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)

General Committee Meeting - December 2020

We continue with the monthly on-line meetings on the first Saturday morning of the Month. We started the meeting remembering the life of Alan Collings who will be sadly missed.

Sue Child has updated the Safeguarding policy to include on-line activities. Steph Pendlebury has completed the guidance notes for those organising association and district events. Both these documents will be appearing on the SCACR website. It is now a requirement of our insurers that all association and district events have a risk assessment. The Health and Safety policy is already available and to support this, members of the committee have produced sample Risk Assessments to act as a guidance. These will be made available very shortly. A valuable byproduct of producing these samples is that the District Secretaries are now experts on Risk Assessment.

One of the features of the meetings is a review of the past month’s activities. This month it was the ringing at Southover and Chichester on All Souls day to mark the opening of the #SussexTogether Festival, the pilot online training course, the quarter peal week+, and the handbell morning. All of these had been successful. A record 36 quarter peals were recorded!

Looking forward there will be a Christmas quiz night on the 18th December and there will be another handbell morning on the 30th of January. However, most of the discussion concerned building on the success of the pilot online training day. In order to get a rolling programme, we need volunteers to run and help on these sessions. Those who organised the pilot will address the training programme and Jonathan Franklin agreed to create a register of those willing to volunteer.

Coming to the end of the year we discussed how the ADMs are to be held and changes required to the membership renewal system. It was agreed that both of these would be best handled by focused work groups.

The next General Committee Meeting will be on the 1st Saturday in January.

Handbell Morning Report (Nov 2020)

A record turnout of both new and seasoned handbell ringers gathered on-line for the second ‘virtual’ SCACR handbell morning on 28th November. The event was so well subscribed some had to be turned away. As everyone responded to the prompt early ‘log-in’ there was debate as to whether this might be one of the highest attended SCACR meetings for the year.

The joy of Zoom meant that ex-Young Ringers of Sussex could join from their respective university locations across the country, breaking down the barriers of national lockdown and no Covid tests required!

The experience of and since the first virtual handbell morning back in September meant that the technology ran very smoothly with easy transfers into breakout rooms on Zoom. We occupied seven different RingingRoom towers across the county and rang methods from Plain Hunt to Surprise Major.

There were two ‘ringing’ sessions the first lasting an hour and the second 50 minutes, generally thought to be sufficient lengths of time for concentration on the screen. Progress was good with several goals for the morning being met.

Despite the numbers we were still able to have a good old natter in the coffee break, where as well as the weather and general well-being of attendees we debated the history of the terms ‘minor and major’.

The event was so popular that the next one is already in the diary for 30th January 2021. You might want to book a space early while you can by contacting Hamish at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alison Lucas

Coronavirus restrictions from 2nd December 2020

The government have recently announced the restrictions that will apply in England beyond Wednesday 2nd December.

East and West Sussex are being placed under Tier 2 'High Alert' restrictions.

Under Tier 2 restrictions it is not possible to socialise with anyone you don't live with (support bubbles are permitted) in an indoor environment. This includes while in a place of worship.

Unfortunately this means that ringing in towers can't resume for the time being. (It may be possible to ring within a family unit, the Central Council will hopefully advise later on in the week).

However, the rule of six is reintroduced for meeting outside. Therefore it is possible for socially distanced handbell ringing or other social activities to take place (weather permitting!).

There is a review of these restrictions on Wednesday 16th December, we can only hope that there is an easing into Tier 1 to allow ringing to resume once more.

For more information please read the Government local restriction tiers page, together with the updated CCCBR COVID guidance.

Rob Lane
Association Master

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