Summary of Northern ADM (Feb 2021)

What a difference a year makes! In February 2020, we enjoyed ringing on the fabulous new Westley bells at Lindfield, followed by an excellent ringers’ tea and plenty of opportunity to chat with friends from across the District. And of course the meeting, which was almost a minor detail!

Sadly, the 2021 Annual District Meeting didn’t involve ringing on actual bells, or ringers’ tea (although I was impressed that some attendees had made valliant efforts to mark the occasion with cake), or seeing one another in-person. But we were able to meet online, have a chat, and hold a meeting to elect the District committee, nominate Association officers (to be elected at the AGM in May), and hear updates on District activities.

Read more: Summary of Northern ADM (Feb 2021)

Rehang and Blessing of the Bells of Rodmell (6)

Earlier this month, the bishop of Lewes attended a service to bless the church bells at St Peter’s Rodmell in East Sussex. The six bells had recently been returned after major restoration, with new fittings, frame strengthening and retuning.

At the special outside service, to observe the social distancing, Bishop Will was joined by the Archdeacon of Brighton and Lewes, Martin Lloyd Williams, the Rev Mary Sitwell and many local people and church goers involved in the project.

Bishop Will wrote: “It was so wonderful to be in Rodmell and play a part in the fantastic restoration of a much loved but long silent peal of bells. Bells have a special place in the life of God’s people: the peal of bells mark the hours for prayer and call us to worship; bells alert us to both important happy and sad events, in the life of the church and the community. This is I suspect why they are often called the ‘voice’ of the local church and why there is an ancient tradition of Christening bells giving them the names of Saints.

“This has been a real local project and thanks are due to so many, but one name was very much in our hearts. The Rev Marcus Brown played such a big role within the life of local church communities and was passionate about getting the bells restored. One of the last trips he made was to see the bells removed from the tower. Marcus sadly died last year and It is very appropriate that his name is recorded on a plaque attached to the tenor bell. We continue to pray for Jenny and the family as they mourn his death. As that bell is rung many will remember him and the faith that he proclaimed that calls us to the eternal love of God.”

The service was also a celebration of local people coming together to make it all possible. In the service order thanks were given to church member and neighbour, Michael Royalton-Kisch, whose generosity, energy and vision made the project happen and kept it on track, and to local farmer Chris Wetton and his men by bringing the heavy bells uphill to the church.

Huge thanks also go to all the villagers who supported the project, and who are looking forward to hearing the full peal in due course.

Now the bells are back in their rightful place in the church tower and ringing will resume. Several Southern District events will be held ar Rodmell this year.

Photo courtesy of Lorna Melia. Article republished from the Diocese of Chichester webpage.

Change Ringing Handbell Morning (March 2021)

Following-on from the successful Handbell mornings in SeptemberNovember and January, another event will be held on 27th March 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

On the day, there will be three focus groups:

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

If you are not used to the technology, please contact Hamish and he will arrange a familiarization session.

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. Information regarding logging into Zoom and the Ringing Rooms will be supplied to those wishing to attend.

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Handbell Morning Report (Jan 2021)

The increasing popularity of handbells during this pandemic was evident in the record numbers attending the SCACR Handbell Morning on Saturday 30th January. Once again the magic of Zoom brought together members located across the country to ring in eight different RingingRoom groups, with handbell experience ranging from zero to Surprise Major and beyond.

This is the third such online event and with each session the technology and our use of it improves. The morning consists of two one hour ringing sessions. Group members are different in each session, which offers the opportunity to meet and ring with new people and share tips and ideas as to how to improve.

The feedback at the end was extremely positive. Thankfully internet issues were kept to a minimum and everyone had been able to have a go at the challenges they had set themselves. It is hoped that the event will now prompt the setting up of individual handbell groups and ad hoc sessions to further promote the art.

The only downside of a virtual event is that you have to provide your own refreshments. There was some cake envy during the break time and some relief that Zoom is not yet capable of transmitting the aroma of freshly cooked bacon! This was followed by some reminiscing of the good old days when we used to meet up in person. Alas it looks like a return to such happy times may still be some way off, so whilst we patiently wait a further online event is already in the diary for 27th March 2021.

Alison Lucas

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