And the bells are (or are not) ringing out for Christmas Day

This Christmas for bellringers, like everyone else, is very different. We would have ordinarily have rung every night this week for the various Carol Services, as well as practice night and Sunday Service. Instead, we’re at home, watching TV.

Over the last few months we’ve gone from ringing 5 bells, the two of us and a family of 3, alternating with another group of three, at socially distanced sides of the ringing chamber, to just me and him ringing 2 bells for 3 short bursts totalling 15 minutes.

A few weeks ago it looked like we might have been able to ring 5 bells again for Christmas as restrictions were being relaxed, but then restrictions tightened again, so on Christmas morning it’ll just be me and him again.

The cathedral isn’t even able to have a congregation, which seems so weird considering g it’s one of the biggest days in the liturgical calendar, but health and safety comes first. The choir prerecorded singing and Nine Lessons and Carols were prerecorded and streamed on social media. A shame there wasn’t any bells at the beginning. They already have some recordings we sent earlier in the year, so they could have done.

We shall ring our 2 bells on Christmas morning, so some semblance of tradition. I suspect that the only people to hear us will be the verger and preacher in the Cathedral and the local seagulls and pigeons. But we shall herald the arrival of Christmas Day.

Have as merry a Christmas as you can and stay healthy.


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