Category Archives: Christchurch Priory

Ringing cancellations due to COVID-19

Coronavirus: UK ringing should now be cancelled

The UK government has advised against all unnecessary social contact with immediate effect. The Prime Minister advised in a press conference of 16th March that now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.

The Central Council has released a statement in response to the UK government. They advise that If you haven’t already decided to cancel ringing activities, it seems that now is the time to do so. The Ringing World agrees with this statement. It is hard to interpret the government’s guidance in any way other than that all planned ringing activities in the UK should now cease.



I have been made aware that ringing has been suspended at the following towers due to COVID-19 concerns:

Alton, St. Laurence, All Saints and Holybourne – all ringing suspended.

Alverstoke – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Basingstoke, St. Michael’s – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Blackmoor – all ringing suspended.

Bournemouth, St. John’s, St. Peters and Scared Heart – all ringing suspended.

Bramshott – all service and practice ringing until at least the end of March where the situation will be reviewed.

Brockenhurst – no ringing until further notice.

Buriton – all ringing suspended.

Catherington – ringing cancelled, but may be some limited Sunday ringing if services continue.

Christchurch Priory – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Eling – all ringing suspended.

Froxfield – all ringing suspended.

Havant – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Hawkley – all ringing suspended and the tied practices on 6-8-10th April postponed.

Hursley – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Newport – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Portsmouth Cathedral – all ringing suspended.

Purbrook – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Romsey – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Selborne – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Shanklin – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Shedfield – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Southampton (St. Mary’s, St. Michael’s and Bitterne Park) – all ringing suspended.

Steep – all ringing suspended.

Titchfield – all ringing suspended.

Upham – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Upton Grey – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Warnford – all ringing suspended.

West Meon – all ringing suspended.

Wickham – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Winchester Cathedral – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Wonston – no practices until further notice.

Portsmouth District – all District events are cancelled including the April QDM.

Winchester District – all District events and the striking competition in May are cancelled until further notice.

Please let me know via of any other cancellations and I will add them to this list.


Andrew Glover

W&P Guild Webmaster




Living on the end of a rope and sally! A weekend of courses and quarter peals!

It has been a while since a ‘report’ as such has featured on our district page.  I’ve been so acutely busy ringing recently, I just had to get down in words what has been going on in district ringing since 2019 new year!

As many of you will be aware, I have been bitten by both the lesser-spotted quarter peal bug, and the greater striped ringing fever.  It is wonderful to be given so many opportunities to gain valuable rope-time and partake in something as close to sporty as I shall ever get.  (Apparently gossiping is not an Olympic event).

January saw the re-installment of the district Quarter Peal Club hosted by our Vice-Chairman, Polly Osborne at Minstead. It was a valuable opportunity to treble at length to a minor method (St. Clement’s).  Here I happened upon a friendly and familiar face to me now, Jack Pease, who has often conducted in the past, but tonight was having a rest and Jimmy Hodkin took the reigns.

Jack was most kind, complimentary, and remarked that trebling to minor seemed “a bit too much within my comfort zone”, and insisted that I ring treble to a quarter-peal of triples in the near future with him, and also attend the minor course Jack was running at Bere Regis.

I felt much happier leaving Minstead tower, than I did arriving, partly because I managed to arrive at Minstead village in the pitch black forest in heaps of time, but then got dreadfully lost within the village for half an hour, and ended up in a strange place called Emery Down, and was then horridly late.  Not the greatest first impression really of myself, appearing to new people, gasping from running at the top of a ladder poking my head through a trap door.

Jack’s Bob Minor Course on the Friday morning was a bright and early start for me, even the New Forest ponies were still sleeping instead of trying to get into my rubbish bins.  We headed to Bere Regis, to a delightful ring of six that went very majestically.  Was a good learning curve to ring at a more relaxed and steadier pace.  I started the course mainly trebling where I felt secure, but as the morning progressed, and as I got to know the band a bit more, I ventured round the circle ringing plain courses on the 3 and 4, and eventually a touch.  I did try the 5 but alas it was a step to far turning in a much heavier bell to method work.

I came away from Bere Regis course refuelled with plenty of kindling to take back with me to my home tower, and many useful tips and tricks, handed down from our brave leader (Jack) and the other helpers.  It was a really relaxed atmosphere too which lended itself to a great learning experience.

Saturday lunchtime saw yet another quarter peal at Sacred Heart, Bournemouth in celebration of Kim Matthew’s retirement from her position as Librarian of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  I shall fast forward to the shock I was in after the quarter peal had finished, when I truly discovered what ‘splicing methods’ actually meant!  I can only compare it to when school used to make me attempt the hurdles…you just have to keep going, even if you knock them all down!  I understood splicing methods to be a few methods rung one after the other after several touches/courses of each method, NOT methods running concurrently, and switching to and fro like an over-excited American pin-ball machine!  Ross made an amazing job of calling this complex quarter, which I can only imagine akin to being like reciting the Bible from memory…..backwards.  I was most fortunate to have Angie Jasper by my side on the 4 sorting my stumbles out very swiftly and efficiently.

From Sacred Heart, I had to hot foot it to Christchurch Priory, for our annual district meeting.  Here I had been roped in (excuse the pun), to playing the little box organ for the Evensong service in the Lady Chapel.  It was a very special atmosphere, especially as the incredible acoustics in there took the little organ and accompanied singing into the rafters.  I wish they would stop putting carpets down in churches.  Kills acoustics!  I faced two problems here. One that the organ had been placed next to the ringers tea table that had enough cake and sandwiches to fulfil even Paddington Bear, and had all been thoroughly wrapped in foil so having a sneaky sausage roll from the kitchen of Rob Skerton, mid service, was impossible.  The second problem was the lady that pulled on my arm during the exit voluntary, to stop me playing, which I dutifully did as I expected there to be an emergency…no such luck…it was an announcement about the toilet, and that vegetarian sandwiches were located on a separate table.  At least that meant this year the egg and marmite sandwiches were nowhere near the salmon paste!  I was also so pleased to matriculate from Acting Webmaster to Webmaster.  I was really very touched when so many raised their hands when asked for nominations.  I’m very much looking forward to arranging the district outing, and the skittles evening post striking competition at Fawley.

The next day was the forboding quarter peal of Grandsire Triples, and was confirmed by the band around me the evening before.  Off I headed to St. Michael’s Southampton in my Mystery Machine (ongoing joke, as you never know where you’ll end up….especially when I leave the handbrake off and head up tower).  St. Michael’s really is a fascinating place indeed.  Jack shoo’d me up the wooden spiral that winds its way through the innards of the organ (definitely needed going over with my DustBuster TM- poor pipes), and I entered the poshest, loftiest and most spacious ringing chamber I have ever been in.  I later found out that the church is the only medieval structure left within the city walls of Southampton, and that the Luftwaffe used it as a mapping point to their targets, so it never got bombed!

The band were all incredibly friendly and supportive.  St. Michael’s has a gorgeous ring of 10, with a lovely bright Gillet (bell founders) sound.  As a musician, sound is a vital factor to me, and it was a great help to hear each clear bell as I coursed up and down.  We only used the 8 bells for triples, would have loved to hear all 10 going.  The void across the ringing chamber floor between myself and the tenor was such that I thought I was going to have to send up smoke signals to communicate!  Again, it was another tower I left from with a spring in my step, chased back to the Mystery Machine by winter’s icy blast from the docks! Mother told me to put a hat on….why are they always right?

Finally, on Tuesday, I hared across the county to Cerne Abbas for the Hampreston Monthly Quarter Peal Day.  This month’s was arranged superbly by Angie Jasper.  It’s an incredible set up.  I’m unsure what the collective noun for bellringers is, but we all gather in an area with our rosters, and head off to various towers, interchanging bands, some ringing first attempts, crazy methods (Percy’s Tea Strainer Triples, Mental Block Minor etc), practice conducting, trebling, tenoring, ringing inside the method, and break for lunch, then do it all again at churches in deepest countryside for the afternoon shift. Seven quarter peals were rung that day between about 15 people.  Incredible.

I feel very honoured to be made welcome into this group in my early career as a ringer, and there’s always something for me to have a go at and push me.  Finally managed to negotiate my way through 1260 changes of St Nicholas Doubles (failed attempt at Christmas), and the afternoon shift saw me tenoring at Hilton to Eynesbury Doubles.  Sadly we didn’t get the attempt.  Really tricky bells, plain bearings, and keeping the tenor at the back and ‘up’ was a tough job, seeing use of blue inhaler.  Just to round the day off in true Murdock-Saint panache, I managed to fly base over apex down the last part of the tower stairs, my ankle currently doing a wonderful impression of the aurora borealis….well worth it however.  Driving home the 40 miles was interesting on the clutch, fortunately the petrol station had bagged ice for parties, which I strapped to the ankle with a towing rope.  Even though we did not get the attempt, we used the time to ring through a few different touches of the method, and it was great learning experience in handling a big and difficult tenor!

I would like to thank especially the following people in no particular order:

Kim Matthews, Polly Osborne, Ross Bradley, Angie & Mike Jasper, Sally Jenkins, Jimmy Hodkin, Jack Pease, for arranging these incredible opportunities in particular for new ringers.  The bell ringing community is really like a second family.  I must also thank my home tower teachers, David Lay, John and Liz Davey, Tim Kettle for their unending patience, understanding and time.

Looking forward to ringing with many of you over the coming year,

Over and out


Title photography by Jack R. Pease.

C&S Annual District Meeting with Practice. Christchurch Priory. Saturday 26th January 2019 from 2:00pm onwards.

Dear fellow ringers far and wide,

Happy New Year to all!

Now we are heading into the middle of January, it can only mean one thing, that it is once again time for our annual district meeting day/service/tea/practice. This year we meet at Christchurch Priory, method of the month for January is Little Bob Royal & Little Bob Maximus, however all are welcome for rounds and call changes, plain hunt, and any other methods.  Please let Rosemary Rogers know if you plan to attend for catering numbers. (link below).

For your information:

Whilst you are emailing Rosemary, please also save the date and submit your menu choices for the district dinner (menu in links below) in February.  It’s just after St. Valentine’s, so NO excuses.  Last year was a great laugh, very good value, and the Chicken with Wild Mushroom Pie sounds extremely tasty!

At the meeting; I’m hoping to lose the ‘acting’ webmaster bit of my voluntary job title.  I am also looking forward to accompanying the service on the Priory Lady Chapel box organ (not the mighty beast in the cases in transepts and scattered through the triforiums, as I may have had a small heart attack operating that console!).

More importantly now, we are still looking for somebody to organise the raffle to help raise funds to send the district youth team up to Liverpool for the ringing competition.  Please let Sallie know asap if you can help with the raffle, and of course we shall need donations of prizes.  I’m sure we all have something lurking in a cupboard from Great Auntie Mildred.

The district calendar is certainly packed with lots for everybody, with interesting education days.  Don’t forget, amongst all these, you can also weave in the regular monthly district practices aimed at polishing and honing specific skills.  Please do support these where possible, as they are excellent evenings.  We are so very lucky to have such a busy ringing calendar available to us.  In September I am organising a skittles night at a pub/skittles alley, so please watch out for more information.

This rest of this post is to serve as a ‘muster point’, for all the information you will require on the day, and schedule of the day’s runnings.  Please do print off the documents you require from the links provided below.  If anybody is struggling with printing, I can bring copies if you let me know in advance.

(For those who are not au fait with downloading, in essence:

Ringing 2:00pm until 4:00pm

Service 4:00pm until 4:45pm

Tea & ADM 4:45pm onwards

Evening ringing 6:30pm until 8:00pm)

If there are any questions, or if I have missed something, please let one of the team know.

Happy ringing until then,

all best wishes,

Peter Murdock-Saint-Acting District Webmaster

Contact Sallie Ingram-District Secretary

Contact Rosemary Rogers-for tea numbers/District Dinner/Priory Tower Captain



Document/pdf below:

ADM 2019 Poster Christchurch Priory-Please print and display in towers/circulate to your tower members emails.

C&S District Calendar 2019-Please print and display in towers.

ADM Minutes 2018

ADM Agenda 2019

C&S District Dinner 2019


Information same as above but in image format:

Post main photograph by Jack Pease Photography.

UPDATED C&S District Christmas Ringing Times 2018

Please see below for updated notifications we have received for District ringing times in December.

Hinton, St. Michael and all Angels.

Sunday 16th December: Dressing of the crib 10:30am for 11:00am followed by wine and mice pies.

Monday 24th December Christmas Eve: Nearly midnight service! 9:30pm for 10:00pm

Sopley, St Michael and all Angels.

Sunday 16th December: Service ringing 10:30am for 11:00am

Sunday 23rd December: Service ringing 10:30am for 11:00am

Monday 24th December Christmas Eve: Dressing of the Crib 3:30pm for 4:00pm, then Midnight Mass 10:45pm for 11:15pm.

Tuesday 25th December Christmas Morning: Service ringing 10:30am for 11:00am.

Sunday 30th December: Service ringing 10:30am for 11:00am.

Bournemouth, St John the Baptist (Surrey Road).

Sunday 16th December: NO MORNING RINGING, then 6:00pm for 6:30pm Carol Service.

Sunday 23rd December: Usual service ringing times. (9:00am for 9:30am)

Monday 24th December Christmas Eve: Dressing of the Crib 2:30pm for 3:00pm

Tuesday 25th December Christmas Morning: Usual Sunday service ringing time. (9:00am for 9:30am)

Bournemouth, St. Peter’s.

Sunday 16th December: 9:15am for 10:00am

Sunday 23rd December: 9:15am for 10:00am



Sunday 30th December: NO RINGING


Thursday night practices start back on 03.01.2019

(due to absence not enough ringers to form a band).

Bournemouth, Sacred Heart.

Sunday 16th December: 10:00am for 10:30am

Sunday 23rd December: 10:00am for 10:30am

Monday 24th December Christmas Eve: 4:30pm for 5:00pm, then Midnight Mass 11:00pm for 11:30pm. There is NO regular Monday night practice 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

Tuesday 25th December Christmas Morning: 10:00am for 10:30am.

Monday 31st December New Year’s Eve: There is NO regular Monday night practice 6:00pm to 7:30pm, but general ringing to see in 01.01.2019 from 11:30pm with booze and nibbles.

Ringwood, St. Peter & St. Paul.

Saturday 22nd December: Service ringing 5:30pm for 6:00pm

Sunday 23rd December: Service ringing 9:45am for 10:30am, then 4:00pm for 4:30pm.

Monday 24th December Christmas Eve: Carols in the market place 5:30pm for 6:00pm, then Midnight Mass 11:00pm for 11:30pm.

Sunday 30th December: Service ringing 9:45am for 10:30am

Milford-on-Sea, All Saints.

Monday 24th December Christmas Eve: NO Monday practice night.

Christchurch Priory.

Monday 17th December: NO Monday practice night.

Monday 24th December Christmas Eve: NO Monday practice night.

Monday 31st December New Year’s Eve: NO Monday practice night.

C&S District 12 Bell Practice Saturday 6th October 2018 Christchurch Priory 6-8pm

Please see attached poster for details and printing for your tower.

CS District October Practice Priory

October’s district practice is at Christchurch Priory, with the method of the month being various permutations of Erin.

There is a fairly long climb up to the ringing chamber, so you may like to allow yourself extra time to arrive, and settle upstairs!

All enquiries to Sallie Ingram

Christchurch Priory – Changes to normal bell ringing times up to July 7th

Monday 7th May Bank Holiday No Practice
Thursday,10th May Ascension Day.    Quarter Peal Attempt 6.00 pm  Service is 7pm
Saturday ,19th May Royal Wedding.    General Ringing 9.30 am ~ 10.30 am
Sunday,  20th May Civic Service   Extra Ringing  11.00 am ~ 11.30 am,
Monday, 28th May Bank Holiday No Practice
Monday, 11th June Music Festival No Practice
Saturday, 7th July Church Fete  Ringing 10.30 am ~11.00 am

Bellringing at Christchurch Priory – alterations to normal schedule up to April 18th

Hello Everyone
Just to keep you up to date for the next few weeks
District Quarter Peal Fortnight  10th ~ 25th March
Sunday, 18th March  There will be a Quarter Peal Attempt at 4.45 pm followed by normal Sunday Evening Ringing
Sunday, 25th March   There will be a Quarter Peal Attempt at 5.30 pm   NO NORMAL SUNDAY EVENING RINGING
Monday 26th March  HOLY WEEK   No Practice
Sunday, 1st April,  EASTER SUNDAY
 Ringing   7.30 am ~ 8.00 am
Ringing   8.45 am ~ 9.30 am
Ringing  11.00 am ~ 11.30 am
Ringing    5.45 pm~6.30 pm
Monday, 2nd April   BANK HOLIDAY  No Practice
Sunday 8th April
Additional to normal Sunday Ringing
We have been asked to ring for 11.30 am Service for the 100th Anniversay of the RAF
Ringing 11.00 am ~ 11.30 am


Contact Janet McCoy

Telephone: 01202 475880
Email: use form

Congratulations Aila Peacock

Bournemouth, Dorset
Sacred Heart
Sunday, 19 November 2017 in 38 mins (3–2–6 in E♭)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
Rosalind A Martin
Phil Clarke
Ian R Newbery
Aila M Peacock (C)
Paul R Smith
Tim Kettle
1st attempt at calling a QP 4.
Get well wishes to June Banning a member of the Sacred Heart Band.
Also to mark the 70th Wedding Anniversary of HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

Quarter Peal in memory of Lance Corporal Vincent Street

Link to the Quarter Peal
Lance Corporal Vincent Street, Christchurch, Winchester Diocesan. Died 26/09/1917 age 30. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 215th Coy. Service No.55149. Commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, Panel 154 to 159 and 163A. Born 4th quarter 1886. Son of Alfred James Street and Christiana Jane Street, of Armadale, Christchurch, Hants. Husband of Dorothy Redler (formerly Street, née Green) of Downs House, Bathpool, Taunton, whom he married in1914. Father of Dorothea J. Street (born 1916). He rang three peals at Christchurch, all of Grandsire Caters: his first on 27/01/1908, ringing the 2nd. He worked as an ironmonger’s assistant before enlisting. Born: Christchurch, Hants. Enlisted: Christchurch, Hants. Resided (1911 Census): 4 Castle Street, Christchurch.

With thanks to Alan Regin for this information 

(Rolls of Honour: )

Three Peal Ringing Firsts

On Saturday the 12th of August two young ringers from the Christchurch Priory Band scored their first peal at Corfe Mullen, Dorset, Nicola Penny and Luke Brooke.

The peal of plain Bob Minor was conducted by Priory Tower Captain, Tim Martin,  his first peal as conductor.

We still had some energy left after lunch so we rang a quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles on the significantly heavier six at Sturminster Marshall, ably conducted by Luke with Nicola excelling on the tenor.

We were grateful for the support of Simon Edwards from Swindon and to William Stafford from Brighton for substituting at the last hour and scoring only his second Peal.

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Corfe Mullen, Dorset
St Hubert
Saturday, 12 August 2017 in 2h 51m (11–3–26 in G)
5040 Plain Bob Minor
1 Nicola Penny
2 Luke T Brooke
3 Rosalind A Martin
4 William Stafford
5 Simon W Edwards
6 Timothy M Martin (C)
First Peal 1,2. First Peal as Conductor. The band would like to associate Colin Butler with this peal with our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Congratulations Daniel and Sally Jayne

Sally Jayne Tompkins and Daniel Graham were married today in Christchurch Priory. A band from across the Guild  (and beyond) rang a Quarter Peal of Grandsire Cinques before the service:

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Christchurch, Dorset
Priory Church of the Holy Trinity
Saturday, 5 August 2017 in 0:55 (27 in D)
1320 Grandsire Cinques
Composed by D F Morrison (No.2350)
Edd Colliss (C)
John P Colliss
Christine R Hill
Anthony P Smith
Alison Hunt
Lizzie J Hough
Angie M E Jasper
Ian P Hunt
Alex W Tatlow
10 James A Hodkin
11 Peter W Hill
12 David J Mattingley
Arranged for, and rung prior to, the marriage of Sally-Jayne Tompkins and Daniel Graham at this church.

Reporting from the Youth Championships…

Nicola Penny Reports. Photos by Tim Martin

As many of you know, the Ringing World National Youth Contest was at the beginning of July in Birmingham. It was wonderful to see so many young ringers from all over the country taking part. There were 1 8 teams of 10. There were 4 of us from the Priory. The others making up the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild team came from as far as Winchester Cathedral, Basingstoke and Milford.  Our qualifier took place at St Peters in Harborne. The piece itself was good but we didn’t get through to the final. However, this was not necessarily a bad thing as it meant we could ring in more towers! Although navigating round the town to get to them was a challenge for the drivers.

There were towers open all over Birmingham including; St Giles (Sheldon), St Alphege (Solihull) and St Nicolas (Kings Norton), Then there was St Martin in the Bullring with a fantastic 16 bell tower. This being the favourite. It was really good to be able to ring in Birmingham, especially as the bells where so nice to ring and the views from the tower windows were impressive as well!

Nicola Penny




Bell Ringing for Evensong Sun May 21st at Christchurch Priory

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the ordination of Rev Cannon John Turpin, ringers from the Priory and Ringwood are combining to ring for Evensong.
A Quarter Peal attempt of Grandsire Triples will start at 4.45 to be followed by general ringing from approximately 5.45 until the service at 6.30pm.
Visiting ringers are also welcome to join the general ringing which will be Rounds and Call Changes on 12 and methods as appropriate.

Christchurch Priory 30th April – Quarter Peal Attempt for Evensong

A Quarter Peal of Kent Minor will be attempted for Evensong on the 30th. There will be no general ringing.

For all ringing times please check our calendar.

Basic Bellringing at St Peter’s Bournemouth

It is intended, as soon as possible, to open these practice nights to visitors (novice and expert), but we would like to find our feet first as a group so please await further news before you come and join us!

Communication within the band is via email: Visit the Email Group

Practice Night Plans at Bournemouth St. Peter’s

From Thursday 9th of March, there will be regular practice nights at St. Peter’s once again. The home band will be hosting the Learners’ group from Christchurch Priory, and plan to spend the next 6 months helping them to become competent Sunday Ringers.

The practices will be dedicated to ringing Rounds and Call Changes, with a focus on good striking, confident bell handling, and those small but important skills that are difficult to fit in on a conventional practice night, such as ringing up and down in peal.

The limited scope of the practices means it is an ideal opportunity for a new Ringing Master to find their feet and so Rosalind Martin from Christchurch will be taking this role, supported by Tim Kettle who is Tower Captain at St. Peter’s.

It is intended, as soon as possible, to open these practice nights to visitors (novice and expert), but we would like to find our feet first as a group so please await further news before you come and join us! Meanwhile we will be drawing on helpers from Bournemouth Sacred Heart and the Priory to make sure that the band is consistently strong and able to help the novices to learn the planned skills, and to enable the home band to take holidays!!

We hope that in this way both towers will be strengthened, by enabling a new generation of ringers to learn the necessary skills. 

The Monday Evening practice at the Priory will be continue to be focussed on methods (Plain Hunt onwards) and visitors are of course welcome at any time to come and work on their method ringing skills with us there.

Practice Night Report – Christchurch Priory Monday 13th Feb

Last night 15 members of the Priory Band welcomed 6 visitors at the Priory and (in the words of Alastair from  Dorchester):

had a cracking evening in the far east … with a very varied selection of ringing, from rounds and call changes on 6, 8, and 12, to Plain courses of Double Court Bob Minor (a first) and Cambridge Minor (first for a while), and a touch of Stedman Doubles.

The two visitors who requested Grandsire Triples picked a good evening to come as we rang several plain courses and a 6-single touch that was new for a Monday.

Photo by Alastair Simpson

Words by Rosalind



DRAFT Minutes of the Christchurch Priory Bellringers AGM Jan 30th 2017

Status: Feedback received and corrections made Feb 10th 2017. Now ready for approval at 2018 AGM.


James Morton (Chair),Tim Martin, Rosemary Rogers, Ian Penny, Richard Woodward, Rosalind Martin, John Bolt, Aila Peacock, Helen Penny, Lester Ruckley, Bert Cruchfield, Lorna Bacchus, Robert Skerton, Luke Brooke.


Janice and David Poulton, Rev Charles Stewart (chair), Graham Greene, Ruth Roberts, Nicola Penny, Rob Bury, Janey McCoy

Our thanks to James Morton (churchwarden) for chairing the meeting at short notice.

Minutes of the last meeting:

2 amendments:

  • The accounts were audited by Jenny Ruckley
  • Wedding fees were increased to £215

Proposed by Tim Martin, Seconded by Lester Ruckley,  Passed by vote. Final version is here christchurch-priory-bell-ringers-minutes-of-the-annual-tower-meeting-8th-feb-2016-final-agreed-version

Tower Captain’s Report:

  • This can be seen here.
  • Robert Skerton queried what “Arrive on time on Sunday morning” meant in practice. Tim suggested arrive at 8:40 to allow 5 minutes to climb the stairs and start at 8:45
  • John Bolt noted that from now on, the staff door (from the carpark at the back) will be locked at this time and we will have to enter via the main door or the tower security door.

Tower Accounts:

  • Thanks to Jenny Ruckley for auditing the 2016 accounts.
  • The accounts were accepted unchanged. They can be seen:
  • priory-accounts_2016
  • christchurch_priory_bellringers_income-2016
  • expnditure-priory-2016
  • Signatories for the bank account have been changed
  • Tim proposed that we support the Young Ringers’ Competition travel financially. There was no objection. It was also noted that funds are being made available at District level and fundraising is ongoing.
  • The accounts and additional remarks were proposed by John Bolt seconded by Aila Peacock, and unanimously passed by the meeting.

Tower Bell Restoration Account

  • This is administered by Rosemary Rogers. We now have £12879.02 in the account including the £1050 added in 2016. We earned £56 interest (0.35%). We spent money on maintenance (safety rails. VAT was reclaimed). Over the year this left a profit of £763.
  • The acceptance of the restoration account was proposed by Rosalind Martin, seconded by Lester Ruckley and passed by vote.

Steeple Keeper’s Report


  • John Bolt wished to stand down as Steeple Keeper, to be replaced by Richard Woodward.
  • Mention was made of the combined age of the team (200+) and a call for younger blood. Graham was suggested as a potential recruit and Robert offered to help as well. Richard will follow up and let us know.
  • The new team is confirmed as Richard in charge with John Bolt and Rob Bury and Robert assisting, plus any new members.

These changes plus the report were proposed by Rosalind, seconded by Lester, and approved by the meeting.

Bell Restoration Plans

  • John presented the latest version of the plans as suggested by Matthew Higby bell-restoration-report-christchurch-priory-jan-2016
  • Members of the band have until February 28th to comment on these proposals.
  • John Bolt is keen to take it forward and get 3 estimates.
  • Tim recommended that we spend the money in such a way as to make the bells easier to strike and easier to ring well.
  • We will need to raise money and the amounts involved imply applying for grants (eg from English Heritage) rather than small-scale fund raising.
  • This will be a major project which will require proper project planning and the formation of a fundraising committee etc if it is to move forward.
  • There will be a complex process of approval through the DAC and we are fortunate to have Ian already up to speed on this (due to his work in the church office) so it should go as smoothly as can be expected with such things.
  • Robert asked what if a wheel breaks meanwhile? John Bolt replied that short term, firms such as Matthew Higby’s can attend emergencies and act fast to put them right.
  • It was noted that worn wheels usually mean shorter rope life, rather than emergency breakages.
  • Richard as Steeple Keeper and Tim as Captain to move this work forwards during 2017.

Public Relations Officer’s Report

  • This can be read here: pro-report-of-2016-for-agm-christchurch-priory-bellringers
  • The draft of the A4 recruitment leaflet is online here and a printed version was circulated for those present.
  • Re the youth recruitment, Rosemary commented that the creation of the girls’ choir ended a tradition of “boys join the choir, girls join the ringers” which had been a source of recruits for the band.
  • Tim commented that Wimborne Minster created a lighter ring within their ring by adding a sharp 2nd – and that we could without huge cost, do the same. This would create a more young-learner-friendly light ring than the current light 6.

Election of Officers

Post Officer for 2017 proposed by seconded by result of vote
Tower Captain and Ringing Master Tim Martin Aila Peacock Lester Ruckley carried unanimously
Vice Captain Rosemary Rogers Tim Martin Robert Skerton carried unanimously
Vice Captain Ian Penny Tim Martin Robert Skerton carried unanimously
Treasurer Richard Woodward John Bolt Ian Penny carried unanimously
Secretary Rosalind Martin Lorna Bacchus Richard Woodward carried unanimously
Steeple Keeper Richard Woodward** Tim Martin Ian Penny carried unanimously
Assistant Steeple Keeper Rob Bury** Tim Martin Ian Penny carried unanimously
Assistant Steeple Keeper Tim Martin Ian Penny carried unanimously
Public Relations Officer Rosalind Martin Tim Martin Aila Peacock carried unanimously
Church Liaison Officer leave unfilled

** Richard Woodward suggested that he should be joint Steeple Keeper with Rob but after some discussion it was agreed that there should be a single focal point (ie Richard)

Wedding Fees for 2017

  • Raise the fees to £225 (already agreed by PCC). Ringers to receive £20 per rope, the remainder to be divided between the Tower Account and the Earmarked Fund as in previous years.
  • Proposed by Rosemary, seconded by Bert and agreed by vote.

2017 Dinner

  • Rosemary is going to organise the dinner. Thanks expressed to Rosemary for organising in past years.
  • Date will be November the 3rd. Venue same as last year.

Any Other Business

  • Muffles (raised by John Bolt). The finance committee has approved a spend of up to £750. Rosalind agreed to dig up the quotes we have already obtained and pass them on to Richard Woodward.
  • The protocol for the death of a Monarch is fully muffled 1-11 with Tenor open at backstroke. We can use the existing muffles within the new ones to achieve the double muffling.
  • We need some ear defenders to allow occasional visual checks of bells to be safely carried out during ringing. Steeple Keepers to purchase locally.

Thanks from the Church

James Morton (on behalf of the church) thanked all the ringers for their great efforts in ringing, and thanked all the Officers for the extra work.

Next Annual General Meeting – 29th Janury 2018.

The meeting closed with the Grace.












I am pleased to report another successful year for the Band which has seen further progress and consolidation. My report reviews the activities since our last AGM in early 2016 to date.

Starting first with our most important activity which is ringing for services, we have maintained our record of ringing Sunday by Sunday throughout the year. Unlike the Choir we take no holidays! Support for Sunday morning ringing is very strong and it is now the exception if we don’t ring all 12. The logistics of raising all the bells on Sunday morning does mean we need to work harder on our ringing up skills and I would  remind people that ringing starts promptly at 8.45 and the more people who arrive on time the more likely we are to be able to raise the bells in good order.

We have fewer ringers for Evensong, however we do always ring and sometimes we ring quarter peals.

In addition we have supplied bands to ring for numerous weddings during the year, for additional services such as Civic Service and Remembrance Day. This year we rang half muffled for Remembrance and received many favourable comments. We also rang for the Radio Solent Carol service in December and our normal Easter marathon of four services. We are sourcing some new muffles for the whole 12 because the existing set are very worn.

Our band continues to grow as we have continued the tradition, long maintained at the Priory of being a teaching tower. In the last year Graham Green and Jack Brooke have joined our Sunday service band and we currently have four learners receiving one to one training so we hope that some or all of them will join the band in due course. I strongly believe that when we train ringers it is for the benefit of the whole Exercise and I am always keen for new ringers to take their place in the wider ringing community and not see their activities as confined to the Priory. Our band remain strong supporters of District activities with ringers from Christchurch often making up a sizeable proportion of those present. Ringers from the Priory also regularly support the Hordle practice night, Sunday ringing at Sacred Heart and St Peters Bournemouth, the Ringwood Surprise Practice, the Sopley minor practice, the Lymington Doubles and Minor practice and the Guild Surprise Royal practice the District Youth Practice, the District Quarter Peal club and the Guild Education events.

Many ringers in the band continue to develop their skills and in particular we should congratulate Helen Penny on her first quarter, Nicola and Luke on their first quarter inside tonTriples and Luke for conducting his first quarter at Hordle. Another highlight this year was the Guild entering a team into the National Youth Striking Competion with the involvement of three ringers from the Priory, Nicola, Luke and Helen. A long but exciting day out in London saw the ringers enjoy a variety of London towers and take part in the competition on the Royal Jubilee bells at Garlickhythe in the City.

In terms of abilities we have continued to develop our Triples ringing and new ringers are also coming up through plain hunt and into doubles. We have made good progress with some minor methods this year including Kent, Double Court, Plain and Little Bob. This builds skills and provides interest for those progressing up the ladder. We took 6 people to the Double Norwich course in the autumn, 4 students and 2 helpers and our students made very good progress with this historic and these days rather neglected method.

I am keen to develop more ringers into potential ringing masters and this year so there may be some occasions when other people are running the ringing and I’m sure you will support them.

I would like to thank all those who have supported me in leading the Tower this year including the office holders, Ian and Rosemary as Deputy Captains, Richard as Treasurer, John as Steeplekeeper and Ros as Secretary/ PR officer. Finally to all of you who support the ringing I thank you for your undiminished commitment and enthusiasm for the Band and your ringing week by week which is appreciated by so many in the Town.

Tim Martin
January 2017