Sunday 23rd February 2020
Hopefully you will be aware there are initiatives both at a national level and in Suffolk to encourage ringing for the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI on Sunday 11th November. As we are now just over 5 months away I thought I’d give you an update on where we are.
Ringing on the 11th:
For ringing on the day, guidance has been given by the government and the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. The advice is that bells on the morning of 11th should be half muffled as an act of remembrance then rung rung open in afternoon and evening to celebrate the peace that came with the end of the war. This is guidance only, and it is best that any ringing fits in with local arrangements such as services, parades, or beacon lighting.
Ringing Remembers is a joint initiative by the Department for Communities & Local Government and the Central Council to recruit 1,400 new ringers between August 2017 and November 2018. The same number of ringers that were lost in the Great War and are commemorated in the Central Council's Rolls of Honour. (https://cccbr.org.uk/rolls-of-honour/great-war-casualties/) So if you’ve had any new ringers or returning ringers that have started since August 2017 please get them or their permission to sign up here https://a100.cccbr.org.uk/register/ Then they will be counted towards the 1,400 total and receive a certificate in November. The current total is around 575 new ringers so do get people to sign up! Promotional material to help you with the campaign can be ordered for free here https://a100.cccbr.org.uk/order/ plus both Veronica Downing of Chediston and I have a number of leaflets and posters as well.
Ringing for Peace:
In Suffolk, our aim is to have every tower in our Guild ring out at some point on 11th November 2018 to provide a grand soundtrack to the day and remind the public that the sound of bells is a signal of peace.
With around 200 towers in Suffolk this is no mean feat but it's certainly achievable given the right preparation and coordination. Obviously this should not be used as an excuse to ring at unsafe towers, if you require guidance on whether full circle ringing or chiming at a certain tower is permitted please contact the Guild Technical Advisor. If you haven’t started to think about your area’s plan for the day do get talking to your fellow ringers! Please contact your district ringing master if your tower needs support on the day or if you’d be available to help elsewhere.
You can indicate your tower’s plan here https://goo.gl/forms/aYDdxk4Hclul6aFQ2. Thanks to those that have already done so.
Please encourage your non-ringing friends, family, and colleagues or ex-ringers to use this as a chance to take up ringing and play their part in commemorating those lost. I have already received a number of enquires from the public, so this initiative has great potential.
Public Relations Officer Suffolk Guild of Ringers