Updates for members from GCM - January 2021

Zoom screenshot

The first monthly General Committee Meeting of 2021 was held on zoom on 2nd January.  Hamish McNaughton confirmed that the Risk Management Policy has now been completed and is on the website, and that the updated Safeguarding Policy would also be available on the website shortly, subject to proof-reading.

We discussed the forthcoming ADMs and agreed that these would be conducted via Zoom with facility for online voting (to be trialled before the meetings take place).  It is also likely that the AGM will be held on Zoom.

There is now an Association Zoom account, controlled by the Master, Rob Lane (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), for SCACR use.  The Events calendar will be used to govern usage (and prevent clashes).  Please get in touch with Rob if you would like to use the Association Zoom account for an Association/District online practice or event.

Read more: Updates for members from GCM - January 2021

Change Ringing Handbell Morning (Jan 2021)

Following-on from the successful Handbell mornings of 19 September and 28 November, another event will be held on 30th January 2021.

This event is open to all, especially:

  • Handbell groups in Sussex and near by
  • Those who enjoy change ringing on handbells but do not have a regular practice
  • Those who want to have a go

If you are not used to the technology, there will be a familiarization session from 9.45am to 12.30pm on Saturday 23rd January 2020.

On the day, there will be three focus groups:

  • Plain hunting to Plain Bob
  • Plain Bob to Treble Bob
  • Beyond Treble Bob

If you would like to join in please email Hamish McNaughton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating which of the focus groups you would like to join and whether you would like to take advantage of the familiarization session. Information regarding logging into Zoom and the Ringing Rooms will be supplied to those wishing to attend.

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Christmas Ringing Update

The CCCBR - Central Council of Church Bell Ringers have today (21 Dec) issued an update regarding Christmas ringing, and ringing in Tier 4 areas (Hastings and Rother in the Eastern District come under Tier 4) which can be found here: https://cccbr.org.uk/2020/12/21/christmas-ringing-and-tier-4-england/

Ultimately the message is simple, think whether ringing is really necessary.

Whilst Christmas is usually a time for celebration, when we ring out to wish peace on earth and good will to all, we are this year faced with a double edged sword; the much anticipated good news that a vaccine has been developed and is now being rolled out to those most vulnerable, combined with the unwanted mutation of COVID-19 into a more transmissible virus.

In the past week the number of infections within Sussex has risen in all areas (except Horsham), in Adur alone they have tripled. This is worrying news indeed and reason enough to think twice before mixing with others unnecessarily.

The end of this pandemic is on the horizon, but it would seem that things are going to get tougher over the next few months, before they get better. We need to show one last push of determined resolve to fend this disease off and help keep each other safe.

This year has been tough on all of us and we have lost friends and family along the way, but I am immensely proud of how we have all pulled together and kept the spirit of our Association alive.

I sincerely hope that 2021 is a better year, and that once the vaccine is rolled out on a large scale that we can come together and enjoy ringing together once more.

Please stay safe this Christmas.

Rob Lane (Master)

Christmas Ringing (2020)

Simon Linford, President of the Central Council for Church Bellringers, made the following announcement on 8th December with details of Church of England guidance on ringing for Christmas.

We have agreed with the House of Bishops Covid recovery team that an exception should be made to the current ringing guidance across all Tiers in England for those bands that wish to ring for services over Christmas, in the period where the household restrictions are also being lifted. This will allow bells to be rung for key services including those on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and also for the 6pm Christmas Eve ringing which has been widely suggested.

This is on the assumption that the announcement on 16th December does not introduce some catastrophic restriction on the opening of churches (which seems unlikely). We are still consulting on whether this can be adopted in other countries in the British Isles which may be subject to other restrictions.

The current guidance for ringing in Tier 1 will be adopted for towers in all three Tiers just for Christmas, that being 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.

Read more: Christmas Ringing (2020)

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