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Message from the Guild Master – March 2020

How quiet everywhere has become, not just the absence of our beloved bells, there are far fewer vehicles on our roads, no shrill playground noise, no one stopping for a gossip on the streets, no happy camaraderie at closing time, even the houses seem shut up and silent.

Many ringers are highly inventive and are trying to keep their skills alive in a variety of ways, some more curious than others.  There is plenty that can be done; learning methods is an obvious diversion, planning a virtual outing including pubs could be another, having a go at composition or simply doing certain Pilates exercises to keep the right muscles trim!

It’s early days; even now I can see how we are looking out for our ringing friends.  There are up-lifting newsletters, Facebook amusements, Facetime conversations, emails and text messages and, most of all, welcome, friendly phone calls which do much to lift the spirits and to hear another voice, especially for those who are self-isolating on their own.

These challenging times have left us stunned and quiet, giving us unexpected time for reflection. How often do we wonder, when was the last time …. I cut the grass, called auntie, had a haircut, dusted the house, tidied up the shed and so on?  And of course, we can’t quite remember.  But I expect every ringer would be able to say exactly the last time they rang a bell and enjoyed the company of other ringers.  We have to hold on to the memory of those more carefree days.

I have a friend who has decided to learn a poem every day; John Betjeman’s Uffington seems to suit the time and mood:

Uffington

Tonight we feel the muffled peal

Hang on the village like a pall;

It overwhelms the towering elms –

That death-reminding dying fall;

The very sky no longer high

Comes down within the reach of all.

Imprisoned in a cage of sound

Even the trivial seeks profound.

It would be amazing if we had been allowed to ring during this curfew, we would have been heard, and noticed, far and wide!  That is just a dream, but hopefully when we come away from these distressing days, we WILL be able to celebrate and ring out loud and clear for all the world to hear!

 

The best of wishes to you all.

Katie Lane, March 2020

Covid-19 update

To all our ringing friends in the ODG and across the country.
Following the announcement from the Government, all ODG ringing activities are suspended until further notice. 
Bells throughout the country will become silent for the first time in 75 years.
We know that our ringing community will support one another during this perilous time, keep in touch with one another and ask when help is needed.
It may be many months until we can ring again, but we will.
May you all keep safe and well.
Katie – ODG Master

CCCBR update

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has issued the following advice regarding suspension of ringing activities:

Coronavirus – Covid-19 – Update

“If you haven’t already decided to cancel ringing activities, it seems that now is the time to do so.”

(quote from CCCBR article issued on 16/03/2019)

 

Some meetings have already been cancelled.

Welcome to the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

The ODG has the largest membership in the country and its territory contains the cities, towns and villages of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.
We have 15 Branches, and today the approximate 2400 membership represents over 400 ringable towers.  
Our Bell Fund is managed by Trustees and effectively assists in the care, maintenance and restoration of bells through the Diocese.
Our Guild has a great history that can be traced back to1881; many men and women have enriched the Guild by their energy, skill and ability. To maintain our successful, vibrant 21st Century Guild we support our current membership through active recruitment, teaching new recruits as well as teaching experienced ringers to teach well and safely, and we all enjoy social gatherings. 
We are delighted with the developing bands of young ringers, we value the dedication of the established bands, we acknowledge the work and enthusiasm of all our ringing teachers, and we are grateful for the support of the diocesan clergy in the work that we do for the Diocese.
 

Whether you are an ODG member seeking information, a new recruit, or just browsing we hope that you will find this website helpful.

 

History

Our Guild has a great history that can be traced back to 1881; many men and women have enriched the Guild by their energy, skill and ability. To maintain our successful, vibrant 21st Century Guild we support our current membership through active recruitment, teaching new recruits as well as teaching experienced ringers to teach well and safely, and we all enjoy social gatherings.

News

ODD BOB issue 102

ODD BOB issue 102 is now available, courtesy of Rob Needham. Our young ringers have been as busy as ever. There’s plenty to read about despite the lack of recent ringing. Download now using the link below. ODD BOB issue 102

AGM 2020

Please note, the original AGM scheduled for 16th May has been postponed. See http://odg.org.uk/message-from-the-hon-general-secretary/ The meeting shall now take place on Saturday 30th May at 1700 on Zoom. For more information about Zoom, click here (opens in new window). The Guild AGM is to be held online on Saturday 30th May with the business meeting …