As ringers we often take it for granted that we are able to ring tower bells for church services throughout the year. Many of us are fortunate in having an agreed time in which to practise our ringing skills too. During the pandemic, however, all this has changed. There has been a significant reduction, or even a total pause, in live church services and a corresponding halt to service ringing. Change can sometimes promote opportunity though. The present situation, and that going forward, provides a chance for us to build a stronger relationship with our church communities: we need to be proactive, make contact and encourage discussions as to how ringing can be an integral part of the activities and mission of our churches.
Larger churches may also have:
Sonia Field writes about working with the church at Harrow Weald during lockdown. An almost silent tower is unlikely to stay silent when ringing resumes, with a band of ringers champing at the bit, ready and waiting ... and a very warm welcome and appreciation from the church.
Virtual ringing for a Virtual Service was a great experience for the Lytchett Matravers banc. Our Vicar, Stephen Partridge, joined in and covered to Plain Hunt. He already adds an old recording of us ringing before and after our Virtual Service so to include a short video for the online congregation of us ringing online was great fun and we received some amazing comments on email and Facebook afterwards.
This is a great way of showing your local community what you're doing when you can't ring your real bells. You can also add your recording to your local online church service and put ringing at the heart of your church community.