AGM Minutes

It was very good to see so many of you yesterday at our virtual AGM. I do hope it won’t be too much longer until we can actually meet in person. This current lockdown combined with rather terrible weather seems interminable to me and probably to many of you too.

If you would like to read the minutes of the meeting, or if you weren’t at the meeting but would like to know who is on the new committee, please do have a look in the downloads section of the branch website

where you can find the minutes.

all best wishes


(retiring branch secretary)

AGM information

Don’t forget the Branch AGM is tomorrow 16th January at 2pm. If you would like to attend please contact Hilary in order to receive your ZOOM log in invitation. You can contact her on

All the AGM documents ( annual report, accounts, minutes of the last AGM) can now accessed in the downloads section of the Branch website.

This year we have a shortened and simplified meeting and the short agenda is on my previous post. Items for AOB are welcome. Please send them to me at

Hoping to “see” you tomorrow.


Agenda for AGM

Just a reminder that the AGM will be held on Saturday January 16th at 2pm

If you would like to attend the AGM please contact Hilary to receive your Zoom invitation and log in. You can contact her on

Please note that there is an AOB section on the agenda but if you know you are going to raise a subject in this part of the meeting it would be really helpful if you let us know first so we can allow time for this. Please send your AOB subject/question to me

prior to the meeting.

Many thanks


Peterborough Branch of the Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Agenda for AGM to be held January 16th 2021 at 2pm via ZOOM

  1. Welcome from the Chairman
  • Annual report from the ringing master
  • Approval of accounts for 2020
  • Election of new members
  • Discussion and planning of events for 2021
  • Election of Branch officers:


               Ringing master

               Events organiser




                Press correspondent

                Guild management committee representative

                Committee members ( up to 3)

                100 club organiser

                Examiner of accounts

  • Any other business

Branch AGM

Dear Peterborough Branch members

This year we have to hold the AGM via Zoom since we are unable to meet in person. The AGM will be held on January 16 th at 2 pm and is kindly being hosted for us by Nassington tower who hold a Zoom account.

If you would like to attend the AGM please register with Hilary who will then send you a link to the meeting. You can contact her on

We will keep the meeting brief this year but wish to include a discussion of possible future events and the return to ringing as possibly some “refresher” sessions may be needed.

I will post the agenda, the accounts and the annual report prior to the meeting in

I will be standing down from the secretary role and Angela from the treasurer role so we are hoping for people to step up and join the committee.

So I am signing off now from my final message to you as secretary. It’s been a challenging year for us all but thank you to all the lovely people who have kept in touch and my best wishes to everyone for a very much happier time in 2021.


Important information about Christmas ringing

So Christmas is nearly here, but it’s going to be somewhat different from usual and what we had hoped.

Ringing for Christmas
Unfortunately we are not necessarily going to be able to ring as much as we may have hoped over the holidays. Saturday’s announcement of Tier 4 and the reduced relaxation for Christmas in other Tiers will necessarily have an impact.

·         No ringing at all in Tier 4, even if there were services.

·         In areas that are still in Tier 2, ringing will remain permitted as per Tier 1, but only on Christmas day.
This is also as communicated to clergy in the Bishop’s latest bulletin. Not yet available online, will be posted here:
Like many, this may be my first Christmas not ringing in a very long time.

And to the more fun stuff to keep you entertained over the break.

Christmas themed puzzles
Festive Song Twister. Something a little bit seasonal to get the brain warm under your Santa hat. The numbers are the number of letters in words of the title or first lines of Christmas carols or other seasonal songs.
Get humming…
The Christmas Karaoke machine seems to be broken, it is only showing the first letters of the words. Can you work out the carol or seasonal song, all featuring bells, that it is trying to play?

Have you tried ringing carols on handbells? If not in person (it’s turning cold out there!) you can use Ringing Room.
To get you started, 4 carols that all use up to 10 bells.

Puzzle time
A selection of ringers were asked to provide the first words that came to mind when presented with some ringing terms. What ringing related item are they thinking of from this cloud of words?
Seeing everyone else has broken into the chocolate advent calendar, we have a chocolate topped letter M to introduce this week’s wordsearch. All mmmm methods, which takes your fancy?
Another set of answer smash questions. The two answers overlap, letters at the end of the first answer are the start of the second. What’s the smashed answer to each pair of clues?
Some times we all need a little love. This puzzle features those towers that might be a little less loved. They’re all towers with 3 or 4 bells or greater numbers but unringable. Show you care and get them to fit in the grid.

With bells on
There are any number of songs and carols featuring bells in the title or text. A short selection here.
Seeing half the world seems to have their Christmas lights up, I thought we’d follow suit, starting with the Carol of the Bells. Sung by St George’s Chapel Choir
Another ringing related Christmas Carol, this time it’s Ding Dong Merrily on High by Ensemble Corund. Don’t forget to take a deep breath for the Glooooooooorias!
A Christmassy song this time, it’s Jingle bells – although you’ve probably not seen it done quite like this before. Courtesy of Hey Duggee. Ah-Woof!

Leading can be a tricky skill to perfect, this article may help.…/200303.pdf
What is ropesight?

Preparation activity
With the news that we could ring over Christmas, and at closer spacing than previously, now might be the time to write or update your Covid risk assessment. Helen Allton was invited to give some advice on how to go about this task to the Truro Guild, and the talk is available here:
Link to the completed sample is here:…/R2R%20sample%20…<>

And with that I will wish you all as Merry a Christmas as you can manage and to hope that 2021 is better in many ways.


Helen Allton
Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers
telephone: 01832 735266
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Christmas ringing

Just to confirm, the change of Tiers locally does not impact on the already agreed concession to allow ringing over Christmas. 

The following can be found on the CC website, update for 16th Dec.

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 – 23rdto 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.

Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266

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Guild update Dec 13 th

A lot of updates for you this week, so I’ll hold the puzzles over for a bumper Christmas edition next week. 

Ringing for Christmas 

While ringing while in Tiers 2 and 3 is not something that the Bishop believes is allowable, there has been an agreement with the House of Bishops Covid Recovery team that we can ring for Christmas regardless of Tier. I think that should be viewed as good news. 

The time period of the relaxation is the same for the general relaxation for Christmas, 23rd to 27th Decemberinclusive. So ringing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and for Sunday service is all possible. 

The spacing between ringers has also been reduced to 1 metre, when ringers are wearing facemasks, taking good hand hygiene measures and remaining socially distant when accessing and leaving the ringing chamber, or when not ringing. The information is that surface contact is a lower risk than originally believed, such that periods between ringers on the same bell can be reduced from 72 hours. That, hopefully, will allow a few more towers to ring or to ring a few more bells.  

This has been communicated to the diocese and will be being sent to incumbents in the next communication from the Bishop. 

Make sure your Covid assessment is up to date, that your installation is safe and that your incumbent agrees to ringing. The Guild can assist if you need any help. 

Ringing in Tiers

Last time I shared the view of Bishop Donald, that ringing while in Tier 2 would not be permitted. The Central Council’s guidance was published later and is the same. It can be found here.

Ringing Recovery

The first in what is intended as a series of newsletter published by ART and the Central Council on how to get ringing going again, when we can, has been published. Attached & available here:

Youth Ringing

Alongside the return of schooling, there has been a move towards allowing youth groups to meet out of school settings. This will include youth ringing groups as of January 2021. There was an article published in this week’s Ringing World, and which is attached. It has not yet been published on the Central Council website. 

In very brief summary, if you have a group of under 18s, up to 6 of them can meet and ring for up to 45 minutes (including ringing up and down) with 2 additional DBS checked adults supervising (but not ringing). 

President’s Blog

Published here.

Stay well and there will be a fun packed update next week. 



Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266

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Guild update Nov 30th

Another fortnight seems to have passed us by. It seems that this year, at least, it is OK to put decorations up in November, so expect to see a bit of sparkle creeping into these updates…

Tier 2 post lockdown 2.
With the announcement earlier in the week that we will be in Tier 2 I can anticipate the next question: can we ring? I’ve been in touch with the diocesan office and the response from the Bishop is “The rule of six only applies outdoors in Tier 2. Indoor meetings (such as ringing) are not permitted”. We will just have to watch the announcements and re-evaluate should we be returned to Tier 1. If you have special circumstances, discuss directly with your incumbent.

As we have not been able to do all the fundraising we would normally do this gives us an opportunity to raise funds, to be able to throw our energies into getting ringers back onto ropes once we’re able to be back in towers.

Amazon Smile: If you already use Amazon, you probably know about Amazon Smile. This allows you to select a charity to support, and they receive 0.5% of your Amazon spend. That might not seem like a lot individually, but it soon adds up across multiple people. We have already received our first £1. Please consider supporting the Guild this way. We’re listed as “Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers”. Your data is already used by Amazon to target your adverts and encourage other people’s spending – this way you get a little something back for them using your information.
Movement for Good
We were successful with one of these campaigns in 2018 and received £1,000. That proves it can be successful and I hope we will be again; the more nominations, the greater our chances, so get clicking. Follow the link, add your details and submit to nominate us.<>

It may be that the current situation is somewhat hard to navigate. This should be easier. Can you make your way through the maze, “ringing” all of the bells as you go.

A selection of ringers were asked to provide the first words that came to mind when presented with some ringing terms. What ringing related item are they thinking of from this cloud of words?

Taking inspiration from Richard Osman’s house of games, it’s answer smash. The two answers overlap, letters at the end of the first answer are the start of the second. What’s the smashed answer to each pair of clues?

Testing your word skills this week with a word search of methods beginning with the letter L.

Ringing Training
Test your call change knowledge with this quiz from the Association of Ringing Teachers.
How do you keep track of where you are in the row? This article may help.…/uploads/2016/02/200012.pdf

Interesting items to catch up on
This is a recent post to YouTube, an evocative spoken poem to bells, sound and history. Excellent 10 minutes.

In case you missed it, Susan Calman gave bellringing try at Inverary on her Secret Scotland programme. Season 3, Episode 9. It was filmed in lockdown, so actual teaching wasn’t possible.…/season-3/episode-9

Bells and ringing featured on Martin Heath’s Radio Northampton show this morning, discussing the work going on to bells in Towcester. Check out Pt1: 2h49, Pt2: 3h39.
And the Rev Paula was able to bless the wheels before they were installed. She might not be the tallest person in the world, so it certainly puts the size of the wheels into perspective!

Central Council Updates
Planning for post pandemic ringing is being initiated at the Central council.
The winner of the October YouTube contents was announced. The final month’s topic is a film that promotes ringing in the most positive way.
And the President shared his latest Blog (although I would dispute that the car being referenced is in any way, shape or form actually a Mini – harrumph!)

I am still looking for a good Christmas photo of a church or ringing (maybe the Bell ringers decorated a Christmas tree in previous years?) with which to decorate the Guild’s Facebook page over the festive season.


Helen Allton
Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers
telephone: 01832 735266
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Update from the Guild.

Lockdown blues? Nothing to do? Nowhere to go? Helen’s letter below is full of things to keep you occupied!

Best wishes


Message from Helen:

Hopefully this finds you safe and well. Lockdown at least is less of a surprise to us all this time around. Although it’s a little less fun in November’s not very cheery weather. 


After both World wars, the Central Council produced books of remembrance of ringers who had lost their lives. The pages selected contain names from the diocese. As WW1 predates the formation of the Guild, the names are listed against the precursor societies.

WW2: Arthur Deacon, Owen Filler, Herbert HC Fry, Edward A Griffiths, Alfred G Humphrey, Robin (EG) Minney, Arthur S Morton, Richard J Smart. Also Hubert CG Partridge and Benjamin GA Wiseman, whose names were omitted.

During WW2, the Guild reports list those members who were serving in HM forces, with tower and, in some cases, branch of the services. Their names are listed by date first included in the report.

The Guild was pleased to be able to provide a clip of some half muffled ringing to the Diocese for use in their online and recorded services.

It’s usually around now that someone asks which side do you fit muffles… see here for all the practical information you don’t need this year. 😞

Interesting items to catch up on.  

Something quite different, a project out in Australia to install a carillon approaches completion.

If you would like a new challenge during this second lockdown, how about making a bell?!

The Ringing Isle: An introduction to bells in Britain from The Churches Conservation Trust’s lunchtime lecture series. Lecture by Gareth Davies, a ringer and postgrad researcher in Cambridge.

Central Council updates

The President’s latest blog

Bellringing featured in a magazine for the younger generation.

And there are plans being prepared for how we might aim to come out of this situation.


Some more word ladders. You can change 1 letter – and rearrange them to make a proper word or words (using all the letters). Can you do this sequentially to get from the first word to the second? If only it was actually that easy to go from Minimus to Max!

Monday’s mind bender shouldn’t tax you too much, it’s a wordsearch of methods beginning with the letter K. And as one of them is KYNEBURGHA, there’s a picture taken from the church dedicated to that saint.

And finally

Is it too early to mention the “C” word? This year’s seasonal stamp collection features stained glass from within the diocese. Letters to Europe can take something of home with them.

Speaking of which, if you have a suitably seasonal picture of your church, or a bell ringing related Christmassy image, I’d love to see it, to be able to use on the Facebook page. 

Thanks and 

Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266

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Guild update

Good morning everyone,

As Helen says below, oh dear here we go again, back into lockdown it seems….I always find November a rather gloomy miserable month & this one looks to be the worst ever.

I hope you are all keeping well and let’s hope that as the longer days and warmer weather begin to return our lives will also start to get back to normal. I’m going out to plant lots of bulbs now in the hope that by the time they are in flower I might be seeing my family, friends and even my church bells once more.

Best wishes


Helen’s message follows:

Oh dear. Back into deeper lockdown we all go. It is not entirely a surprise that it needs to happen, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to the prospect with great joy. We need to just make sure that we’re checking in on those who may be alone or vulnerable, making sure that they know someone is there for them. One last joyful ring this morning for us. I was getting a little more used to the odd combination of bells – although I still can’t tell when it’s about to come round!  

Ringing – or lack thereof

The latest announcement from the government seems to have put an end to regular worship again, and ringing along with that. The CofE and Central Council have not yet updated their guidance pages, but I do not expect there to be anything substantially different. Obviously with Remembrance Sunday next weekend it may be that some incumbents will want a bell tolling or chiming. We request that you take all sensible precautions, if this is the case. 

Brain training

A word puzzle for you. Can you change 1 letter, and rearrange the letters, if necessary, to make a sequence of words to convert the top word into the bottom word. There’s a worked example to get you started, hand to back in 3 moves. How many do you need to solve the other puzzles?

We’re entering a timewarp; it’s Thursday night, where do you fancy going ringing? Any of these towers would have done the trick, can you get them to fit?

Ringing knowhow

How many changes can you name?

And a good looking example of a video produced to promote ringing. How would you promote ringing? Get thinking for when we can get out and put ideas into action.

Central Council updates

The President’s latest blog has been published. I wonder what the Guild’s “average” tower is.

Meet the President

Just to remind you that Daventry & Kettering branches are next up to meet the President next weekend. Starting at 6pm, you can access the sessions via the link: 

DaventrySaturday 7th November
KetteringSunday 8th November
TowcesterSaturday 14th November
ThrapstonSunday 15th November
NorthamptonSaturday 21st November
PeterboroughSunday 22nd November
GuilsboroughSaturday 28th November
RutlandSunday 29th November

If there is anything you want to see, or have enjoyed, please get back to me. Or if you have an inventive streak that has been released in lockdown, I’m always happy to receive contributions. 

All the best


Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266

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