Remembrance Ringing

#bellringing traditions run deep. From Christmas morning, New Years Eve, weddings, funerals, but especially Remembrance Sunday.

In 2018 I was the project coordinator for the #Ringingremembers campaign, an initiative to recruit at least 1400 new bellringers to symbolically replace those that were lost during WW1, on the 100th anniversaryof the Armistice. The project was a massive success due to the community spirit in wanting a way to remember those who had died, as well as the hard work put in by the #bellringing community, who recruited and taught new ringers in the months leading up to the anniversary. So successful was the campaign that we recruited over double the original target.

Fast forward 2 years and it was a very different story this Remembrance Sunday. Due to lockdown restrictions #bellringing has been severly curtailed since March, and there hasn’t been a full return to ringing since the first lockdown yet.

Therefore #bellringing this Remembrance Sunday featured the lone tolling of one bell to mark the Nation’s tribute to the fallen. For many ringers this has been one of the most painful days of not being able to ring.

What is worrying is that all the efforts put in 2 years plus ago, might be undone, as we’re nowhere near a return yet. And when we do return, how many of our number won’t? Whether age, infirmities or loss of interest, those who can’t or who have found other things take up their time, I’m sure the number of ringers will have diminished.

The Central Council of Church Bellringers is working hard to keep things going and formulating plans for a return to ringing, but there may not be another hook for us to regain a recruitment campaign in quite the same manner.

As with most #bellringing activities the rewards are commensurate with the amount of effort put in. In the coming months and years we are going to need to put in a huge effort to reap the rewards.

Time to get the thinking caps on and start planning.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s