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
Firstly, let me wish you a happy new year and hope that 2021 is an improvement on 2020. I’m not sure it could be worse, but that strikes me as tempting fate, so I won’t be saying that, clearly! Hopefully we’ll be able to keep in touch and keep our spirits up through the darker months of the year.
We’re aware that there are Ringing Room sessions going on in towers and some branches, as well as across the wider ringing community. If there is anyone who would like to move on to surprise minor or major methods (for example) or to try quarters, the Guild can work to put like-minded people in touch and arrange sessions. If you’re looking to move on and need some support to do so, get in touch with the Master or Secretary to express your interest. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The PDG 12 days of Christmas
Over the holiday’s the Guild Secretary has been rather generous and sent everyone a full 12 days of ringing related presents. Enjoy!
. On the First day of Christmas, my Guild Secretary gave to me… … A Ringing World bumper copy.
This year’s Christmas edition of The Ringing World is a three week bumper sized copy, featuring a number of seasonal puzzles. If you’re a Guild member, or follow the Guild’s Facebook page you can send in your completed nonogram. Right answers received by the end of January will go into the hat for a prize.
· On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my Guild Secretary gave to me… … Twelve bells a-ringing
The glorious bells of Towcester being given a thorough workout by the Birmingham band.
Central Council Updates
The Central Council issued an update on its reform consultation. Changes will be afoot, it remains to be seen what changes there will be and what impact they will have on ringing and its organisation. https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reforms/
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).