As I write this it’s Good Friday afternoon, the hot cross buns have been eaten, the sun is out and in many ways it seems not much different to normal. We haven’t rung this week, but that’s usual too in Holy Week.
But of course it’s nothing like normal at the moment and there’s not yet any sign of when things will become more normal again. Some of us have already lost loved ones or friends and sadly there will be more losses before this is all over. Many of us will be feeling at least a little scared and hopefully that means we are all being careful and following our government’s instructions. It is right that we are having to stay at home and also right that we are not ringing at the moment even though both are not what we would rather be doing.
It’s important though to remember that this period will be followed eventually by a return to normal. Let’s all focus on that if we can.
Like you, I would normally be looking forward to ringing again on Easter Day. Ringing for Easter has always been very special and we will all miss it this year. When I was young we used to ring for the 7am service at Minster and I still have fond memories of walking to church to the sound of the dawn chorus. With nature coming alive all around us, that first ring of Easter each year helped to announce another kind of renewal.
Perhaps then as we celebrate Easter and move forwards towards the summer we might all try to think about how we can prepare for the time when we are allowed to ring again. How can we make the best of this period of enforced silence to come back stronger than ever?
I hope that local bands are managing to keep in contact and are looking out for their more vulnerable members. A lot of bands seem to be using video conferencing to get together virtually for a coffee or a drink and a chat. We have been doing that at Wrotham. The band at St Paul’s Cathedral have been having a quiz night each Sunday evening and some other groups have even been trying to ring together over the internet using a new website called ringingroom.com. Give it a try!
Not everyone is keen on such virtual gatherings and that’s fine. Not everyone wants to go to the pub after practices! Also we mustn’t forget those who are not able to access the Internet for whatever reason – and to make sure that we are keeping in touch with them too. A brief phone call can really brighten the day of someone who is isolating on his or her own.
The inventiveness of ringers has allowed new ways of getting together and also a lot of ideas of things to do in order to keep our skills up. We have made a list of some “Lockdown Resources” – suggested things to do with useful web links which we will publish on the Association website early next week. Look out for it on the website at https://kcacr.org.uk/association/lockdown-resources/.
I would normally be expecting to see many of you on Monday at our AGM celebrations. Sadly, as you know, we had to postpone and we will have to see when and if we can rearrange. The general committee is due to meet on May 2nd and while it is very unlikely that we shall be able to meet face to face, we will try to find some way to come to a collective decision as to what to do next in the light of the news at that time and will inform members.
May I wish you all a peaceful, safe and very Happy Easter.