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Friday 20th March 2020

As anyone connected with bellringing in the UK will be aware, not only has ringing now ceased nationwide, but all regular church services have been suspended for an indefinite period.

My understanding is that weddings and funerals may still be held but that there will be restrictions on the numbers attending. The weddings will have to take place without bells, other than at those churches that have an Ellacombe-type chiming apparatus. For funerals it would be possible to toll the tenor bell without causing any undue risk. At Scarning we have an operational Ellacombe apparatus but there are no weddings booked at the church during 2020 anyway, which seems to be the way things are going for church weddings generally.

The Scarning band remains in touch, thanks to WhatsApp and the good old-fashioned telephone, but sadly there isn’t much to discuss that has relevance to ringing.

Our team vicars intend to pray in our church at least once a week during the current emergency and the plan is for them to chime a bell themselves beforehand. This gives me some satisfaction since our bells, or at least one of them, are being used for one of their fundamental purposes. My intention is to ring using the Ellacombe apparatus on the morning of Easter Sunday, depending on what our clergy may be planning.


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