Things are settling down again after the Coronation last weekend. It has been a busy few months for many of us in the run up to this event. I think that the Ring for the King initiative really helped to promote ringing and raise awareness with the general public and the associated media coverage across the country certainly added to raising to raising the profile of ringing. I don’t have a figure to hand, but I know that many towers within the Association have been actively training new ringers over the last few months as part of this initiative.
It was very encouraging to see so many performances list on BellBoard over the period of the Coronation weekend. The event was marked in Kent in many different forms – peals, quarter peals, general ringing etc. I have been involved in training a band in the Rochester District and the ringers at the church, mostly novices, were delighted to be able to participate and print off the record of their ringing which is now proudly displayed on the tower noticeboard.
Some young ringers from Cranbrook were visited by Meridian TV for a feature broadcast on the eve of the Coronation. The feature gave a really positive view of ringing and how it is regarded as an important part of our heritage. It was good to be able to visit Cranbrook and see how these young ringers are getting on. The feature also included a brief interview with David Manger, for whom this is the second Coronation that he has rung for. I wonder how many other members of the Association are also able to make that claim?
On the subject of filming, some members of the Kent Young Ringers gathered at Aylesford on the 11th April to take part in a filming sessions. George Perrin, who previously made the film “The Craft of Bellringing”, has been commissioned by the Central Council to produce three short films to promote ringing. As part of this brief, George wanted to film some young ringers in action and KYR were lucky enough to be invited to take part. Hopefully, the films will be available later this year.
It is just a few weeks until our 8-bell competition at Lympne on the 17th June. More details will be available very soon and I hope that as many Districts as possible will be able to enter. Even if you are not part of a District team, why not come along to listen and take part in some of the other ringing activities that day?
Finally, I am aware that those who ring in the Canterbury Diocese will have possibly been contacted by their relevant Parish Safeguarding Office regarding Diocesan requirements for safeguarding training prior to ringing for the Coronation.
The Diocese of Canterbury issued the communication at short notice but there has been a requirement for some time by the Church of England that all ringers should have at least undertaken the Basic Awareness module in safeguarding and, ideally, also have undertaken the Foundation level. It has also been a requirement for tower leaders to have undertaken the Leadership training and for those involved with the teaching of vulnerable adults or persons under the age of 18 to have undergone a DBS check.
The Association has towers in four Dioceses and is in regular contact with the Safeguarding teams of the Canterbury, Rochester, Southwark and Chichester Dioceses regarding their current policies and updates and we do endeavour to keep members abreast of these on the Association’s website (https://kcacr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/DBS-Training-Requirements-April-2023.pdf) where the information is kept as up-to-date as possible. We do also make representation to these teams on the behalf of our members regarding safeguarding requirements when appropriate and are hoping to meet with the Canterbury Diocese soon in order discuss these matters further and the proposed audit that is due to be undertaken later this year.