Read more…"/> Words from the Chair – February 2024 – Kent County Association of Change Ringers

As I write this, I can see the first daffodil opening in my garden. It is always a joy to see the signs of Spring and the prospect that Winter is hopefully losing its grasp on us – although perhaps I am speaking too soon…

Sadly, in recent weeks we lost one of our Vice-Presidents, Mary Andrews. Mary was the first woman to be elected a Vice President of the Association and was well-known in the Lewisham District having served as the District Secretary for over 40 years.

In addition, The Revd David Cawley also passed away. David learnt to ring in Kent and, although he spent much of his life in ministry outside of the county, returned to Kent in 2009 before finally retiring from the ministry in 2016. He was an authoritative bell historian whose research on the bells of Kent contributed greatly to Dickon Love’s online Guide to the Church Bells of Kent.

As we move towards Spring, thoughts turn to the Association AGM on 1st April at St Margaret’s, Rainham. The Rochester District are busy putting together an itinerary for the day, there will be three ringing routes in to Rainham and a further three routes after the meeting away from Rainham. A service will take place at St Margaret’s church starting at 12.00 noon and the meeting will begin at 2.00pm, also in the church.

As with recent AGMs, attendees are invited to bring a lunch to eat in the church between the service and the meeting and there will be light refreshments available. There are also a number of pubs in Rainham that serve food. There is a car park by the church but it is pay and display and, unfortunately, charges will apply on a Bank Holiday. Details will be finalised soon and announced on the Association website and the weekly digest.

I have mentioned before about the need for volunteers to help run the Association. From my own experience as a District officer, I saw the difficulties that there are to fill the different roles. However, it is also the same at Association level. We are always looking for new ideas that might benefit our members and it may be that you could help. In the next few weeks, nomination papers will be available for positions on the General Committee – perhaps you might consider taking one of these on? Sue Bassett, the General Secretary, is standing down this year so it would be great to have somebody fill this role.

In my last words, I mentioned the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Tangible Cultural Heritage. There is a government website which is currently open and intended to set the parameters for what criteria should be set for inclusion. However, for ringing to be included in the final listing, it does require groups or individuals to submit it as an item for inclusion and for evidence to be gathered, including support from others, in order for it to be considered.

As I previously said, we do not know how this may affect ringing, however I think that there are likely to be benefits as it will raise the profile of ringing in wider circles. Should you wish to get involved, this is a link to the questionnaire that will set up the criteria for  inclusion and offers the opportunity to register for further involvement:


On Saturday 17th February, I attended the Kent Young Ringers Annual Striking Competition. It took place at Chalk this year with additional ringing at Shorne, both towers being in the Rochester District. Ringers representing five Districts took part and, for some, it was the first time that they had participated in such an event. The Kent Young Ringers is open to all ringers under the age of 25 and, as such, there is a wide range of experience. Some of the ringers are at the stage of mastering call-changes whilst others are able to ring a range of different methods. The Ashford District regained the trophy from the Rochester District with a very creditable performance of call-changes.

If you know of any young ringers, either at your tower or nearby, please do make them aware of the Kent Young Ringers. They meet on a monthly basis, usually on the 4th Saturday and there are Mini-Ringer sessions aimed at those who in year 7 or below in the morning and the main Kent Young Ringers session is in the afternoon.


Neil Jones

KCACR Chairman

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