Many ringers will be saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth II and will wish to mark this historic moment appropriately. The recently updated "Operation London Bridge" guidance for bellringers is available here. This guidance was produced by the Central Council in consultation with the Church of England.
Summary of Guidance
- Bells should be rung half or fully muffled depending on how many muffles you have. If you have enough muffles it would be appropriate to ring fully muffled with the tenor backstroke open.
- Ringers are encouraged to ring at 12 noon on Friday 9th September, for one hour if possible.
- Provided that ringing has been approved by the church authorities and does not conflict with other guidance, longer lengths of ringing may be appropriate.
- If you have weddings that have booked the bells in the next 10 days, your tower captain should discuss with the incumbent whether or not the bells should be rung.
- Ringing over the next 10 days:
- Bells should remain half or fully muffled until the day that the Palace proclaims the new Monarch. At that point bells should be rung open in celebration of the accession at a practicable time (again, with the agreement of the church) following the announcement.
- Bells should then revert to being rung half or fully muffled until the day of the state funeral (10 days after the announcement of the death).
- On the day of the funeral bells should be tolled for the hour immediately prior to the time of the Funeral Service. This may afford those an opportunity to ring a quarter peal, but general ringing or tolling would be acceptable.
Notes on ringing muffled
Two muffles can be fitted, one on each side of the clapper, to fully muffle the bell. For safety reasons, muffles should always be fitted and removed with the bells down. To muffle the backstroke, put the muffle on the side of the clapper that is furthest away from the rope. To muffle the handstroke, put the muffle on the side of the clapper that is nearest to the rope.
Ringing in memory of The Queen may be linked to the Bellboard event for this occasion.