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Thursday 16th January 2020

Yesterday evening was one of those rare occasions when the weekly practice didn’t happen. Four of the band were away or unavailable. Another was a little unwell. Five were booked on a course to become familiarised with the use of a defibrillator, as we have not long ago had one installed outside the village hall, opposite the church. That left the tower captain like the proverbial Billy-no-mates. Due to a lack of forward thinking and being preoccupied with other things [such as having builders in the house] I hadn’t set the simulator up. As we cannot leave valuable items in the church, doing so at that stage would have meant going back to collect my laptop and the projector.  So I decided to wait for late arrivals before locking up and heading home. After a while three of our regular visitors turned up and we spent some time setting the world to rights and catching up on each other’s news before parting. There definitely will be a practice next week and I will have the simulator set up at the start.

There has been a move recently by one of the Brexit-supporting campaign groups to have church bells rung on the day the United Kingdom officially begins the process of leaving the European Community, which is 31st January.  The church authorities are against the idea, as is the CCCBR, on the basis that church bells should not be rung to celebrate political victories. As the issue has become socially very divisive my own opinion is that this is good guidance. There has been heated discussion on Facebook, which is still going on. My subjective impression is that in bellringing groups there is a substantial majority against. I have followed links to one of the pro-Brexit groups where, as you might expect, there is a clear and vociferous majority in favour. Before our  ringers who were attending the defibrillator course left for the village hall we had a band discussion about this and those present were unanimous that we shouldn’t ring. We have also had a request from our team vicars not to ring on 31st January, and as far as I am concerned it will not be happening. Just for the record, Brexit is not something that we discuss amongst the band and in most cases I don’t know people’s current view or how they voted in 2016.

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