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
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.
Peterborough Branch of the Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers
Agenda for AGM to be held January 16th 2021 at 2pm via ZOOM
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.
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.
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… https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/212038043734927 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? https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/212041203734611
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 https://youtu.be/FydDhuAYcOI 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! https://youtu.be/Dzc2TUNPA4I 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! https://youtu.be/TCQ-IV6l3ns
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.
Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers
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.
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).
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.
Fundraising 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. https://bit.ly/PDGnominate<https://bit.ly/PDGnominate?fbclid=IwAR0Aa6YUoU_Ae2fnslMfmRN-oRRtn53BE7CqQro0UZL4iOfkuZywWbxk2VA>
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? https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/194288792176519
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.
Lockdown blues? Nothing to do? Nowhere to go? Helen’s letter below is full of things to keep you occupied!
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. https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/192441939027871
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.
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. https://youtu.be/lqw6E9zQjtU
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! https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/192192952386103
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.
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.
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? https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/189655655973166
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?