Category Archives: Public Relations

Guild PRO Message – April 2022

Happy Easter!

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


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
28 July – 8 AugustCommonwealth Games (Birmingham UK)
9 – 18 SeptemberHeritage Open Days
Theme for 2022 ‘Astounding Inventions’
Registering available now:

If you wish to see more there is a list here –

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

Thank you.

Viv Nobbs
Public Relations Officer

14 April 2022

Press Release: WW1 Centenary Commemoration Service Days at Portsmouth and Winchester 12th and 19th May

This Press Release below has been issued to  Winchester Diocese and Cathedral promoting church/ringers/community working together and a young ringer very much involved.

Here is Leigh, Ringing Remembers Ringer, proudly showing her Ringing Remembers certificate. Leigh gave a presentation to her school and the text is displayed here.

Leigh - Ringing Remembers.JPG

Ringing Remembers: Leigh’s learning to ring story.

In February 2017 at Brighstone we had two bells cast at Whitechapel foundry in London. They were cast on the penultimate day of casting before the foundry closed after being in continuous business since 1570. The new treble was funded by the Society for the Preservation of Isle of Wight Church Bells and the new number 2 by local ringers and friends. Leigh was there on the 4th April when the bells arrived. Leigh’s dad helped with the augmentation of the bells. We were able to ring all eight bells on 24th April. Leigh has been learning to ring the church bells at St Mary’s church since August 2017. Sadly, 1,400 bell ringers died during World War 1. To honour there memory, the campaign Ringing Remembers set out to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers to be able to ring on Remembrance Sunday. Leigh signed up and rang four times during Remembrance Sunday. She rang twice for the service and twice in the evening to coincide with the beacons that were being lit nationally. Leigh mostly rings the number 2 bell, but she has rung the 1 and 4. She rings rounds and call changes during Friday evening practice and for the Sunday morning service. Leigh is currently the youngest ringer on the island. At the moment she can confidently ring either the handstroke or the backstroke with help from Beccy her instructor. Leigh’s next step will be to ring both stokes gaining complete control of the bell. If anyone fancy giving ringing a go, speak to Beccy Noyes who is tower captain at Brighstone. Practice night 19:00 to 20:00 on Tuesdays. “I really, really love ringing.”

Winchester and Portsmouth Anglican Cathedrals will be hosting special services to give thanks for all people lost in World War One and to acknowledge the role of bell ringers during that conflict and in all our communities.

On 12th May at 6 p.m. in Portsmouth and on 19th May at 3.30 p.m. in Winchester, local dignitaries will be joining bell ringers and cathedral congregations as part of the commemorations of the Centenary of the end of The Great War. As a mark of respect for all those who made the supreme sacrifice for us, members of  The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers will present each cathedral with an archive; the volumes detail the Guild’s ringing performances, rung since 1914, in honour and memory of the men and women who died in World War One.

Bishop Christopher of Portsmouth says ‘The ringing of church bells across the U.K. remained restricted throughout World War One. How wonderful that we are free to play our part in honouring all those that died as a result of the dreadful conflict.’ He recognises the special performances in the printed volume as ‘recording over a century of bell ringing from the tolling of a single bell to the most complicated of peals, from tiny village churches to Cathedrals.’

Bishop Tim of Winchester reflects ‘The statistics are abhorrent: more than nine million fighting men, out of 65 million from 30 countries, died in  World War One. It was devastating and hard to escape its impact. On 11th November 1918 peals of bells once more rang freely, breaking the near silence that had been brought about by the four years of war. Today, almost everyone of us, whatever our ethnic, national or religious roots, is aware that we have inherited a world deeply shaped by The Great War.’

On Armistice Day 1918 records from Portsmouth describe the outpouring of relief that four years war had ended…’The bells of St Thomas and St Mary were much in evidence.’  The ringers who were working in the Royal Dockyard had been allowed to leave work early to ring the bells ‘ simultaneously with a service in the front of the town hall and with hooters blowing’.

100 years on to the day, Portsmouth heard the cathedral’s half-muffled bells ring out 7000 ‘changes’ over four-and-a-half hours, remembering and honouring the 7000 residents of Portsmouth who had lost their lives in World War One.

In Winchester Cathedral the, then, Winchester Diocesan Guild of Bell Ringers’ own war memorial is to be found; an oak tablet recording the names of the fallen. A significant tribute to the Guild’s members lost in The Great War are two bells, cast especially, and installed in the tower in 1921.

Over 1,400 bell ringers died as a result of World War One – more than 60 were ringers from The Winchester and Portsmouth Guild area. ‘Ringing Remembers’ was a worldwide recruitment campaign to symbolically replace those 1,400 bell ringers. There were many new  ringers of all ages recruited from the two Dioceses in 2018. Leigh Ruszczyk, aged 5, from Brighstone, Isle of Wight was one of the 2,804 new ringers who rang bells on  Remembrance Day 2018.

In Winchester Cathedral grounds during the afternoon of 19th May there will be the Chamborough Mobile Belfry. Passers-by will be invited to have a go on the delightful, tiny bells….there will be plenty of help on hand for visitors wanting their first attempt at tower bell ringing.

WP service flyer - Portsmouth

Viv Nobbs

Ringing for Peace: Document/Poster

Please see the document/poster via the link below.  As part of the ringing initiative, Ringing for Peace, please print copies of these out, to display/make accessible to congregation members.

All you need to do is change the email address so it is relevant to your tower.

If anyone needs assistance doing this, please let me know.

Contact Peter Murdock-Saint


Ringing for Peace Battles Over Self Fill

Isle of Wight Celebrates 70 Years of the NHS

What a great, but VERY hot day, it was on Sunday, 1st July… sun cream, hats, and litres of cold water were the order of the day.

An occasional breeze was welcome, the down draught from Air Ambulances less so… the display boards had to be laid flat – no big deal!

Our Guild had been invited to spread the word of Ringing Remembers and our WW1 Centenary Commemoration project at the special fete at our local hospital, St. Mary’s, in Newport.

The fete organisers were highlighting the wonderful occasion set for 7th July when Isle of Wight ringers will ring the bells at all 15 towers in celebration of the NHS 70th birthday and to give thanks to everyone working in the NHS.

Volunteer NHS Ambassadors will be present at the churches distributing Ringing Remembers material and encouraging taster sessions, so new ringers might participate in the Armistice 2018 events.

The day gave Viv Nobbs (current Publicity Officer for the Guild), supported by husband Graham, a wonderful opportunity to engage with the visitors who showed genuine interest in ringing and the ringers’ special WW1 Centenary Commemoration events.

Five ringers on the Island were killed in the dreadful conflict; relevant war records of those men proved to be of interest, as did the special ringing performances for many of the victims of WW1 from parishes across the Island.

Contributions from Gerry and Christine Faulkner of Arreton, tell of what we are doing to commemorate the Great War.

Ringing Remembers, as ever, struck a very positive chord with many – the colourful pamphlets were distributed, some folk saying
“I’ve always wanted to try it!”

Viv was given a live broadcast slot on ” Sunshine Radio” – a positive message went out right across the fete ground and beyond. So we’re now hoping for several new ringers and an even greater awareness of ringing’s presence in our communities.

Thank you Viv and Graham for contributing the pictures and précis of the day’s events.


Invitation to Hire the Charmborough Ring

The Charmborough Ring attracts a lot of interest at public events and we have a number of slots free over the coming months for bookings.

You can usually collect a list of at least 20 names when the ring is used at a public event, but it is important to plan how you are going to capture contact details and follow people up afterwards, as people can come from quite a wide area. The Association of Ringing Teachers website contains lots of useful information about planning a recruitment event,

Although the ring is often used during the summer, it can be used throughout the year indoors at shopping centres, and for school activities days:

It costs £100 to hire the ring for a day, or £150 for two days, plus 60p/mile for towing, from our new base at Alresford in the W&P area. Further information is available here:


Open Afternoon at Wonston, June 9th

Please join us for
Saturday 9th June 2018, 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm
at Holy Trinity Church, Wonston

Busy on that day? Why not come to one of the regular
practices to see what happens, with no obligation to commit to
anything else. New learners of all ages (or, indeed, “lapsed”
ringers who would like to return, if only for this event) are
always welcome, and very necessary if the sound of our bells
is to continue to ring out across the land.
For more information, or details of practice
times in local churches (Wonston,
Micheldever, Barton Stacey, Bullington, and
Kingsworthy) please contact Christine

Poster for Open Afternoon

Heritage Open Days – Recent Update – Registration tips and Deadlines

You may have received this already if you subscribe as an organiser in your area but if not then I hope you find it useful.  Search on Heritage Open Days on the Central Council website for information about previous years’ bellringing involvement, links to articles about opening your tower etc

Alison Everett CCCBR


Heritage Open Days 2018 will be 6-9 & 13-16 September.

Welcome to our first e-alert for organisers -we’re delighted to declare that registration is now OPEN! So who will be first to sign up their event this year? We can’t wait to hear what new stories and sites you have to share.
Annie, Annabelle, Sarah, Andy, Alex – Your HODs team

Overview of things to do:

  • Start registering your event/s
  • Sign up to a workshop
  • Find out more about data protection legislation
  • Sign up to the newsletter

Register your event/s

Everything you need for registration is in the Organiser Area. You can access this through the website with your login. Your username will be your email address, and if you’ve forgotten your password there’s a link to reset it on the login page.

  • New this year:
    • Image upload and previewer – so you can see how pictures will appear on the directory. As this is a new system, any images uploaded in previous years will need to be added again.
    • Extra description field for short summaries. Following your feedback, this added feature will help co-ordinators who print leaflets and visitors and media who want a quick, print-friendly list of what’s happening.
  • Deadlines: 1 May – full promotional support; 1 August – final deadline. Remember the sooner you register the more support we can offer you – particularly for press coverage. We start publishing entries on the web-directory from mid-July.
  • Taken part before? Then you can simply update and re-submit the details of your previous entry. You’ll find them in the Archive section of My Events in the Organiser Area.
  • Registration tips: We’ve given our Organiser Area a lick of paint this year, including a streamlined registration form. For an overview of the process see our registration tips with a handy flowchart for reference. Do let us know of any issues – or anything that works particularly well, your feedback really helps us help you.
  • Media highlights: Annabelle is already working on the press campaign and Andy is always looking for stories for social media so if you’re NEW, have a highlight in mind or a great image, let us know on

Take action! Login to the Organiser area now to register.

Tips for area coordinators/promoters

There are lots of handy tools and documents for you in the Organiser area:

  • You can print off pre-completed registration forms to send out to individual sites from the My Events section.
  • You can download handy documents in the Useful stuff section including a template letter to encourage private home owners to open.
  • We’re working on new material to encourage involvement, but for now you can download copies of the existing ‘Get Involved‘ leaflet from the website.
  • You can see who else was involved last year, and who is registering this year by using the searches in the HODs Communitysection.

Be inspired – some event ideas

Sign up for our workshops

This year we’re running more workshops across the country to help you get the most out of your HODs weekends. Register your interest now to join our media masterclasses and get top tips on programming innovative events

New data protection laws (particularly for those who are part of an organisation, however small)

Thank you for bearing with us as we update our records to be in line with the incoming data protection laws. Some of you have asked whether this will affect your organisations. The short answer is yes; the laws do include small organisations including charities and community groups. Whilst we can’t tell you exactly how to update your records, here are some links that you might find useful in your planning:

For wider news from the festival and beyond

As an organiser we will send you short alerts about the registration cycle for the festival but if you’d like the wider news, then sign up for our newsletter. It’s just launched so sign up today to be among the first to receive it!

You have received this email as a participant of Heritage Open Days. If you are no longer involved in the programme just let us knowand we will remove your contact details from the database.

Island’s New Publicity Officer

At the Guild Annual District Meeting on Saturday at Carisbrooke, as mentioned elsewhere, Lexi Skeldon, was appointed Publicity Officer to serve for the next 12 months.

Lexi is currently tower captain of St Michael’s, Swanmore, Ryde and has been a force of nature in getting the team there up and running and to a standard to be able to perform for church services.

Together with boyfriend Kieran Downer the pair have worked long and hard to get Swanmore on the map, and now with her new position I feel sure we will be even more aware of her presence!

All publicity for the Island will now be dealt with through Lexi, who may be contacted through her details on the District Officers page of this web site.

We wish her well in her new role and urge you all to support her and use her useful contacts to publicise your tower events.


New Ringing Resources for you to download

‘Engaging with the Public’ Leaflet
Ideas and tips to successfully engage the public with your ringing and associated activities: Easy to use ‘mix-and-match’ format to help you to put together the ideas which will work for you locally.
Produced by The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) Public Relations Committee. [click to download]

Bell Ringing Flyer
Flyers for you to give to members of the public with a section for your tower or association/guild/society details (contacts, ringing times, website, Facebook, etc).
Originally produced for Peak 2015 International Scout & Guide Camp and the Derby Diocesan Association, now approved by CCCBR. [click for instructions on download and editing]

Please encourage the use of these resources in your area and circulate this email to all of the towers and committees in your association/guild/society.

Thanks & regards,
Susan Hall

For the Public Relations Committee
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Plenty of ringing and P.R. opportunities here! – Things to ring for….N.B. 6TH FEBRUARY

6 Feb Tue 1918 100 Women first get the vote in Britain Representation of the People Act
1 Apr Sun 1918 100 Formation of the Royal Air Force Amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service
25 Apr Wed 1943 75 Wartime ban on ringing lifted for service ringing The ban was lifted for all ringing in June
4 May Fri 1818 200 Treaty against illegal slave handling Signed by Britain & Netherlands
5 May Sat 1818 200 Karl Marx born German philosopher
10 May Thu 1818 200 Paul Revere died American patriot and bell founder
19 May Sat 2018 0 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry St George’s Chapel, Windsor
6 Jun Wed 1868 150 Robert Falcon Scott born Leader of the ill-fated south pole expedition
7 Jun Thu 1868 150 Charles Rennie Mackintosh born Influential Scottish architect and artist
2 Jul Mon 1928 90 Equal voting rights for women and men in Britain Equal Franchise Act
20 Jul Mon 1818 200 Emily Brontë born English novelist (Wuthering Heights)
16 Aug Thu 1768 250 Captain James Cook departs from Plymouth aboard the Endeavour His first voyage bound for the Pacific Ocean
26 Aug Sun 1718 300 First peal of Grandsire Triples At St Peter Mancroft, Norwich
25 Sep Tue 1818 200 First human blood transfusion
21 Oct Sun 1958 60 First women peers enter House of Lords
11 Nov Sun 1918 100 End of First World War Ringing for First World War centenary
6 Dec Thu 1768 250 First publication of Encyclopaedia Britannica First of 100 weekly parts. It was completed by 1771
10 Dec Mon 1868 150 First traffic signals in Britain
19 Dec Wed 1843 175 Dickens publishes ‘A Christmas Carol’

Invitation to Ring in Bournemouth on BBC Music Day – 15th June

The ringers at St. John’s Surrey Road, would like to respond to the request to ring on BBC Music Day.  This is on Thursday 15th June.

I am sure most of you will have the information on this in you tower.

The request is to ring from 19.00 on the 15th June and I would inform the Echo about this. So we get some publicity.

We don’t have to ring anything specific or at any particular level.  If we have a band,  the method  can be decided on the day.

If you are interested, please send me your contact details & we can go from there.

Penelope Samuel

Note from Viv to all Ringers – PR Matters and WW1 Centenary project

It’s been very encouraging to see many ringers and towers taking the initiative in another two areas of our ringing world – Public Relations and the Guild’s World War 1 Centenary project.

On behalf of W. and P., I was pleased to attend the P.R Matters Day that was organised by The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. We were all mindful that ringing brings people and communities together locally and nationally and that bells call people together. All agreed that for effective P.R. it helps to be enthusiastic, positive, pro-active and  professional.  We believed this to be good advice and that we should continue to strive for this at national, regional and local levels even ‘though we recognised that most of us are not trained as P.R. folk. We’re not expected to be miracle workers either as we don’t have 40 hours a week to spare! So, realistic expectations of ourselves was seen as an important factor. It was suggested that it might be better to plan just one or two P.R. events for our tower or District, and achieve those well, rather than try to do too much; we’re not miracle workers but we can all try to do our bit and do it as well as we can, we thought.

Many individual towers are engaging well with local media – this is great as it establishes the basis of good and long-term working relationships and paves the way for some more excellent recruitment opportunities. Thank you.

I will strive to expand my activities as Guild Public Relations Officer. There is considerable helpful information and support available, including publicity material.  If you feel I might be able to assist your tower with P.R., please feel free to contact me either by email via the Guild’s website or by ‘phone – 07594 609 366. Meanwhile, please continue to check out our Guild website on a regular basis, as it includes much information, including ideas for ringing for special occasions that lend themselves to good P.R….BBC Music Day on 15th June – ringing at 7 p.m., for example.

Many performances have been taking place for the Guild’s
WW1 Centenary Commemoration project. The ringing has been wonderful and varied –  tenors tolled, touches, quarter peals, peals – on tower bells and handbells, all to honour those ringers and non-ringers who fell during the conflict. Thank you all. Many towers have ensured that their local media is advised of these special performances; as it’s of significant local interest, the communities do appreciate it.

All of our Guild’s towers and ringers can be involved and there’s still time to plan something really special. If you’d like your tower’s performances recorded in the books that are being planned, please ensure that any Bellboard footnote includes
  W&P WW1″ or email the details to
Please keep looking out for more information as further details will be issued from time to time.

Hope to see you and many of your ringers on 17th June, A.G.M. Day, at  Milford-on-Sea (click here for details including the agenda). The day gives us all a great opportunity to air our views, help shape our Guild, cast our votes, enjoy ringing and meet old and new friends over a lovely Ringers’ Tea! 

With best wishes, Viv Nobbs.
Public Relations Officer & WW1 Centenary Commemoration Working Group Chair.    

                                                                                                                20th May 2017

BBC Music Day June 3rd

Kate Flavell Writes:

The BBC has really taken ringing on board for its Music Day this year – Thursday 15 June.  All the information needed to join in is in the article (2 pages) and flyer (one page).  Please pass this to all your towers and ask them to print, display and join in!  Another great opportunity to get some publicity for ringing – do urge your towers to let your local media know how they are joining in with this international event.

With all good wishes,


Public Relations Officer
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

The Flyer reads:

Bellringers in the UK and around the world are being invited to
take part in the third annual BBC Music Day on Thursday 15th
June, with the theme this year being “the power of music”.
The sound of bells, with their power to bring communities and
generations together, was a feature of last year’s BBC Music Day,
with many ringers taking part.
This year, BBC Music Day will be even larger and BBC would like to
build on last year’s success by inviting tower and handbell ringers
from the UK and around the world to showcase this king of
performing arts by ringing at 7pm their local time.
You could ring only for a few minutes or for much longer. The
BBC will select performances to include in their coverage and in a
special programme which is being considered for BBC Radio 4 on
Music Day itself.

How to take part :-

  •  Agree with your venue, plan your band, what you will ring and any special event or dedication associated with your performance. If possible, arrange permission from your band and venue in case the BBC ask you to video or record your ringing on the day.
  • Email the BBC Music Day team at as soon as possible to let them know you’ll be taking part with the subject heading “RINGING EVENT – and include in your email :-
    o A contact email and mobile phone number
    o Who will be ringing and what will be rung
    o Details of any event, story or dedication associated with your performance, which will be of interest to the BBC’s audience.
  •  Ring, starting at 7pm local time on Thursday 15th June.
    The BBC may invite you to submit a video or audio clip of your ringing on the day. If so, they will contact you using the email or phone number you have provided.

Local paper reports on Town Church Guernsey ringing of Julie McDonnell methods

Its always good to get publicity for bellringing, especially when its also in aid of such a good cause as Bellringers Strike Back Against Blood Cancer. This was written in response to our latest quarter of Julie Mc Donnell Slow Course Minor.

Julie article in GEP 6:3:17

Article courtesy of The Guernsey Press and Star 7/3/2017



Town Church Guernsey annual simulator competition publicised by local paper

I was away on holiday and when I read the online version of the Guernsey Evening Press I was delighted to see a feature on the upcoming annual simulator striking competition and all day ringing practice. Apparently the reporter contacted us because he had a diary note that it was almost a year since the last (first) competition hosted by the Town Church. So pleased that they were interested enough to want to do a full page feature. I’ve now notified the local ITV to see if that produces any results…

All are welcome. If you are not able to come all this way this week then why not make a diary note for next year.

The article was reproduced courtesy of the Guernsey Evening Press.


Heritage Open Days 7th – 10th September 2017

Is your Ringing Chamber a “hidden place”? How regularly do non-ringers come and visit? The Heritage Open Days provide a ready-made publicity machine for us if we decide to open up our towers to the public, and an opportunity to showcase our fantastic hobby.

If you are looking for new recruits then participating in this kind of initiative can help to get you onto the map in your locality.

Last year the Basingstoke Ringers wrote about their Open Day on this site. Their article might give you some ideas as to how to create an engaging experience for your visitors:

CCCBR PR Committee Invites you to the “PR MATTERS DAY” 25th Feb at Wellesbourne

Kate Flavell Writes:

The PR Matters day is just over 6 weeks away, and we still have places.
The day is looking very good, with a number of experts in PR coming to share their thoughts on the subject, specifically in relation to change ringing, as well as dedicated time to share thoughts and debate how our PR can be more effective. Pre-reading is currently being finalised to share with participants to get the ball rolling, and we already have a really mixed attendee list – with people who are new to a PR role and want to learn more, to those who have worked professionally in the PR world and want to share their learnings with fellow bell ringers, to those simply interested in the subject and who care about the future of change ringing. We also already have representatives from more than one continent! Senior officers of ringing associations might find the day particularly valuable.
So, if you would like to meet other ringers and spend a stimulating day working together to come up with ideas and actions which will potentially positively impact the future of ringing – whether by increasing our recruit rate, getting more funding for projects, or ensuring that the level of ‘complaints’ is kept low – then do please sign up. If we get a spread of representation attending the day, then the diversity of thought being shared will be greater, and when going back out and implementing any agreed actions it will be much more powerful than if isolated to certain geographies only.
Application forms and more information can be found online at

Guernsey Ringers Report a Quarter Peal in their Local Newspaper

The Ringers at St Peter Port recently sent in an article and photograph to the Guernsey Press and were very pleased that it was published in the newspaper. It is a positive piece of publicity for the Band, explaining how they rang the first (known) Quarter Peal of St. Peter Port Triples, dedicated to the two new priests.

The article was reproduced courtesy of the Guernsey Press, and originally written by Duncan Loweth


Bell Ringers have Tea with the Mayor of Portsmouth

The Central Council Annual Conference visited Portsmouth in May and, in October, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth asked a 7 year old local ringer why he’d taken up bell ringing…. “I was walking by St. Mary’s Church, Portsea and the bells sounded so beautiful, I just had to go in and then learn to ring” he replied.

The connection?  The Central Council had invited The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and The Lady Mayoress to the conference’s formal dinner. Viv seized the opportunity to raise the profile of ringing, particularly in the local area.  Subsequently, “W and P” received an invitation for twenty members to attend High Tea in The Lord Mayor’s Parlour.

The ringers were given a very warm welcome to The Guildhall and The Lord Mayor gave his guests a splendid tour of the various official rooms, including the Council Chamber. The City’s treasures including beautiful silverware and important charters, going back as far as C13th, were of particular interest to the group.

p1090423The Lord Mayor was very generous with his time in chatting to ringers and it was a great atmosphere in which to chat about ringing.  The Lord Mayor was delighted to hear young bell ringers share with him their excitement and fun with ringing. One volunteered 

“I’ve had one lesson, it’s something different and I love it!” and another lad, when asked about “Tunes”,  sang a very confident burst of  Rounds!

p1090400When we asked the young ringers if they’d enjoyed the visit to the Mayor’s Parlour they said –

“It was really good meeting The Mayor – you don’t really get to see him, do you, and to sit in his chair?” 

– “Next, I’d like to climb up to see Big Ben”!


“The visit to meet The Mayor was great, I really liked it and it was very interesting”.

We believe that the ringers’ visit to The Guildhall has inspired a potential new ringer or two…The Lord Mayor and The Lady Mayoress have booked into a Bell Ringing Taster Session early in 2017 already!

We’re hopeful of more P.R. activities flowing from this newly formed and friendly working relationship…likely an invitation to speak informally at a Coffee Morning at The Guildhall and maybe a Mini-Ring one day event in The Guildhall Square so. “Watch this space”, please.

“Thank you ” to everyone involved!

Public Relations Officer.

Thoughts on Ringing

Ian Rees is Ringing Master of Basingstoke District

The recent news of the dismissing of the ringers at York Minster has prompted me to think about ringing and responsibilities, and what we can do to safeguard them, both as ringers and church leaders. I am not going to comment on the actual events at the Minster, as I don’t have both sides of the story, except to say that we should hold the ringers and Dean and Chapter in our prayers, and hope that the situation can be quickly resolved.

Ringing is an unusual activity in that it has a primary purpose, to ring before services to call people to worship, as well as celebrating life events such as weddings and funerals, and a secondary purpose of “hobby” ringing, for want of a better word, such as outings, some peals and quarters, district meetings etc. In all these activities, both primary and secondary, we are only able to perform them because of the generosity of the Incumbent and Churchwardens, who have the responsibility in Canon Law for the use of the bells.

Canon F 8 “Of Church Bells” states that:

“1. In every church and chapel there shall be provided at least one bell to ring the people to divine service.

  1. No bell in any church or chapel shall be rung contrary to the direction of the minister

(The latter is usually interpreted as minister and church wardens).

This means that no ringing can take place without agreement of the minister and wardens, and they can direct when bells can or cannot be rung. Usually this is done in conjunction with the ringers, and hopefully, general ringing times are agreed, such as service ringing and practice nights, whilst other requests are a matter for discussion. Some churches are lucky and have a good relationship with the minister and are able to ring pretty much as often as they like, especially if sound control is not an issue. Others may not be so lucky, and we have to accept that. However, if service ringing is difficult to achieve, then there is a real problem, as that would seem to go against Canon F8.

Where the “hobby” side of ringing is concerned, we need to remember we don’t have a right to ring when and where we want, but, in conjunction with the church authorities, who are more aware of local reaction to the bells being rung than we are, we are able to ask to ring, and by and large, are able to do so. I have been on outings where the local ringer has said how lovely it is to hear the bells rung as we don’t really have a band any more. On the other side of the coin, a tower where I used to ring notified a parishioner who lived very close to the church if a quarter or peal was going to be rung so that he could arrange to go out.

Individual towers should have a good relationship with their incumbent and ideally their churchwardens. The incumbent should also foster good relations with the ringers. It is a two-way process which should be mutually beneficial. If there are problems, these should be sorted out straight away and not left to fester, and if a request of a particular piece of ringing is rejected, we mustn’t take it personally, as hopefully the next request will be accepted.

Belfry officers may be elected by the band but they are appointed by the Incumbent, in the same way as organists are. In the worst case scenario, the Incumbent can remove a tower officer, but hopefully this is a last resort. Over recent years there have many stories in the press of incumbents dismissing the organist or choir, and we can only wonder why there wasn’t discussion and dialogue before it got to that stage.

My last thought, perhaps more of a question, is how to deal with tower captains who see the tower as their personal property and are either reluctant to let others ring or positively discourage it. Do we appeal to the incumbent, who’s predecessor may have given that person such permission, or do we shrug our shoulders and, accept the status quo, and wait for the tower captain to leave. Perhaps this could the subject for a meeting between the Officers and Archdeacons?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts and hopefully further discussion.

Ian Rees

Please leave your thoughts below. Comments are moderated before publication.


A wonderful opportunity for some ringing thanks to a request to us from the Island’s High Sheriff.

Plenty of fun to be had… why not seek out the bells and the Ringers’ Tea?

Here are the latest details:

  • 10.30 a.m. Shanklin . (Quarter Peal)
  • 11.00 a.m. Whitwell
  • Just before 12 noon Brighstone
  • Just before    1 p.m. Brighstone
  • 1 p.m. Brading (Quarter Peal)
  • 2 p.m. Carisbrooke.
  • 3 p.m. Newport
  • 3 p.m. St. Michael’s, Swanmore, Ryde.
  • 4.15 p.m. – 5.30 p.m Freshwater………..Ringing and Ringers’ Tea with
 Isle of Wight Cake
  • 6 p.m. – 7.15 p.m. Shorwell.


  • CHALE is dedicating its Sunday service ringing to this great event


The event is not exclusive to PR officers – it is also for anyone else who is generally interested in promoting bellringing. 


This day is intended to attract PR officers of ringing societies, with something for the experienced PR person as well as the less experienced (including the many of you who were probably not sure what you were getting yourself into when you volunteered!), as well as anyone else who is generally interested in promoting bellringing. The event is not exclusive to PR officers, and many ringers will want to contribute their views on how we can ‘market’ bell ringing more effectively, or you may just want to find out more about the subject.

There will be a mix of external experts, panel discussion and group work to define the key elements which make public relations a success (or a failure), and we will develop action plans to become more effective, as well as overcome any barriers we face. Sharing lots of ideas, interesting initiatives and experience is the plan, and participants will get to know, and compare notes with, other ringers facing the same issues as themselves.

The cost, which includes buffet lunch and refreshments, is £18. The application form is attached, as well as (soon to be) posted on the CCCBR website, so please apply early to avoid disappointment.

Nick Elks
Caroline Stockmann
Central Council PR Committee

The application form is on the CCCBR website. Please click here

Church holiday club rings the changes for youngsters

A group of youngsters have been learning the ropes quite literally this summer – at a week-long introduction to ringing course run at Shipley. Recruits from Shipley and the surrounding villages signed up for 5 days of bellringing tuition – interspersed with some fun and games – as part of the holiday scheme ‘Fun In The Belfry’. By the end of the week not only was everyone able to handle a bell on their own, but six of the older learners were able to ring rounds together (with a little help from their mentors) to show their parents how to do it! The parish’s plan was to improve outreach in response to the Diocesan Strategy.

Rev Pat Sinton from the parish of Shipley explained…  [read more]

originally published on

Getting Ready for your Heritage Open Day… Kate Flavell Writes

We have put on our website some new help for those doing tower tours in connection with Heritage Open Days.  You can find it here:

There is already other guidance on tower tours and after Heritage Open Days we will be combining them into one new document.

With all good wishes,

Kate Flavell