How to use PetNet


This page shows posts sent out by Branch Committee Members and Tower Captains giving information about Events in the Peterborough Branch or requesting help.

To receive copies of these posts by email,  please click on “Follow” at the bottom
right-hand corner of this site.

Weekly Update

 Helen’s weekly update:

Bells on Sunday

Bells on Sunday comes from Sheffield Cathedral this week.


Competition Time!

Two competitions this week, your chance to get involved.

Ringers’ Tea

One thing that no ringing means is no ringing teas! In which case, let’s have one virtually.

Submit a picture of anything you have made or baked that could form part of a ringers’ tea. Savouries (bread, sausage rolls, cheese straws etc) or sweet (large cakes, cup cakes, slices, traybakes etc.)
Does not have to have been produced during lockdown, can be anything you’ve produced in the past, but it must be your work. No M&S cheating allowed!
Submit pictures of your contribution to the tea by posting to the Guild Facebook page OR by e-mailing the Guild Secretary (e-mail address: )

We’ll close entries 3 weeks before the AGM (currently 19th Sept, so end August ish) and vote for a winner, which will be announced at the AGM. No prizes, this is for pride!

A Puzzle

Read the following text carefully. Devised by the Secretary herself, she’ll offer a prize if you can solve it. Answers to the Secretary on the same address as above.

“Times for a brain to make a difference. So try Peterborough in surprise; rings out clear. I chose the one that dings not once, not twice. Follow a path in the dance, live on the edge – when the Nine Tailor is rung for your years…
Dorothy was sure the twists was the star turn, other writers fail to match her in ringing the three to the round. And Stand.
A test to gain a prize – SURPRISE!! We seek a book herein in this line, hidden between gibberish. Be brave! Be Lateral! Be Literal! And track and trace down, with a brave spirit, the code to crack; even results may be hard won. The answer does not always run true. Rung for hundred years, more, the method lines order entwines to obvious neglect. Odd on, these linings are not sight unseen, ‘tis just ill chances lie they in the midsts of blue directory of our Guild.
Revive itself eventually. This, too, will pass. Until all may ring again this does aim – with something near – a puzzle. This answer may not take you long to solve; all told it took an hour (at least) deriving time. To win the prizes, answers (happily) sent posted to secretary; or e-mails sent by end August; in order for one very smart body to pick up a trophy awarded at AGM ending.”


Training Ideas

How about some handbells? If you’ve ever wondered about how to ring two bells at once, now might be the time to try it out. The Central Council has a publication that is currently free to download.…/the-beginners-guide-to-change-ringi…/
No bells? that’s not a problem. Ringers have been known to clear pubs and train carriages by ringing handbells “on thumbs” so it might be a useful skill to practice. 🙃
If you got really good, maybe it could sound like this clip of 24 handbells at The Ringing World’s 100th anniversary event.

And there’s a YouTube video on the subject.


Blast from the past

This week we have a photograph is of the band that rang the first peal for the Guild. It was at St Giles Church Desborough on 9th February 1924. In order front row: 2, 1, 8, 7 back row: 3, 4, 5, 6

( sorry every one I can’t import this photo – you can see it on the Guild’s Facebook page Sylvia ) 

How many more photographs of peal bands and their peal boards are there out there? Send them in and we can make a collection ahead of the 100th anniversary in 2024.


Central Council Communications

Communications of interest this week are:

President’s blog Number 10

Sounds like he’s had a busy week.


Returning to Ringing

The Stewardship and Management Workgroup would like to remind us all that, after such a long hiatus,  we should ensure the bells have been checked prior to ringing. The Guild and Branch Stewards will be able to take the lead on this.


Ringing In Lockdown

There was a news item you may have seen on Saturday night’s evening news about ringing in lockdown and the use of Ringing Room. It’s a positive piece and if you can share it, please do. If your band is using RingingRoom, how about following up with an article for your parish magazine or local news sheet? There’s probably not a lot going on, they may well welcome something to fill some space! Or get in touch if you want to try it and are not sure where to start.


Central Council meeting

An update with respect to the next Council meeting, due in September.


I hope that you’re all keeping as well as can be. Do get in touch if there’s anything you want or need, we’re here to try and support you. Stay safe out there.





Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266

Guild Weekly Update

Hello everyone

I hope you are all well. I’m a bit late forwarding Helen’s weekly letter this week. No real  excuses for my tardiness- just blame to sunny weather and the fact that I was tired out from long hot days in the garden.

I haven’t downloaded the puzzles this week but if you are a keen puzzler please look on the Guild’s face book page and I think you will find some of them there.

All best wishes


Helen’s letter:


Another busy week of communications for you.

Last chance!

Nominations for Ecclesiastical’s “Movement for Good” awards close on Sunday 24th (that’s later today, as I write this). One last chance for you to nominate the Guild might be the one that wins. Please take 2 minutes to follow the link.

1) Visit the website:
2) Fill in the form using Charity Number 258271 and Charity Name Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers
3) Tell your friends and keep your fingers crossed!

Bells on Sunday

Bells on Sunday comes from Bentley in Hampshire this week.

Exercises for the body

Exercise 10.

This concludes the set of 10 exercises that are intended to keep your ringing muscles in trim. Do let me know how you’re finding them. I hope they have been helpful to you and that you’ll feel the benefit. Let me know if you want more of these; additional torture sessions can be arranged!

Blast from the past

This is a ringer’s edition of Songs of Praise, recorded at St Martin in the Fields in 1991. How many familiar faces can you spot? There are quite a few local connections. Do let us know who you can spot. Try not to laugh too much at the hair and glasses!

Central Council Communications

There’s been quite a lot of traffic this week, but nothing urgent to report or communicate.

Reminder about Westley Award

Just a reminder that there are only a few days left to submit nominations for the “Westley Award for Belfry Maintenance” This is an award for people becoming involved in maintenance of tower bells, to be awarded at the CCCBR meeting in September 2020. The closing date is at noon on Sunday 31st May  2020. Full details are here:


YouTube competition (May)

Also closing on Sunday 31st May is this month’s YouTube competition for good examples of striking on 6 bells. There’s a £200  prize available. Information can be found here: Entries and questions can be mailed to

You can start thinking about June’s competition, which will be for an unusual or interesting ringing video. That could be intriguing!


Stewardship & Management Group

News item added to the CCCBR website: Stewardship & Management Workgroup Update – May 2020…/stewardship-management-workgroup-up…/

VE Day Reminiscences

For VE day, a short interview with Eric Hitchins and Dennis Brock was recorded to be played on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme. Unfortunately, this was unable to be played, due to scheduling issues with Covid-19 announcements. It is available to listen to here:…/bbc-interviews-with-bell-ringing-ve…/

And Finally…

We have some local celebrities! Ringers from the Northampton Ringing Hub feature in the latest edition of TowerTalk. This is produced by ART and is aimed at learners. It can be accessed here:

There is a companion piece, ART Works, which is aimed at those teaching. Both are made available to all ringers who are interested.

I hope that you’re all keeping as well as can be. Do get in touch if there’s anything you want or need, we’re here to try and support you. Stay safe out there.



Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266

Weekly Update from the Guild

Dear All

Please see Helens’s weekly letter below. There are some important items to note, changes to dates for the AGM and festival  (which I’ve amended in the events section of the Branch website although of course details are still to be finalised) and two important documents relating to Covid and Bellringing which are in the downloads section.

Its been such an age since I saw any of you but I hope you are all fine and at least enjoying the sunny weather.

All best wishes


Guild Events

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone; the Guild has decided to postpone the Guild AGM. This was due to be held 13th June at Towcester. That is clearly not going to be possible. After discussion with branches involved, we’ll plan to hold the Guild AGM at Towcester on 19th September. The AGM is intended to start at 6pm, all other arrangements will be announced in advance, depending on the situation at the time.

The 19th September was the date of the Summer Festival. It was decided that as this is already a Guild event date, it would be better to use this for the Guild AGM, as it will already be in all your diaries. That does mean that the Summer Festival will have to move. This is provisionally planned for Welford, in the Guilsborough branch on 3rd October. I think we’ll rename it the Autumn Festival, just for this year. Again, arrangements will depend on the situation at the time.

Bell on Sunday

Bells on Sunday comes from Brailes in Warwickshire this week. The 3rd heaviest ring of six, there’s never been a peal on them. The tower has a tendency to go for a walk around the village while ringing, meaning they’re somewhat “challenging”! Which makes these call changes really quite respectable.

Exercises for the body

Exercises 8&9 this week.

Next week will see the 10th and final exercise – do let me know how you’ve found these and if you want more of them .

Central Council

The CCCBR – Central Council of Church Bell Ringers president shares his thoughts in blog number 9. What do you think? Discuss, then let him (and us) know.

Covid & Lockdown

I could end up sounding very depressing if I passed on each communication as it arrived – and you’d get fed up with me. I intend to gather anything that needs communicating into this weekly digest, unless there is anything that needs communicating more urgently. I hope that will be satisfactory for everyone.

Positive news at a difficult time.

A really good, positive article on ringing in lockdown. What are you doing to keep your band together? Consider working that into an article for the parish magazine or local newsletter.

Central Council’s COVID summary statement

After the latest government guidance and the updated information from the House of Bishops, the Central Council has issued the summary statement on ringing and chiming. This was sent out to all societies this week and has also been communicated to the diocese.

( I’ve put this articled into the Branch website. You can find it here:

Sylvia )

Central Council’s COVID discussion document from the CCCBR this week is a document discussing what are the risks to ringing from COVID. It aims to prompt discussion as to what are the risk and how can these be reasonably reduced. It may be that different ringers and towers are able to address these in different ways at different times.

(You can also find this article here:

CofE’s response to last weekend’s announcement

Available here:

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said: “We note from the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy that churches could be open from July as part of the conditional and phased plan to begin lifting the lockdown. We look forward to the time when we are able to gather again in our church buildings.

“We are examining what steps we will need to take to do so safely and are actively planning ahead in preparation. We strongly support the Government’s approach of continuing to suppress the transmission of the virus and accordingly, we recognise that at this time public worship cannot return in the interests of public health and safety.”

And that’s me done for the week. Stay safe out there and keep in touch.


Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266

Weekly Update

Hello everyone

Please find Helen’s weekly update below. I have also put the C of E advice on entering church buildings during the Covid19 restrictions into the downloads section of the Branch website. It includes a section on bell ringing. You can find it here:

There doesn’t look to be much light at the end of the tunnel yet, but however far away it is at least it is nearer than it was..

Best wishes


Helen’s message:

Another week done and at least there is now some discussion of relaxing lockdown – although not quite yet and in stages. Fingers crossed we’ll see that happen in the next few weeks.  Things to keep the ringing mind entertained this week include:

Church Bells on Sunday.

Bells on Sunday comes from Westminster Abbey. It was recorded during the VE commemoration of 2015 and features rounds and firing. That’s hard to get right and this is good, but not perfect. Not tried it? Check your pinnacles first!

Your Guild needs you

To get your clicking fingers out. Ecclesiastical have launched their Movement for Good, which will see 500 charities receive £1000 in the first round of funding. The more times we are nominated, the greater the chance we have of receiving a grant. We did so last year, with £1000 going into the training fund, let’s pull together and see if we can achieve the same. Please can you all:

1.       Visit their website by visiting their website  before SUNDAY, MAY 24

2.       Fill in the ‘Nominate a Charity’ form using ‘Charity number’ 258271 which should bring up the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers in the ‘Charity Name’ box.

3.       Select a ‘charity type’, I used “Heritage Arts” this time.

4.       ‘Who are you?’  Select “Other”

5.       Ask your friends and family to do the same before May 24 and keep your fingers crossed! You may nominate multiple times if you hold multiple e-mail addresses…


VE Day anniversary

The latest podcast from Fun with Bells recounts the ban on ringing in WW2 and ringing for VE day.

At the time of writing, ringing remained suspended with lockdown still in place, with that confirmed by the diocese and Bishop Donald. There is guidance from the CCCBR on Covid-19 and ringing available and this will be updated as the situation evolves. It can be found here

The latest guidance from the CofE and the House of Bishops acknowledges that this is an evolving situation. This can be found here.

It is clearly going to be a while longer before we can consider ringing. The guild will continue to monitor the situation, will communicate with the diocese and will pass on information and advice from relevant sources as it becomes available.

Puzzle Time:

This is a wordsearch produced by Taylor’s bell foundry featuring rings of 12 they have worked on. It can be found here


An additional warmup exercise and something to challenge you this week. These have been added to the exercises published so far and all are available on their own page on the Guild website. You can find all of the exercises here:

Exercise 6: Added warm up – Good Morning

This is an exercise to add to your warm up. Start with arms above the head and swing them downwards past your hips and behind you. At the same time, bend the body at the hips, bringing the chest towards the knees. It’s a bit like a bow, hence its name – Good Morning. Swing the arms back up while you stand up and return to the start position. The knees should only bend enough to keep your balance, the idea isn’t to work them here. Try for a set of 10 rest and repeat 2-3 times. You can alternate this with the ski style lunges to get really warmed up and use more of the body.

Exercise 7: Tricep Dips

Something to work the triceps. These don’t get a lot of work, so this can be hard. Start by sitting on the edge of bottom step of the stairs, with your hands either side of you. The fingers should face forward to make sure that you engage the tricep. Hands should be either side of your bottom, not too far apart. Now lift your bottom off the step and lower it towards the floor, and return to the level of the step. Make sure that you don’t hunch the shoulders, make sure the elbows bend to lower you and straighten to return.
To make the exercise harder, move your feet further out.
If that’s a bit challenging – and it might be if you’re not used to this – you can make it easier by sitting on the floor. Use your arms to recline and elevate the upper body, as per the Youtube link Make sure to make your arms do the work, don’t rely on your stomach muscles.

And that’s all I have for this week. If there is anything you want more of, do let me know. And if anyone has any ideas for subject matter or contributions they’ll be gratefully received. Stay safe out there and keep in touch.


Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers




telephone: 01832 735266




CCBR Letter re Covid19

COVID-19 and ringing Central Council position statement May 5th 2020
It is expected that the UK Government will announce plans for a gentle easing of the
current lockdown on Sunday May 10th and ringers have already been asking if that means
they may return to ringing as normal. The key consideration at all times must be the safety
of individual ringers, others with whom they ring and those with whom they live or may
come into contact.
We do not know what the Government will propose but it is clear that, as lockdown is
gradually eased, the re-opening of sections of the economy will be a priority and major
restrictions on the activities of all of us will remain in place for a significant period.
Government and public health teams working with others will be maintaining a very close
watch on new cases and hospitalization of people with COVID-19. Ways of tracking of
where such patients have been and tracing of all of their contacts will be key. All of this will
take time to put in place.
The Central Council’s guidance to ringers is that currently it is too early for any return to
ringing and that the current suspension of all ringing of any kind should remain in place.
This includes chiming of single bells and the use of Ellacombe chimes. We will be sharing
this guidance with the Church of England and ringing societies and where possible with
other bell owning organisations.
Over recent weeks Dr Phillip Barnes, a recently retired NHS Consultant and Medical
Director as well as a member of the CC Executive, has been reviewing the emerging
scientific and medical evidence about COVID-19 and what it means for the safety of
ringing. The key issues which affect the safety of ringing are the physical environment of
towers including access to ringing rooms, the space between ropes, how to maintain hand
hygiene in towers and the numbers of people in a restricted space for a relatively long
period of time. Even if churches reopen, the environment in towers is very different.
This evidence review is being published online this week via the Central Council website
and an article will appear in next week’s edition of The Ringing World. Guidance on how it
might be possible to restart ringing and what restrictions and precautions would be needed
to do so are an integral part of this work.
The evidence and guidance will be reviewed formally at least monthly as well as in the light
of any significant developments. We are all as keen as anyone to get back to ringing as soon
as possible, but that must only occur when it is completely safe to do so.
For and on behalf of the CC Executive.

V E Day

From Helen:

I’m aware that this Friday is the anniversary of VE day and that some people may want to ring to mark the occasion. Obviously the incumbent has the ultimate authority in such a request. However, in light of the government’s current COVID response measures, the Guild, the CCCBR, The Diocese of Peterborough and Bishop Donald all consider ringing to be inappropriate at this time.

If this has arisen in your branch, and it would help, please pass this message on. I’m not expecting it to have been a common occurrence.

This YouTube video, from the CCCBR, is a good explanation for non-ringers.