Dear members and friends,
The recent advice from HM Government to avoid all unnecessary social contact has been followed today by a call from the Archbishops to put all public worship in the Church of England on hold.
It follows that all ringing should now cease no matter what that ringing is for. It also follows that the Association should, for the time being, suspend all organised events whether ringing or social.
- The Association AGM, which is due to be held on Easter Monday April 13th, is postponed.
Our Association rules require us to hold an AGM between Easter and July 31st so for the time being this is a postponement rather than cancellation. We may be able to hold an AGM later, depending on all of the circumstances at that time. I should like to thank the Lewisham District for all of their hard work in pulling together what looked like a great programme and I am very sad that we find ourselves having to postpone.
- I am also asking that our District officers cancel all organised events during the period when we are being asked to avoid all unnecessary social contact.
- It is my view that there should be no other tower bell ringing until the guidance on social gatherings is changed. The Central Council has issued guidance to this effect.
- I am afraid that the same advice has to apply to non-ringing gatherings of ringers.
All of this is extremely tough. For many of us, ringing is an integral part of our lives – not only a hobby but a way of life. We need not give up all of our interest in ringing and there are many things we can do to help advance our ringing even while we are not in the tower. We can practice our listening skills, learn or brush up on ringing theory. It could be a time to learn more about ringing history or to get your ringing records up to date. There are some great computer programs, such as Abel or Beltower, with which we can practice some of the methods we learn – and with a perfect band around us! Wouldn’t it be great if, when the time comes, we were able to get back to ringing better trained and informed than before.
We are, above all, a family of ringers. I hope that everyone – Districts, towers, groups of towers and individuals will think actively of how we can maintain contact and support each other. I hope also we will look out for one another and especially for those of our members who are particularly at risk and who may be feeling particularly lonely or vulnerable.
Take care everyone and stay safe.