduce some catastrophic restriction on the opening of churches (which seems unlikely). We are still consulting on whether this can be adopted in other countries in the British Isles which may be subject to other restrictions.

The current guidance for ringing in Tier 1 will be adopted for towers in all three Tiers just for Christmas, that being to ring up to six bells, with 1m+ separation and using facemasks. The recommendation is to ring for 15 minutes but to assess your tower’s characteristics. Ventilation is key to reducing the risk of aerosol transmission.

There is guidance here for you to assess the risk of your own ringing chamber and for members of your band to assess their own personal risk (see towards the bottom of the page for Guidance Notes). No doubt many ringers (especially those at special risk personally or in their family) will decide not to ring, just as many towers will lack sufficient ventilation to sufficiently mitigate risk even for this one-off occasion.

You may ask why it is suddenly ‘safe’ to ring at Christmas when it wasn’t before and it won’t be again afterwards. Risk of transmission is closely correlated with the amount of contact with others. With ringing having been restricted for so long, this limited ringing on one or two occasions at one of the most important times of the year for the Church does not represent a major absolute risk, particularly as some ringers will be in church anyway. It is also pragmatic given some ringers will want to ring anyway and will be under pressure from their incumbents. However, repeated ringing would increase the risk substantially, and we are not suggesting that this should now restart.

We may not be far away from ringing being less restricted. As one member of the Covid recovery team said “with the light at the end of the tunnel let’s not fall down a sink hole”.

Simon Linford
President CCCBR

Covid Winter Plan – updated guidance for England Wales and Scotland

England comes out of lockdown on Wednesday this week and enters the three Tiers system. The rules in Wales have not changed since 9th November and the Tiers will not apply. In Scotland, Covid restrictions are governed by five Protection Levels. Central Council guidance is now moving to respond to the Tiers and Protection Levels and so will now be different in England, Wales and Scotland.

England

First the good news and perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel for other areas. Just before we went into lockdown for the second time a month ago, we had reached agreement with the House of Bishops Recovery Group to drop down to 1m+ distancing, and then introduce local risk assessment based on the characteristics of the ringing environment and also risk assessment based on personal circumstances. Our guidance is that in Tier 1 this can now happen, although at first we only recommend ringing for 15 minutes until ventilation in towers is better understood. However look to the end of this statement for our plans in that regard.

In Tiers 2 and 3 we are still recommending that we stick to the government’s guidance that is the same for both Tiers, and that is that “No mixing of households indoors, apart from support bubbles.” As was discussed when the lockdown started, one can argue the definitions of mixing, interacting and mingling, some might even try and argue that ringing is an act of worship or even employment, but the clear intention of the public health experts is to reduce interactions as much as possible so that we get through the winter without another wave of infection. That restricts ringing in Tiers 2 and 3 to families that live together and other households, or the ringing of single bells as currently.

Handbells

The opportunities for handbell ringing will improve over the lockdown conditions. In Tier 1 we revert to the ‘Rule of 6’ which allows six people to meet indoors or outdoors, so handbell ringing is possible (but stay distanced and ventilate well). In Tier 2 a maximum of six people can meet in any outdoor setting only, including a domestic garden, so provided you are warm enough, socially distanced handbell ringing is viable. Tier 3 is slightly more restrictive in that mixing of households outdoors needs to be in a public space, e.g. parks, public gardens or churchyards. Again this give the opportunity to meet perhaps outside the church and ring handbells. Not that you should not travel from a higher tier to a lower tier for handbell ringing.

Wales

Wales does not have the Tier system but does have social distancing of 2m and a recommendation that indoor gatherings other than with your household or extended household is avoided. However, the Church in Wales has specifically recognised ringing in its guidance for places of worship and specifically permits ringing as follows:

“Bell ringing is permissible, but bell ringers should observe two-metre physical distancing and hygiene and cleaning regimes should be implemented. Careful consideration of how bell ringers will access the building suitably distanced from other attendees needs consideration e,g diff erent entry points or staggered arrival times. Bellringing arrangements should comply with guidance available from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers at https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/ ”

Our guidance in Wales is therefore that ringing should still follow 2m social distancing and be restricted to 15 minutes. Ringing for longer could come following the ventilation trials explained below.

Handbells

Ringing handbells outdoors in a public space is allowed subject to the overall guidance on social distance and avoiding large gatherings. Handbells in gardens is allowed however there is a rule that only householders and their one extended household can meet in their gardens. However that still might present some handbell opportunities on warmer days.

Scotland

There is an overall social distancing restriction of 2m between people (not ropes) which is a key driver for practical ringing.

In the top Protection Level 4, ringing has stopped because public worship has stopped. However, in all other Levels ringing is possible provided the social distancing guidelines are possible and duration restricted in accordance with previous guidance.

Handbells

Ringing handbells outdoors is allowed subject to the overall guidance on social distancing. In Levels 2 3 and 4 up to six people from two different households could ring handbells outdoors, subject to social distancing and woolly hats. In Level 1, that increases to eight people from three households. The household restrictions do not apply to 12-17 year olds.

A summary of all the different levels and guidance can be found on the main website here, which is also linked from the Virtual Hub on Bellboard.

Ventilation and increasing ringing time

At first the guidance in Tier 1 is still only to ring for 15 minutes (as it still is in Wales also), however we are going to be working with some ringers on the Isle of Wight and in Cornwall, the two regions with bells that will be in Tier 1, to understand the benefits of ventilation using CO2 meters.

The use of CO2 meters as a means of measuring the effectiveness of ventilation came from studies summarised in a recent review from the Royal Society. Indeed CO2 measurement is the industry standard used to demonstrate effectiveness of commercial ventilation systems. In an enclosed space like a ringing chamber, our breathing causes CO2 levels to increase. Ventilation brings in fresh air and the CO2 level drops. A CO2 meter is a pretty good proxy for the adequacy of ventilation, which in turn will help us estimate if ringing for longer than 15 minutes is safe (because Covid infected aerosols don’t build up). If the CO2 level in the room does not increase, it is likely that the ventilation is good, and we can ring for longer.

Phil Barnes and David Pouncey have both bought a particular kind of CO2 meter from Canada which can be connected to a laptop and display the change in CO2 levels over time. In the Isle of Wight trial, a couple of bands of relatives will ring for 30 minutes in towers with a broad range of ventilation characteristics and measure how the CO2 levels change. This will then be used to give much better guidance on what other towers need to do to improve ventilation. By the time other regions drop into Tier 1 we hope that this work done by the Isle of Wight and Cornish ringers will enable us to move straight to ringing for longer in towers where the characteristics show that aerosol transmission risk is low.

Conclusion

Overall, there is cause for optimism. There will be disappointment for many in Tier 2 areas particularly that the Tier restrictions do not enable us to get back to where we were in the summer, but then that is something the government has thought about in maintaining and indeed increasing their overall restrictions. December 16th may bring more Tier 2 areas into Tier 1. Hopefully the work that will be done with CO2 monitoring will help us to increase ringing times in more towers as more regions drop into Tier 1.

As has been said by various ministers and public health officials, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to, and the Tier rules “are not boundaries at which to push, but limits of what you can do.”

Ultimately being sensible and being aware of the risks is a sound basis for deciding on whether to ring or not.

Simon Linford
President, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Content taken from https://cccbr.org.uk/2020/11/30/covid-winter-plan-updated-guidance-for-england-wales-and-scotland/ with permission.

Latest update from CCCBR on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restrictions – Updated 20th July 2021

See the CCCBR website for more details.

Standing Guidance

The guidance for ringing in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland is considered separately here in line with different national rules and guidance from the respective Churches. Each country is working along its own roadmap for reducing restrictions and our roadmap is based on that. Thankfully it is nearing an end although the delay to the removal of restrictions in England was as a great disappointment and inconvenience. It is important to note that the governments’ roadmaps are as yet silent on what amount of social distancing and face masks are going to be needed even beyond the full lockdown release.

England

Ringing guidance for the period from Monday 19 July has now been agreed with the House of Bishops Recovery Group and can be found here. Restrictions have largely been released at this time when Government is stressing personal responsibility, although there is still guidance on such matters as face masks in certain circumstances, and the importance of ventilation in towers. There are no longer restrictions on how long you ring for, or with how many other people.

Scotland

The Scottish Association is now providing guidance to towers in Scotland and that advice can be found here.

Wales

Guidance for Wales has been updated for the situation since 7 June and can be found here.

Ireland

Ringing is returning to towers in Ireland based on local interpretation of government guidance.

Updated 20th July

Minor update to the guidance, now including a link to the Places of Worship guidance, clarifying that ‘vaccinated’ means having had two jabs (plus the two weeks) and that vaccination status isn’t relevant to the guidance that facemasks should still be worn in certain circumstances. Revised guidance (version 2.1) is linked in Guidance Notes.

Updated 16th July

Guidance for ringing in England post 19th July has been agreed today with the House of Bishops Recovery Group and can be found here. The Church of England’s own guidance for places of worship has yet to be published but we have seen the section on bellringing and it refers to the Central Council guidance.

Updated 13th July

We await news on what the removal of legal restrictions in England on 19 July will mean for Places of Worship. It is not going to be known for certain until at least Thursday 15th July when the Places of Worship Taskforce meets the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

While we expect restrictions to be lifted, there is still no certainty around wearing of facemasks, and the degree to which they are expected to be worn.

Updated 5th July

We await news on what the removal of legal restictions in England on 19 July will mean for Places of Worship.

This one page summary considers each of the guidance topics and mitigation measures (facemasks, hand sanitiser, rope sharing, rule on numbers, length of time, etc), explains the rationale for it, and what it means for ringing in practice. Note that the elements that are mandatory are the Rule of Six indoors, and wearing facemasks in Places of Worship, although there are some exceptions to the latter requirement.

It is specific to England although it may contain useful information for those ringing in other jurisdictions.

Updated 25th June

Removal of legal restictions in England has been delayed until 19 July. Places of Worship guidance remains unchanged as does the Council’s.

This one page summary considers each of the guidance topics and mitigation measures (facemasks, hand sanitiser, rope sharing, rule on numbers, length of time, etc), explains the rationale for it, and what it means for ringing in practice. Note that the elements that are mandatory are the Rule of Six indoors, and wearing facemasks in Places of Worship, although there are some exceptions to the latter requirement.

It is specific to England although it may contain useful information for those ringing in other jurisdictions.

Updated 17th June

The decision was to delay the removal of legal restictions in England by a further four weeks until 19 July. Places of Worship guidance is not changing and neither is the Council’s guidance.

This one page summary considers each of the guidance topics and mitigation measures (facemasks, hand sanitiser, rope sharing, rule on numbers, length of time, etc), explains the rationale for it, and what it means for ringing in practice. Note that the elements that are mandatory are the Rule of Six indoors, and wearing facemasks in Places of Worship.

It is specific to England but Welsh and Scottish versions will be prepared.

Updated 28th May

There has been no change to guidance this week. Engand is in Stage 3 with the Rule of Six applying indoors.

Mindful of there being a lot of guidance and how things have changed in recent months, we have prepared a one page summary that considers each of the guidance topics and mitigation measures (facemasks, hand sanitiser, rope sharing, rule on numbers, length of time, etc), explains the rationale for it, and what it means for ringing in practice.

It is specific to England but Welsh and Scottish versions will be prepared.

Updated 22nd May

There has been no change to guidance this week. Engand is in Stage 3 with the Rule of Six applying indoors.

Our guidance for this period suggests a limit of 45 minutes subject to 1m+ social distancing rules, hand sanitising, face coverings, lateral flow tests in certain circumstances, and good ventilation. Detailed guidance is here and no longer needs to be considered as draft.

Many have questioned whether the wearing of facemasks is necessary when whole bands have received their second jab. Wearing of facemasks in places of worship in England at least is the law. Government guidance on the wearing of facemasks can be found here (and it refers to other countries). It explicitly includes places of worship.

The exemption to the law most likely to be claimed by ringers is “if you are undertaking exercise or an activity and it would negatively impact your ability to do so.”

Bear in mind that wearing a facemask is for the protection of others, particularly the unvaccinated. Young ringers in particular will not have had the benefit of vaccination.

Updated 14th May

There has been no change to guidance this week. Engand is still on course to enter Stage 3 on 17 May when the Rule of Six applies indoors.

Our guidance for this period suggests a limit of 45 minutes subject to 1m+ social distancing rules, hand sanitising, face coverings, lateral flow tests in certain circumstances, and good ventilation. Detailed guidance is here and no longer needs to be considered as draft.

Guidance for ringers to assess their own risks has been updated for the current situation with the virus in the community and levels of vaccination. The guidance note “Is it appropriate for an individual to ring” should be read in conjunction with the 17 May guidance.

Stage 4 – no earlier than 21 June and date now seemingly at risk

All legal limits removed
(it remains to be seen whether face masks will still be suggested or mandated – that is not absolutely clear yet)

Updated 7th May

We have published our paper explaining the rationale for using CO2 monitoring as a way of determining whether towers are adequately ventilated and hence remain a safe space should virus levels rise again in the autumn. We have plenty of time to plan for this, so this will start the discussion and enable some towers to conduct some investigations. The paper, written by Dr David Pouncey, is included with the Guidance Notes here.

Meanwhile the England roadmap is approaching the next key milestone of 17 May when the Rule of Six applies indoors. Before then ringing is limited to handbell ringing outdoors, and young ringers’ groups who can ring following the ‘out of school settings’ guidance (see detail left).

Stage 3 – no earlier than 17 May

Rule of six indoors enables more ringing and our guidance suggest a limit of 45 minutes subject to 1m+ social distancing rules, hand sanitising, face coverings, lateral flow tests in certain circumstances, and good ventilation. Detailed draft guidance is here.

Guidance for ringers to assess their own risks has been updated for the current situation with the virus in the community and levels of vaccination. The guidance note “Is it appropriate for an individual to ring” should be read in conjunction with the draft 17 May guidance.

Stage 4 – no earlier than 21 June

All legal limits removed
(it remains to be seen whether facemasks will still be suggested or mandated – that is not absolutely clear yet)

Updated 29th April

The next release of lockdown restrictions in Wales has been accellerated to 3 May, when 15 are allowed to meet indoors. The guidance for England published in draft form last week as been adapted and agreed with the Church in Wales. It is published here.

The England roadmap is approaching the next key milestone of 17 May when the Rule of Six applies indoors. Before then ringing is limited to handbell ringing outdoors, and young ringers’ groups who can ring following the ‘out of school settings’ guidance (see detail left).

Updated 21st April

The England roadmap is approaching the next key milestone of 17 May when the Rule of Six applies indoors. Before then ringing is limited to handbell ringing outdoors, and young ringers’ groups who can ring following the ‘out of school settings’ guidance (see detail left).

Stage 3 – no earlier than 17 May

Rule of six indoors enables more ringing and our guidance suggest a limit of 45 minutes subject to 1m+ social distancing rules, hand sanitising, face coverings, lateral flow tests, and good ventilation. Detailed draft guidance is here.

Guidance for ringers to assess their own risks has been updated for the current situation with the virus in the community and levels of vaccination. The guidance note “Is it appropriate for an individual to ring” should be read in conjunction with the draft 17 May guidance.

Stage 4 – no earlier than 21 June

All legal limits removed
(it remains to be seen whether facemasks will still be suggested or mandated – that is not absolutely clear yet)

Updated 5th April

The England roadmap is approaching the next key milestone of 12 April when young ringers groups can start ringing. Detailed guidance is now available in Guidance Notes section. The rest of the roadmap remains as follows:

Stage 1 – current situation

Rule of six outdoors will benefit handbell ringing (up to 15 for young people)

Stage 2 – 12 April

Young ringers groups possible following the ‘out of school settings’ guidance (see detail left)

Stage 3 – no earlier than 17 May

Rule of six indoors enables ringing subject to social distancing rules to be confirmed (could still be 2m)

Stage 4 – no earlier than 21 June

All legal limits removed
(it remains to be seen whether facemasks will still be suggested or mandated – that is not absolutely clear yet)

Updated 26th March

There is no change in guidance this week. Easter Sunday ringing guidance is as published on 19 March below, and the general roadmap is as per the 12 March update.

We are being asked about specifics of the young ringers guidance after for 12 April onwards. As there is still time for this to change and there has been no specific government guidance on social distancing, we are currently agreeing guidance with the Church of England based on what we believe will be the state of play. We will update that next Friday. The ‘Ringing for children’s groups’ guidance note has been removed pending this amendment.

Updated 19th March

Many incumbents are asking if some bells can be rung as part of their church or cathedral’s Easter celebrations, and bellringers are also keen to play part. The Central Council believes that bells are an important part of the act of worship, particularly on Easter Sunday. Unlike at Christmas, UK and Irish Governments have not introduced any relaxations of the rules on meeting indoors for Easter. Those rules are readily available and well understood.

We have established guidance on reducing the risk of ringing both to ourselves and each other, and most recently published our latest thinking on virus transmission and ventilation in ringing chambers, with chancel crossings at one end of the risk scale and small airless rooms at the other. We recommend considering all these factors when decided how many bells can be rung and for how long, in consultation with the incumbent, churchwardens or Cathedral Chapters.

One or more bells ringing on Easter Sunday will surely be appreciated by our churches and communities.

For general guidance on the roadmap for unlocking ringing see the 12th March update.

Updated 12th March

An article providing our latest thinking on virus transmission in towers, and considerations regarding vaccination and ventilation has been added to the Guidance Notes.

Otherwise there is no change to the guidance that was issued on 26th February, and we do not as yet have any specific guidance regarding Easter Sunday.

In England, the stages of unlocking have the following implications:

Stage 1 – starts 29 March

Rule of six outdoors will benefit handbell ringing (up to 15 for young people)

Stage 2 – no earlier than 12 April

Young ringers groups possible following the ‘out of school settings’ guidance (expect social distancing restrictions)

Stage 3 – no earlier than 17 May

Rule of six indoors enables ringing subject to social distancing rules to be confirmed (could still be 2m)

Stage 4 – no earlier than 21 June

All legal limits removed
(it remains to be seen whether facemasks will still be suggested or mandated – that is not absolutely clear yet)

During any of these stages, ringers may still be cautious as not all ringers will be vaccinated, particularly young people. There is still risk of transmission and infection for us to be aware of; vaccination is not a passport.

Scotland is looking to remove all legal limits on social contact on 21 June provided strict conditions are met. On the plus side from 15 March some handbell ringers could take advantage of being able to meet outdoors in pairs of households.

Neither Wales nor Ireland have yet published lockdown roadmaps with dates in.

We are being asked about ringing for Easter and will clarify guidance when we have more from the Church of England Recovery Group.

Updated 26th February

On Monday 22 February, the UK Government published a roadmap for exiting lockdown over the coming months, detailing how and when restrictions will be eased if everything goes to plan. It is a welcome and cautious framework for a return to normality. The roadmap provides us with an opportunity for ringing to return over the coming months.

While there is still detail to be studied, and every chance of change, all indications are that ringing in England at least will come out of lockdown as follows:

Stage 1 – 29 March

Rule of six outdoors will benefit handbell ringing (up to 15 for young people)

Stage 2 – no earlier than 12 April

Young ringers groups possible following the ‘out of school settings’ guidance (expect social distancing restrictions)

Stage 3 – no earlier than 17 May

Rule of six indoors enables ringing subject to social distancing rules to be confirmed (could still be 2m)

Stage 4 – no earlier than 21 June

All legal limits removed
(it remains to be seen whether facemasks will still be suggested or mandated – that is not absolutely clear yet)

During any of these stages, ringers may still be cautious as not all ringers will be vaccinated, particularly young people. There is still risk of transmission and infection for us to be aware of; vaccination is not a passport. An article will be published in next week’s Ringing World with updated analysis of transmission in ringing chambers and the benefits of ventilation. This will just be for guidance though to be interpreted in accordance with local circumstances – the law will be the primary driver for what ringing is possible.

Yesterday’s announcement applies to England only, and so we continue to work closely with our contacts in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales to understand the situation here over the coming weeks. Scotland for instance has rule of six outdoors from 5 April and churches reopening for limited numbers from that date also. Then from 26 April at the earliest Scotland intends to go back to a “tiers” system of local restrictions.

This is the clearest we can be at the moment based on the information available, and after discussion with the Church of England Recovery Group this afternoon. It is a roadmap, with more detail to be considered as we move forward. We appreciate ringers are all now starting to plan ringing events from late June onwards, and being asked whether bells will be available for weddings, etc. The main word of caution is that the Government is at pains to stress that these dates are the earliest possible, so commitments made for shortly after those deadlines should be made with that in mind.

It does now feel like the end of an incredibly difficult year for ringing is in sight. Thank you for your ongoing trust and support.

Updated 19th February

There is no change to any guidance this week, however next week’s round of government updates on a road map may give more indication of when some ringing can resume.

Updated 8th January

Guidance has been updated to remove all guidance that was based on Tiers and replace that with simple interpretation of lockdown conditions.

Updated 4th January

England and Scotland have entered lockdown again. In England, Places of Worship remain open but in Scotland they will be closed from Friday 8th.

The exact guidance for ringing will be published before the end of the week.

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, said the following this evening:

“The Government has chosen not to suspend public worship in England at this time and we will continue to follow the guidance and ensure that churches remain as safe as possible. The Government guidance on the safe use of places of worship makes clear that those attending a place of worship must not mingle with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

“However, some may feel that it is currently better not to attend in person, and there will be parishes which decide to offer only digital services for the time-being. Clergy who have concerns, and others who are shielding, should take particular care and stay at home.

I would urge everyone in our churches to pray for those on the front line in our public services – the NHS and those working in social care, for schools and many others on whom we depend; and for parents and carers of children at this anxious and stressful time.

“There is hope. The vaccination programme is underway and, as Christians, we have a deeper hope in God that comforts us beyond fear itself. As we have been remembering this Christmas Season, even in the midst of our darkest fears, that hope brings light.”

Updated 27th December

The guidance for ringing for children’s groups has been updated in the light of the introduction of the new Tier 4.

Unfortunately the Government guidance that allows the running of activities for children in out-of-school settings specifically excludes Tier 4, so young ringers groups can only operate in Tiers 1-3.

Updated 21st December

Christmas guidance for England has changed following the Government’s scaling back of relaxations.

Tier 4 guidance added as in the table above.

The adoption of Tier 1 guidance in Tiers 2 and 3 should be for the most important services over Christmas only, at your discretion and based on local circumstances.

Updated 16th December

Christmas guidance for England is unchanged from the announcement made on 8th December.

The current guidance for ringing in Tier 1 will be adopted for towers in all three Tiers just for the five-day Christmas period – 23rd to 27th. That is to ring up to six bells, with 1m+ separation and using facemasks. The recommendation is to ring for 15 minutes but to assess your tower’s characteristics. Ventilation is key to reducing the risk of aerosol transmission. Note that bellringing guidance no longer has 72 or even a 48 hour recommended gap between sessions, but to maintain good ventilation and hand hygiene.

Review the Guidance Notes on this page to assess the risk of your own ringing chamber and for members of your band to assess their own personal risk. No doubt many ringers (especially those at special risk personally or in their family) will decide not to ring, just as many towers will lack sufficient ventilation to sufficiently mitigate risk even for this one-off occasion.

The Prime Minister and Chief Medical Officer are urging us to exercise caution and to “keep Christmas celebrations small, short and local to reduce these risks.” We can do that in our ringing of bells to celebrate Christmas – small, short and local.

Updated 14th December

The specific guidance on ringing for children’s groups has been added to the Guidance Notes. This covers groups of up to six children under 18 ringing together and can be done in all Tiers in England.

The guidance for Northern Ireland has been replaced with guidance for all of Ireland.

Guidance for Christmas services will be confirmed after the 16th December update on tiers in England.

Updated 7th December

There is no change to the guidance this week. Specific guidance on Northern Ireland has been added to the standing guidance by country.

Updated 30th November

New guidance has been published for ringing in various Tiers in England in advance of the end of the lockdown on 2nd December. Guidance has also been updated for the protection levels in Scotland, and for the situation in Wales where ringing is permitted subject to the Council’s guidance.

See the CCCBR website for more details.

Updated 20th November

There has been no change in guidance since the 8th November update.

Updated 8th November

Bellringers in England have been asked to support the Church of England’s call to prayer during this month of lockdown by ringing a single bell at 6pm each day. The request came directly from Lambeth Palace, and has been repeated by many individual Bishops.

The Recovery Group is of the opinion that a single bell ringing is an act of individual prayer, and as such complies with their own guidance and that of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. 

Updated 6th November

This update is specifically for England, and is responding to the lockdown that started on Thursday 5th November and lasts until 2nd December. 

The government in England is asking people to stay at home if at all possible. Churches are closed except for private prayer and broadcast worship. ‘Group bell ringing’ is specifically not permitted in a Place of Worship during this period. 

Detail can be found in this statement from MHCLG

However, the ringing of a single bell on Remembrance Sunday has been specifically agreed by the House of Bishops Recovery Group (with permission of the incumbent and churchwardens). The tolling of a single bell is a powerful symbol of remembrance understood by communities and will mean a great deal to many. Please be particularly aware of the risks associated with entering a tower and ringing on your own – make sure someone knows you are doing it and can watch for you. A muffle is not needed when tolling a single bell.

Updated 23rd October

Following further discussions with the Church of England Recovery Group, there is no longer a blanket restriction on ringing in Tiers 2 and 3 in England.

See this news release.

Updated 16th October

news item has been published on the CCCBR website today announcing the disappointing news that we believe ringing should be suspended in areas of England designated as being in Tiers 2 and Tier 3. Towers in Tier 1 are unaffected. This is our interpretation of the legislation which is shared by the Church of England Recovery Group.

Although Places of Worship can remain open at all Tiers, at the ‘High’ and ‘Very High’ Tiers there should be no mixing between households (see Church of England guidance website).

The accompanying legislation for Tier 2 (the middle tier) says this:

Participation in gatherings indoors

No person may participate in a gathering in the Tier 2 area which consists of two or more people, and takes place indoors.”

The accompanying legislation for Tier 3 (the top ‘Very High’ tier) says this:

Participation in gatherings indoors and in private dwellings

No person may participate in a gathering in the Tier 3 area which consists of two or more people, and takes place in a private dwelling or any indoor space.”

Tier 1, the lowest or ‘Medium’ level continues to apply the ‘Rule of Six’ indoors.

Updated 13th October

Following the announcement on Monday October 12 of a new three-tier risk alert system for COVID-19 in England, we are considering the implications for ringing and will publish our opinion by the end of Friday 16th.

Although Places of Worship can remain open at all Tiers, at the ‘High’ and ‘Very High’ Tiers there should be no mixing between households (see Church of England guidance website).

The accompanying legislation for Tier 2 (the middle tier) says this:

Participation in gatherings indoors

No person may participate in a gathering in the Tier 2 area which consists of two or more people, and takes place indoors.”

The accompanying legislation for Tier 3 (the top ‘Very High’ tier) says this:

Participation in gatherings indoors and in private dwellings

No person may participate in a gathering in the Tier 3 area which consists of two or more people, and takes place in a private dwelling or any indoor space.”

Tier 1, the lowest or ‘Medium’ level continues to apply the ‘Rule of Six’ indoors.

Updated 9th October

There is no change to the guidance this week but an article has been published here which explains the Central Council’s current roadmap for guidance, paving the way for more localised decision making. We are also undertaking a wholescale review of guidance documents.

From now on, guidance updates are going to be published on Mondays, which gives time to digest higher-level guidance that is often published on Fridays.

The next guidance update will therefore be Monday 19th October.

Updated 2nd October

The Frequently Asked Questions have been refreshed to remove those which are now common knowledge and add in more recent concerns such as the implications of ringing in areas of increased lockdown.

All restrictions imposed by Governments override guidance either from our Churches or the Central Council. The UK’s ‘Rule of Six’ (in its various forms) for instance is a legal restriction aimed at reducing social contact, rather than guidance.

If (as in the North East of England at the end of September and parts of Lancashire shortly thereafter) no indoor mixing of different households is allowed, then it appears that it would be illegal for anyone other than members of the same household to ring, even if church services are allowed. Places of worship do not appear to have been given a specific exemption, however they have remained open. The position is unclear, although the UK Government’s intention is clearly to reduce social contact in non-essential settings, citing work and education as the only exemptions.

Elsewhere, if extra restrictions (but still allowing six to meet indoors) have been imposed where you live, then the transmission of Coronavirus is high, and the level of risk greater. The CCCBR’s guidelines do aim to be “Covid-Secure”, but you need to make a local risk assessment (focussing especially on the size and ventilation of your tower and the characteristics of your ringers) to decide if it is appropriate to ring – and it may well not be. Remember that the final decision rests with the Incumbent.

Updated 25th September

There has been no change to guidance this week.

The Council’s small guidance team is pleased to welcome David Pouncey to the team. David is a recently retired GP who during a long career spent time dealing with epidemics in Africa, and most recently managing coronavirus patients. As well as taking a share of the workload, David will be specifically looking at the next phase of guidance.

David rings in Gloucestershire.

Updated 18th September

Dicussions are ongoing regarding the potential reduction of distance between ropes, although in view of the upsurge in Covid cases and the number of areas of the United Kingdom entering increasing states of lockdown there is extreme caution over reducing distancing for bellringing at the moment. 

The ‘rule of six’ is now in force in England, Scotland and Wales, albeit with regional variations. Places of worship have an exemption provided those in church stay in groups of six.  

Update on 11th September

The period of time between ringing sessions has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is on the assumption that all hand hygiene guidance is being followed. 


We do not yet have the green light to reduce distance between ropes below current guidance, but it is under consideration on the basis that this will enable more towers (and ringers) to ring. The CofE Recovery Group is very sympathetic to the case but are consulting with others included MHCLG in the light of the upsurge in cases. 


The ‘rule of six’ is being implemented in England, Scotland and Wales, albeit with slight regional variations. Places of worship have an exemption but the extent of that is not yet clear and further details are awaited. Although this is unlikely to impact on tower bell ringing, if there is any conflict between guidance and the law, the law prevails. 

Update on 4th September

There has been no change to the guidance this week. Updated guidance to reduce distance between ropes to enable more towers to ring more bells has been submitted for approval. Note that ringing is still limited to 15 minutes but does not have to be for a service, provided it is with the permission of the incumbent. 

Guidance on the use of simulators is being written and will be available shortly.

Update on 14th August

Following last week’s update on wearing face coverings for ringing (which is mandatory in churches in England and Scotland) the individual guidance notes have been updated to include references to face coverings. A number of people have enquired whether ringers who claim exemption from wearing a face covering can ring without them. It is our view that face coverings reduce the risk of transmission of the virus and therefore protect our fellow ringers. Anyone who is unable to wear a face covering should not ring.    

Local lockdowns continue and may increase. The effect of these lockdowns on ringing is principally on handbell ringing in people’s gardens.  

Guidance notes 2 and 4 have been amended slightly to clarify the 1.5m allowed separation for ropes which fall in a straight line, i.e. that the middle of three ropes which fall in a straight line should be 1.5m from the two adjacent ropes.

Update on 7th August

The only two things changed this week are that use of the word ‘facemask’ in this guidance has been replaced with the words ‘face coverings’ to bring this guidance in line with the Church of England’s guidance. The churches in Scotland also refer to face coverings rather than facemasks, while the Church in Wales does not appear to have stipulated the wearing of face coverings yet. Face coverings does not include visors.

We would like to also clarify that ringing does not specifically have to be for a service, but should still be with the permission of the incumbent. Ringers have been asked to ring for weddings, and on Sundays where there is no service but where the sound of bells is welcome to remind communities of the presence of the church. It is still only 15 minutes though, whatever the purpose of the ringing.

The wearing of face coverings is mandatory from 8th August in places of worship in England and Scotland (Wales doesn’t appear to be mandatory but advice welcome). Wearing face coverings does not reduce the minimum distances approved for ringing which remain as :

  • 2m spacing between ringers (which will generally mean alternate bells)
  • 1.5m spacing allowable if ropes fall in a straight line (ringers facing inwards not towards each other)
  • Adjacent bells can be rung by ringers from the same household

An increasing number of places may have lockdown restrictions brought back as happened first in Leicester, then in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire, and most recently in Preston. The effect of these lockdowns on ringing is principally on handbell ringing in people’s gardens

Standing Guidance

The Church of England and the Church in Wales both allow bells being rung in their churches now that cathedral and church buildings are open to the public. It is on the condition that ringing is in accordance with the guidance on these pages. Public Health England (PHE) has reviewed the Council’s guidance, suggesting various amendments which have been incorporated into the guidance given here. It has all been agreed with the Church of England Recovery Group, whose support for ringing is greatly appreciated. The Central Council will continue to pursue a similar situation for other jurisdictions in which there are bells.

We appreciate not all jurisdictions are the same, even within the United Kingdom. The Scottish Association has done a thorough review of the positon regarding ringing in towers in Scotland and has published its guidance here.

The restriction on ringing is difficult for bell ringers who are missing the activity that is so much part of our lives. The Church is however very sensitive to the safety of its volunteers and the relaxation of restrictions will not necessarily be as rapid as it is in certain other settings where other factors are under consideration. Failing to follow this guidance could cause this limited return to ringing to be reversed, and we are very grateful to all ringers who have embraced the return to ringing so positively.

By no means all churches are open for services. Opening is very much down to individual Dioceses and incumbents, taking into account many factors. However ringing does not have to be for a service provided the incumbent is happy to have the bells rung. Bells are a powerful reminder that the church is still there in the heart of our communities. Note that there is a specific requirement in the Church of England guidance document that ringers have read this guidance and undertaken the ringing risk assessment.

The Church in Wales includes the ringing of bells in their guidance issued to parishes, which can be found here. Section 1 Paragraph 15 refers to ringing and states “bell ringing is permissible, but bell ringers should observe two-metre physical distancing and hygiene and cleaning regimes should be implemented. Careful consideration of how bell ringers will access the building suitably distanced from other attendees needs consideration, e.g. different entry points or staggered arrival times. Bell ringing arrangements should comply with guidance available from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers [ref to this site]”We have also included in these guidance notes for checking bell installations prior to ringing. Please see our checklist below for some key areas that may need addressing. The Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops’ Council confirmed that for jobs that cannot safely be done by one person, two or three should enter the bell tower to undertake them, following social distancing guidance if they are not from the same household.

This guidance is being constantly inline with any changes in the Church’s own guidance and policies, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This website will be updated weekly on a Friday, whether or not there is a change in guidance. Any requests for clarification can be sent to president@cccbr.org.uk – it will get looked at as soon as possible. 

Guidance Notes

  1. What are we worried about? (PDF)
    Recommended background reading for all
  2. Making your tower as safe as possible (PDF)
    Suggested for Tower captains and steeplekeepers
  3. Checklist for recommencing ringing (PDF)
    Summary for steeplekeepers but see also detailed document from SMWG below
  1. Running safe ringing sessions (PDF)
    Guidance for Tower Captains and Ringing Masters
  2. Can I go ringing safely? (PDF)
    Considerations for individual ringers
  3. How bell ringers are assessing risk (PDF)
    To be given to incumbents to explain how we are making our ringing safe

Click here to download the complete set of guidance documents as a single PDF. These documents are intended to be succinct and easily readable. They do not contain all the detail that could be put in them but instead focus on the key issues. A more detailed group of documents has been produced by the Stewardship & Management Workgroup and can be downloaded here.

  1. Ringing risk assessment post Covid 9 July 2020
  2. Tower and bells risk assessment after non use 15 June 2020
  3. Tower Safety and Risk Assessment 15 June 2020
  4. Risk assessment template (based on HSE)

Additional Guidance

  • The UK Government guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic can be found via this link
  • The Church of England guidance on Opening Cathedral and Church Buildings can be found via this link

Frequently Asked Questions

We have accumulated all of the questions we have been asked by ringers concerning the guidance, such as why the guidance is still 2m rather than 1m, and whether members of family groups can ring on adjacent bells. We will update these FAQs from time to time and this version is all questions up to 3rd July.

Additional Information

A detailed analysis from Dr Philip Barnes and Dr Andrew Kelso is available to download.

This document seeks to provide information and advice for ringers and those responsible for bell towers regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and what issues ringers and church authorities should consider in responding to changes in Government guidance as we start to ease the current lockdown. It is focused on the situation in the Church of England, which is responsible for the vast majority of churches with bells hung for ringing. While the specific advice from leaders of other churches and in other countries may vary, the basic issues for ringers and ringing are the same wherever we ring.

Ringing and COVID-19: What are the risks and what might we do about them?

Useful Links

The latest guidance from the Church of England is available on their website.

The latest guidance from the Church in Wales is available on their website.

The latest guidance from the Scottish Episcopal Church is available on their website.

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

What’s happening after the pandemic?

Article below taken from CCCBR website.

At the start of the first lockdown we were still looking forward to ringing events in the summer. There were plans for a grand “Ringing Returns” festival to mark the end of the almost unprecedented few months off ringing. Three months without ringing would be painful but not seismic. We would get a bit rusty, but we could recover. 

It now looks clear that by the time ringing returns to ‘normal’ we will have missed at least a year. A year without ringing, a year without recruitment, a year without training, a year without the social intercourse that makes ringing what it is. Not only that, but we have months more in which to try and cope without the activity that some of us live for. 

We therefore face two challenges. Survival through a bleak winter with little in the way of ringing to keep us motivated, and then rebuilding at least some of what we had before. That is going to need a lot of effort from a lot of people, but we are not going to wait until next year to start. There are things that can be done now, particularly in terms of survival.

ART and the CCCBR are already working on ways in which we can help ringers and bands stay together and then recover. For instance, we are working together to produce a Survival and Recovery Toolbox from which ringers, bands and even ringing societies can pick the tools that will best help them keep going until ringing can resume and tailor them to local needs. The toolbox will give access to training, a variety of new (and old) ideas and the opportunity to learn from what others have done or are thinking of doing. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll start to roll out tools, resources and ideas for replacing the routines, friendship and opportunities that we have lost because we’re not ringing. Let’s try and keep as many people as possible enjoying ringing this winter so that we can recover and rebuild when ringing returns to ‘normal’. Some of it will just be helping more people to find resources that already exist.

Questions about some sort of centralised recovery strategy have been popping up on social media, in email chat lists and have arrived by email. We want to assure you that a recovery strategy is being discussed and developed, with the Survival and Recovery Toolbox being just a start. The Council Executive and ART Management Committee are thinking about recovery strategies at a more fundamental level as well. If you have any ideas or would like to help in any aspect of this – building, delivery or engagement – then please get in contact with us. Working together is the best way of building a positive future for ringing.

Lockdown in England and Remembrance Sunday

Latest advice from CCCBR

The Covid guidance has been updated in response to the lockdown in England that starts tomorrow for four weeks.

The government in England is asking people to stay at home if at all possible. Stopping ringing during this time is consistent with that request. Churches are closed except for private prayer and broadcast worship. We realise England’s senior faith leaders, including the Bishop of London who heads the C of E Recovery Group, are challenging the government’s decision to ban communal worship during this further lockdown period, but at the moment no exception has been made, and even if it was, our guidance wouldn’t change. This is a much stricter lockdown than Tier 3.

However, we support the tolling of a single bell on Remembrance Sunday, if it is with the permission of the incumbent and churchwardens. This has been specifically approved by the House of Bishops Recovery Group. The tolling of a single bell is a powerful symbol of remembrance understood by communities and will mean a great deal to many. Please be particularly aware of the risks associated with entering a tower and ringing on your own – make sure someone knows you are doing it and can watch out for you. A muffle is not needed when tolling a single bell.

Hand Bell Ringing Teaching Session at St Peter’s Churchyard Petersfield Hampshire 2020

(Social Distancing Rules were in place)

A few weeks ago, Mary Broadbridge, tower captain at St Peter’s church Petersfield Hampshire organised a special hand bell ringing teaching session taken very kindly by Iain Hayden who has been ringing with the St Peter’s tower band over the last year. There were six learners who under Iain’s tutelage managed to ring rounds and one or two call changes.   Every one very much enjoyed the morning and we are all hoping it will be one of many teaching sessions when with practice we can progress to ringing methods.  Of course, depending on what Covid restrictions are in

A few weeks ago, Mary Broadbridge, tower captain at St Peter’s church Petersfield Hampshire organised a special hand bell ringing teaching session taken very kindly by Iain Hayden who has been ringing with the St Peter’s tower band over the last year. There were six learners who under Iain’s tutelage managed to ring rounds and one or two call changes.   Every one very much enjoyed the morning and we are all hoping it will be one of many teaching sessions when with practice we can progress to ringing methods.  Of course, depending on what Covid restrictions are in place in the future.

The St Peter’s Church band ring for Sunday Service at 09:00 for fifteen minutes and on Wednesday practice for fifteen minutes, ringers taking it in turns to ring on different weeks.  

Caroline M Welsh

Archivist St Peter’s Bell Ringers

Further development of Coronavirus guidance from CCCBR – the Path Ahead

Last Friday lunchtime, I was notified by my daughter’s school that one person in her year group had tested positive for Coronavirus and the entire year group was being sent home to self-isolate for 10 days. One of the first things she did on getting home was to say that she wouldn’t be able to fulfil either of her Sunday ringing commitments, and she informed both tower captains. Such is life at the moment.

Her absence from ringing was not just a sense of responsibility to her fellow ringers. The school had given pretty strict guidance on what to do in this 10 day period and it did not include unnecessary outings, however strong the mitigations ringing has adopted. Even socially distanced reduced duration ringing was going to be put on hold.

By and large, ringers are an above averagely sensible group and respect the need for the ringing community to be consistent and act as one on the application of the guidelines. There are outbreaks of ‘cleverdickery’ and ‘whataboutery’, but generally the socially distanced, restricted ringing recommended in the guidance has been adopted. However, we have been at the current level of restriction for a while, and even though we appear to be in the second wave of Coronavirus infection in Britain, you probably want to know what the plans are for ringing recovery.

Before going into what we propose to do next, I would like to recap how we have got to where we are now.

When the guidance was originally discussed with the Church of England Recovery Group it was on the basis that ringing for services was a good starting point for getting ringing going again, and was timed to coincide with the reopening of churches. What then happened was that by no means all churches reopened, and so the guidance was clarified to remove the service ringing restriction, as many incumbents were happy to have bells rung anyway.

That first round of guidance did not enable as many towers to start ringing as we had hoped. Smaller towers in particular are not able to ring enough bells at 2m distance for it to be worthwhile, although larger towers have adapted well. We used this as the basis of our discussions with the Recovery Group on reducing distancing to 1m – that we had not been effective in enabling much service ringing with 2m distancing.

Work on the guidance to this point had been shared by Phillip Barnes, Mark Regan and me, with Alison Hodge’s Stewardship & Management Group also working on detailed guidance and risk assessments. Zoom calls are held with the Recovery Group about every two weeks. Knowing that we needed to move into the next phase of guidance, we invited David Pouncey to join the group to give a fresh perspective and to help shoulder a burden that weighs heavily. David is a recently retired GP with very relevant medical experience who had previously engaged with us and offered his help.

The good news for the future is that we have now agreed with the Recovery Group that distance between ringers will be able to be reduced to 1m+ provided other mitigations are in place. Face coverings are probably the most important of them, as the understanding of the aerosol transmission of the virus has increased over the course of the pandemic. This has particular relevance for ringing given the setting of our activity and our close spacing to each other.

We are very mindful however that announcing a relaxation of restrictions at a time when infection levels are increasing may appear inappropriate, even if that relaxation is based on a very sound interpretation of the current risks, and agreement with the Church. So we intend to move to this next level with an overall revision of guidance that shifts the decision making process down to association and tower level, and which can be based on the overall level of restrictions in a particular place or region. The UK Government looks to be moving to a three-tiered “traffic lights” plan based on number of infections per 100,000 of population and when that is launched, we will align our advice to that.

We are also working on clear guidance for local and personal risk assessment, so that you and your band can decide whether to ring or not based on an informed understanding of the risks generally, and your tower’s particular circumstances. Large well-ventilated spaces are much less risky than small unventilated rooms: those who work closely with others have a much greater risk of spreading the virus than those who work from home or have relatively few social interactions. This could enable the low risk environments to extend ringing time to 30 minutes, although high risk environments might conclude that they should not ring at all. We are looking at whether if any tower is unsure about how to interpret the guidance for them, someone at association level could be equipped to help, which is what appears to be happening in most places anyway. We expect all this to be in place in the next week or two. We want to be ready to act as soon as infection levels drop, and to be able to react more quickly to future changes in circumstances.

Finally, Mark Regan has been looking at how young ringers’ groups could benefit from published guidance for “holiday and after school clubs, and other out-of-school settings.” This guidance allows larger groups of children to meet regularly in consistent groups, which could be very useful.

Simon Linford
President, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

(this article was published in The Ringing World, issue 5711, 9 October 2020)

2020 Striking Competitions cancelled

Hello Everyone.

Regrettably, and as I am sure you will understand, due to the covid-19 situation we will have to CANCEL all Guild striking competitions for 2020.

Apologies to those who were keen and eager to come along for a great mornings fun. Lets hope that next year we can take up the challenge again with renewed vigour!

Pete Jordan

Convener – Striking Competition Committee. 

CCCBR Guidance on Returning to Service Ringing

The scene is set for a cautious return to ringing. It won’t be all the bells, it won’t be all the ringers, but it will be enough for ringing to be part of the resumption of church services and remind people which day is Sunday.

Returning to ringing is a subject dear to all our hearts. Simulators, Ringing Room and Zoom meetings are just not the same although we should applaud all those initiatives. On 12th June bellringing appeared in a list of activities which cannot take place in churches. That made us determined to find out who was advising government so that we could make our case. All the hard work being done on guidance and risk assessments is useless if the keys to the ringing room door have been taken away.

I am pleased to say we have now made a lot of progress. The people with the metaphorical keys to our ringing room doors are Mark Betson, convenor of the Church of England’s Recovery Group, and Brendan McCarthy, the Church’s Adviser for Medical Ethics, Health, and Social Care Policy. On Monday this week, Mark Regan, Phil Barnes and I had a Zoom call with them to position ringing in the church recovery plan. Note this is Church of England only initially. We intend to have similar discussions in Wales and Scotland and provide what support we can to those in other countries. Hopefully some of this guidance is useful anyway and can be adapted to local circumstances.

Our goal for the meeting was just to establish the Council as the trusted advisor to the CofE team and hence government on bell ringing. We had sent them our suite of six guidance notes, which have now been published on the Central Council website which they were very happy to approve.

Having not really considered bell ringing specifically before, they are 100% committed to making ringing part of the return of church activities. In the first instance though it must be just that. Our return will be about Sunday ringing as part of the church’s mission, not practice or self-indulgence, though they understood our longer-term desire and need to resume that as well. Mark Betson said it would be really good to get ringing going again, reminding everyone which day is Sunday, and letting the bells proclaim that the church is open. He wanted “a package of good news” to be launched together.

Brendan McCarthy was particularly cautious of any misinterpretation of the drop in the UK Government’s social distancing rule from 2m to 1m. He cited all the guidance coming to him that 2m was not sacrosanct, but that going from 2m to 1m represents a 10 fold increase in risk, and that he would remain cautious saying “Our first job is not to kill anyone.” Our return to ringing will therefore be cautious, socially distanced ringing, for a very limited period of 15 minutes, and only for services.

Mark and Brendan had meetings with Public Health England and UK Government that afternoon and this week. They promised to include ringing in the plans and coordinate with us. We advised that we would need a couple of weeks to get restarted, allowing for maintenance inspections, and they would clear such access with the Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings. They were happy to link our Guidance Notes from the main Churchcare website where their primary Coronavirus guidance sits.

Ringing three or four bells for 15 minutes for a service is not what keeps most of us ringing. The novelty is going to wear off quite soon. It could be a long time before peals or even quarters are possible, and we won’t be able to do any teaching. However it is an essential part of the strategy for us getting ringing going again that the church values our contribution, and we have managed to get them to include us in their plans and see ringing as a positive that we want it to be. If we do not get bells ringing for Sunday service in this first phase of resumption then it will slow down later phases of opening up. It will reinforce the impression of us that some in the church have. 

We don’t know exactly which day this will be from yet, although some Dioceses have said they expect to have services after 4th July. We received specific confirmation that access to towers to check bell installations ready for ringing was approved, provided it is done safely by more than one person, socially distanced.

We therefore need to try and find ways of making this positive. Perhaps it is the opportunity to get ringing going in all those churches which rarely have their bells rung at all. It could be the start of something for those churches.

Finally I would like to thank all my colleagues on the Central Council Executive and Workgroups (SMWG in particular) who have worked very hard in the last couple of weeks (and Giles Blundell for a dose of inspiration).

The full guidance can be found here https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/

Simon Linford
President, CCCBR

Published 25th June 2020

CCCBR Stewardship & Management Workgroup When We Ring Again

When we ring again

Our bells have not been rung for many months so it is very important that ringers arrange to undertake appropriate maintenance checks and any necessary remedial work before we start to ring in every tower.

Even though we may be asked or wish to ring at the first opportunity, it is essential that we make sure that it is safe to do so. We do not wish to cause yet more problems for the NHS and emergency services!

Stay at home may no longer apply, but protect the NHS, save lives must still be a firm resolve!

In addition, in most areas people in the vicinity of the tower have become accustomed to the unusual quiet – the bells have not been rung, many church chiming clocks have stopped, and traffic, aircraft, building and industry noises have all reduced markedly. This is a good opportunity to alert neighbours through the local media.

What to do as we prepare to ring again

First, it must be remembered that the majority of bells are the property of the church, so the Tower Captain should confirm with the incumbent that they agree to ringing recommencing.

We strongly advise that all ringing societies ensure that the conditions in every tower are checked. This includes those towers where there are few or no ringers since for these towers, the correspondents may just be a key holder and they may well not be aware that checks should be undertaken or what to look for. We need to avoid the risk that they could let ringers into a tower many weeks or months after we start to ring again, without any checks being done.

Why are we advising that these checks are done, when no one will have been in the church or tower? Even though this should have been the case, no one will have been aware of what may have occurred – for example:

  1. The louvres and bird netting may have been dislodged so that birds have entered the tower and built up what can become very large piles of twigs! (see The Ringing World, issue 5631, March 2019)
  2. Somebody may have entered the tower for some reason, legitimate or otherwise, and left something or removed something such that the conditions in the tower are no longer safe.
  3. Something may have broken or become dislodged during the period since the tower was last visited and could now be in a dangerous state.
  4. If the bells were left mouth up, then something may have fallen into a bell, for example rainwater. (IMPORTANT – checks in the bell chamber with bells up will only be feasible in towers where it is safe to move around without any risk of injury while the bells are up.)

For the relatively few towers where bells are usually left mouth up all the time, this may be an ideal time to undertake fuller inspections and any maintenance, whilst the bells are still down and before being rung again.

The schedule is taken from the CCCBR Manual of Belfry Maintenance 2017 (available here https://cccbr.org.uk/product-category/maint-rest/) It is essential that the Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly checks are completed. Also the Annual checks if those have not been done since about September 2019. Once complete, add these checks to the tower maintenance records, as advised on Page 110 of the Manual. If you do not have people who have the necessary skill and expertise to complete the checks, then ask for assistance from your local ringing society (https://cccbr.org.uk/about/members/)

This is also the time to alert local residents that the bells will be ringing again. This can be on the church website, posters on the church notice board, church newsletters and even notes through letter boxes in the surrounding area. Take the opportunity to remind them of normal service and practice times, along with other extra ringing that may be proposed. Invite them to see the ringers in action – it may be the time to recruit some new recruits!

Alison Hodge
Stewardship & Management Workgroup Lead
smlead@cccbr.org.uk

CCCBR – 123rd Annual Meeting

The 123rd Annual meeting of the Central Council will be unlike any that has gone before.  As with all other large gatherings and meetings we are going to have to manage with an event which is either wholly or largely virtual. We are currently investigating the best virtual platform to use and the degree (if any) to which a physical presence might be appropriate.

Even the best virtual platform will impose some constraints, so we are also planning how best to conduct our formal business. A key element of our preparation will be to ensure that business is limited to what is essential and that any concerns or issues raised by Council Members are addressed in advance, as both debate and voting will be more difficult that in a normal setting.

One very important item on the Agenda is nominations for the post of Treasurer, because Andy Smith is standing down. Please consider volunteering if you have the necessary skills, or introduce this opportunity to someone you think might be interested.

You might be surprised to see a call for nominations for President when I was only elected in September last year. I have definitely got a few things left to do! This is however because I was elected to fill the vacancy when Christopher O’Mahony had to return to Australia. I would be happy to continue if nominated.

The AGM of The Ringing World will be part of the virtual meeting just as it would have been in Nottingham.

Meeting papers and other information can be found on the 2020 Annual Meeting page.

Simon Linford
President CCCBR

SUMMARY OF CURRENT CHURCH GUIDANCE AND CC ADVICE ON REDUCING COVID RISK IN TOWERS

Ringing and chiming

  1. Ringers should not enter the church or tower for chiming, ringing or any other
    purpose under any circumstances unless they are the one “appointed person” for
    that church as defined by the guidance from their Diocesan Bishop.
  2. Not more than one bell should be rung under current church guidance and only by the “appointed person”.
  3. Care should be taken to ensure all clock hammers and any external chiming
    hammers are pulled off before either chiming or ringing.
  4. Always refer to both Church of England and local Diocesan guidance for more detail.

Hand hygiene
For those who are “appointed persons” and wish to chime or ring a single bell:

  1. Sanitizer should be applied to the hands and allowed to dry fully before and after ringing activities.
  2. No other substance than hand sanitizer should be applied to the hands before ringing, including spitting on or licking the hands

Maximum numbers of people in a ringing room

  1. No person other than the appointed person should enter the tower at any time and especially during chiming.

CC Executive
May 11th 2020

Additional Information

A detailed analysis from Dr Philip Barnes and Dr Andrew Kelso is available to download.

This document seeks to provide information and advice for ringers and those responsible for bell towers regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and what issues ringers and church authorities should consider in responding to changes in Government guidance as we start to ease the current lockdown. It is focused on the situation in the Church of England, which is responsible for the vast majority of churches with bells hung for ringing. While the specific advice from leaders of other churches and in other countries may vary, the basic issues for ringers and ringing are the same wherever we ring.

Our silent church bells during Coronavirus

Latest update on the CCCBR website – 8th May 2020

We have received many requests to ring church bells in support of acknowledging key workers across the UK but given the need for social distancing and non essential travel, as well as churches being shut, this has not been possible.

The short clip below explains why.

Please fee free to share across your networks and if you have any further queries, please do get in touch.

Vicki Chapman
CCCBR PRO

Winchester Annual District Meeting Minutes – Feb 2020

Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 8th February 2020 in the Parish Hall, Hursley.

1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.28 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including the Master of the Guild, Peter Jordan, and our other visitors, and with thanks to the Rector and Wardens for the use of the bells, to the Rector, the Revd William Prescott for leading the service, to Gary Davies for playing the organ and to the Hursley Band for hosting the day and in particular Christine Hill and her helpers for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause], and all those present for supporting the meeting.

2. Attendance. The following 28 members of the District  (representing eleven bands and unattached), and three guests signed the attendance register: Robert Eames and Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke) Janice Higgins, Christine and Ian McCallion, Tessa and Tony Smith, and Martin Waldron (all of Hursley), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne and Stockbridge),Gary Davies and Brenda and John Palk, (all of Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth (New Alresford), Caroline and Martin Daniels and Jennifer and Nigel Herriott (all of Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Paul Fitzgerald and Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), Joyce Croft, and Trisha Shannon (all unattached); Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore), Pete Jordan (Guild Master – Basingstoke) and Jennifer, Martin Waldron’s partner, comprising the guests. Also present were Christine and Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk, Christine and Barry Saunders and Derek Stewart (all of Hursley), Caroline Fairley (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft and Edmund Wratten (all unattached); a total of 35.

3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Jen Churchill, Drew and Sue Craddock, John Gawne-Cain, Philip Gillibrand, Andrew Glover, Carol Higgins, Sara Janssen, Elizabeth.Johnson, and Charlotte and Jonathan Smith.

4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Subject to amendments (‘Northington’ from ‘Broughton’, item 9, Future Events refers and ‘Elizabeth Johnson’ from ‘Rodney Skinner’, item 10 no. 3, Channel Islands District refers) adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Autumn District Meeting held on 9 November at Easton Parish Hall was proposed by Rob Eames, seconded by Jenny Watson and carried on a show of hands.

5. Matters Arising.

Minute 5, ‘Romsey Show’: John Palk remarked that the potential for securing as many as 60 names for follow-up at the Romsey Show was a ‘pipe-dream’, and questioned the value for money of the outlay of £300. Roger Booth disagreed and explained that at similar events there had often been as many as 50 or 60 enquiries. On this occasion some 15 people had left their details to be contacted, and some of these had started lessons, but there could be better follow up by local towers. Events such as this had the potential to be excellent value for money, both in terms of PR and attracting new ringers, and when so much money was locked up in District, Guild and BRF funds, a great deal of outreach work was possible for the outlay of a very small proportion of these funds. Nigel Herriott observed that, at Romsey at least, recruitment was not a problem. Roy LeMarechal pointed out that the Romsey Show was visited from across the county of Hampshire and beyond and many other towers would benefit.

Minute 5,’Donation to the Youth Ringers’ Outings’: Tony Smith reported that the £100 offered to the organiser to support these outings was taken up in due course.

Minute 5, ‘Ringing World National Youth Competition’ Martin Daniels sought reassurance that the failure of any District ringer to be chosen for the Guild entry for the RWNYC did not mean that the District’s offer of financial support would not be renewed. The Treasurer confirmed that the offer was on-going.

Minute 9 ‘Future Events’. The Secretary remarked on the resounding success of the Carol Service at Northington.

6. Loss of members through death. None notified.

7. Confirmation of belfry elections.

Compounding member:

Emily J Crowder of Kensington on 9 November 2019 prior to a peal at Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright.

Probationary members:

Douglas Page and Oscar Schultz of Winchester College on 12 November 2019, proposed by Alec Graham, seconded by Caroline Fairley.

Madeleine McHardy of Sparsholt on 6 January 2020, proposed by John Cleverley, seconded by Jenny Watson.

Hephzibah Murray of Winchester College on 28 January 2020, proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.

Christine Hyde of Sherfield English on 4 February 2020, proposed Caroline Daniels, seconded Martin Daniels.

Hannah Whaites of Wonston on 8 February 2020, proposed by Gerry Cornick, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome.

8a. Election of new ringing members.

Richard Eames of Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Peter Clarke.

George Mansfield, Bailey Riches, Harriet Riches and Nathan Smith of New Alresford, proposed by Ian Redway, seconded by Roger Booth.

Jon Butler and Alison Jones of Romsey, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Rhoda Willson.

Che Haefner and Claire Webster of Winchester College, proposed by Alec Graham, seconded by Caroline Fairley.

Ella Kesterton, Rianne Li and Esther Sweeting of Winchester College, proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.

Milena Nunn of Wonston, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick.

 8b. Presentation of Certificates. Membership certificates and badges were taken for members at Bishopstoke, Lockerley and East Tytherley, and Sherfield English, and certificates for members at Romsey.

9. Officers’ Reports. Secretary’s Report: the secretary’s report was presented for scrutiny for errors and omissions: with none noted it could be forwarded to the Guild Report Editor for publication. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: adoption of the accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, was approved by the meeting, and they were signed and dated by the Chairman.

10. Election of Officers. The Chairman, in standing down prior to the election, remarked that if elected he was prepared to serve for a further term of one year, but felt it was right not to remain in office for too long, so that the District might benefit from the new ideas and new directions that could result from a change of chairman. So the District has the coming year to give due thought to choosing his successor. The Secretary echoed these sentiments, adding that if he were elected this year would mark a decade in post. The Treasurer was happy to continue in post, though he ‘would not be offended if anyone else wished to take over as treasurer’. The other sitting officers, bar the Newsletter Editor were likewise willing to stand for 2020, and John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts. The offices were filled as follows:-

 Chairman: John Croft, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Nigel Herriott;

Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by Nigel Herriott seconded by Roy LeMarechal;

Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by John Palk;

Ringing Master: Edmund Wratten, proposed by Nigel Herriott, seconded by Bruce Purvis

Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Trisha  Shannon;

Executive Committee Representative: John Croft, proposed by Nigel Herriott, seconded by John Palk;

Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Martin Daniels;

Webmaster: Andrew Glover, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Bruce Purvis;

Newsletter Editor: Following a brief discussion on the need for a newsletter in current circumstances, the meeting agreed to leave the editorship vacant; candidates for all other posts elected on a show of hands.

11. Future Events. The Secretary advised the meeting that the year’s programme was still at an early stage of compilation, with district practices for February and September being established and – most importantly – the location of the next Annual Meeting being settled, at Twyford on 13 February 2021. Concerns were raised – and duly noted – regarding the date for the Spring District Meeting falling on  9 May, conflicting with VE Day commemorations taking place that weekend, and regarding the staging of the Stockbridge Ringing Festival in the height of summer, likely to be busy with weddings and the Trout’n’about Festival on Sunday 2 August – and for which the Charmborough Ring has been booked. The date of 2 May for the Spring District Meeting and an autumn date for the Festival of Ringing were proposed.

12. Guild Striking Competitions. The Secretary reminded the meeting that the Guild Inter-District 8-bell competition would take place on the morning of the AGM on Saturday 13 June at Alton, with the draw at 10.30 a.m. The Guild Inter-Tower competitions (6- and 8-bell) would take place at Fawley and Eling respectively on Saturday 16 May, with draws at 3.00 p.m. The Inter-District 10-bell competition would take place at All Saints’, Basingstoke on Saturday 5 September, with the draw at 10.30 a.m. Tony Smith volunteered to organise a team for the Inter-District 8-Bell Competitions, and his offer was accepted with gratitude.

13. Guild Master. Pete Jordan, the Guild Master, said that when he was learning to ring, he was amazed at the time and effort that was devoted to teaching new learners. Ringing was a hobby, undertaken voluntarily, and he wished to thank us all for our efforts in the teaching and learning process, for our commitment to Sunday service ringing, and for taking on roles at tower, district and guild levels. He thanked us all, very much indeed. Secondly, Pete drew the attention of the meeting to the Heritage section of the Guild Action Plan, which included a planned initiative to record peal boards throughout the Guild. Allan Yalden, the project co-ordinator, requested that photographs of peal boards be sourced and copied – or taken from scratch and sent via e-mail – to him. Caroline Daniels enquired how Allan could be contacted: the answer was “via the Guild website”.

14. Any Other Business. 

  1. Beyond Bob Doubles, February. Edmund Wratten gave notice of the next Beyond Bob Doubles practice, at East Tytherley on Wednesday 26 February, concentrating on triples and major methods such as Grandsire, Stedman and Little Bob Major.
  1. Guild Report. John Palk reminded the meeting that the provision of copies of the new Guild Report was on an opting-in basis, requiring members to request their copies through their tower secretaries.
  1. Format of meetings. Nigel Herriott observed that our average age was now above 60 years. “Six or seven years ago” our ADM at North Stoneham had “filled the church”, and he wondered whether the format for District meetings of ringing – service – tea – business meeting was still viable as our age-profile gradually increased and people were retiring from ringing as they got older. Caroline Daniels enquired rhetorically whether there were any people coming into ringing in their twenties. The Secretary agreed that, although the traditional format of meetings had been subject to change during his tenure, the level of interest and attendance did concern him, and he proposed to organise a meeting of interested parties, including tower reps and the contributors to this discussion, to address just this issue. Tower Reps’ meetings were usually held in June. Roger Booth suggested the issue was not served well by a delay of four months, and that a meeting in April would address the issue to greater effect.
  1. Bell Restoration Fund. The collection for the BRF raised £27.

The meeting closed at 6.13 p.m.

Ringing Returns campaign

For a lot of us, this hiatus in ringing has been frustrating, but it has been really great to see the efforts that some are going to to stay in touch with their ringers, to keep practicing their skills using software apps and playing virtual ringing games, and even keeping the after practice virtual pub experiences going.

Ringing Returns will be a campaign over the coming weeks and months looking at two areas:

  1. how we can make good use of the down time to learn something new so that once the restrictions are lifted we can put it in to practice by recording a performance, from call changes to peals and everything in between.
  2. how we can celebrate a return to ringing once restrictions are lifted.

Of course we don’t want this restriction to undo all the great work that has been carried out over the last few years with recruitment and training, and we want to celebrate our return to ringing in a time honoured way, by flooding the air with the sound of bells. We have been and will continue to liaise with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to get what information we can, and make use of their support in the promotion of bellringing when the restriction is lifted.

We don’t know when the restrictions will be lifted so trying to coordinate a specific date for mass ringing is difficult, and it may be at different times depending on which continent you are, or a gradual lifting rather than full scale. The Central Council Comms & Marketing Workgroup have been considering how we could achieve that given that we don’t know when and how restrictions might be lifted.

You could also be using this time to plan a recruitment campaign so that when the restrictions are lifted, you can invite your communities to share in the celebrations. There are some great resources to help with this on the Central Council website https://cccbr.org.uk/resources/publicity-material/ and the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) has developed a large package of recruitment and retention resources which are available to everyone at http://ringingteachers.org/resource-centre/recruitment-and-retention/recruitment-success

Look out for more ideas and information via the CCCBR website and social media, and the Ringing World.

Vicki Chapman
CCCBR Public Relations Officer