Return to Service Ringing – CCCBR update 03/07/2020
We had a further update from the Church of England Recovery Group last night that Public Health England (PHE) now wants to issue specific guidance about bell ringing but they will not be able to publish it until next week. They expect it to be based on what we have produced. Although the Church has published guidance, which we shared, they are understandably nervous about ringing this weekend in advance of PHE publication, especially if it gets into the press.
We had a conference call with Brendan McCarthy and Mark Betson of the Recovery Group this morning and whilst they stressed that anything published is guidance not instruction, they would really appreciate us waiting to restart ringing until after the PHE guidance is published. Given this is a new relationship that could be very important to us, we do not want to rock this boat for the sake of a week and some disappointment.
In the meantime, we have accumulated all of the questions we have received from ringers on the current guidance into a set of FAQs which we have publish on the website. This will include such things as why the guidance is still 2m rather than 1m, and whether family members can ring on adjacent bells. That can be found here:
We are studying the Scottish, Welsh and Irish guidance but in all cases church opening appears to be on a slower timetable than the Church of England.
An update on the ringing situation has been published here:
Covid-19 and AGM
Due to the Coronavirus lockdown we were unable to hold our AGM as planned at Blewbury on 16 May. It was particularly disappointing for the ONB Branch who had already spent time making arrangements for the day; when we cancelled there seemed no immediate prospect of being able to reschedule.
Gradually it became obvious that there could be a way of holding the AGM online, if we could find the right people to oversee the technology.
We are so very fortunate to have ringers with all the skills and after several meetings and much diligent paperwork, on Saturday 30 May, the Guild held the first AGM online.
Although lockdown is easing, we do not yet have any update on when we will be able to return to ringing church bells, in towers, in close company with other ringers. Therefore, all ringing, training and actual meetings remain cancelled. As soon as we receive directives from the Diocese and the Central Council, we will update the information. Until then it is essential to wait patiently and keep well.
All the information that has been circulated can be found at https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/ and https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has issued the following advice regarding suspension of ringing activities:
“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.
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