Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Ringing for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 3rd June, 3.00pm.

If you haven't heard this year is the 60th anniversary of HM The Queen acceding to the Throne, then you must have been hiding away somewhere underground for many, many months. We ringers need to do our bit for this! The Queen is, after all, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

It seems ringing for this event was mentioned in Parliament just recently, as the extract from Hansard (below) indicates. There is full support for ringing. I doubt any incumbent will refuse to have their bells rung for it (but it might be courteous, though, to mention that ringing will occur).

HANSARD: 1 March 2012


3. Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) (Con): What steps the Church Commissioners are taking to promote bell ringing. [97365]

Tony Baldry: A general fund provides grants to enable the repair and maintenance of historic bell towers. The Church of England is delighted that bell ringing in church buildings is taking centre stage this year during the diamond jubilee and Olympic celebrations.

Andrew Stephenson Over the past few years, the bell ringers of the 12th century St Mary-le-Ghyll church in Barnoldswick have raised more than £60,000 to increase the number of bells at the church from three to six, a project that was completed and dedicated by the Bishop of Bradford in January 2010. They are now in the process of raising a further £17,000 to add a final two bells. Will my hon. Friend join me in congratulating them on their efforts?

Tony Baldry: That is a fantastic achievement by St Mary-le-Ghyll and I hope that all those six bells will ring out at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on 3 June, when churches throughout the country are being encouraged to ring out their bells to coincide with the river pageant on the River Thames. I am glad to report to the House that the lead barge—the herald barge—will contain a floating belfry, the first of its kind with a new ring of eight bells cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Each of the royal jubilee bells will have the royal arms cast on it and will be named after a senior member of the royal family. The bells will go down the Thames and ring a quarter peal on the river, with the church bells along the route providing a musical response. It is hoped that at 3 pm on 3 June bells throughout England will ring out to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee.

Mr Speaker: No one could accuse the hon. Gentleman of providing the House with insufficient information and we are grateful to him.

Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen) (Con): Living in the house directly opposite St Thomas, Musbury, church in Helmshore, I am a real fan of campanology.  Will my hon. Friend join me in congratulating our congregation at St Thomas's for the fundraising we have done to restore our bell tower so that bells can be rung again on Sunday morning?

Tony Baldry: Absolutely, and that demonstrates that communities throughout the country are very keen to keep their church bell towers in good order.

The date and time of the requested ringing is therefore Sunday 3rd June, starting at 3.00pm.

There will be other things happening on Sunday 3rd June, the most significant of which will be a river pageant on the River Thames. This will be a big affair, with reportedly 1000 vessels taking part and stretching about seven miles along the river. Heading the flotilla will be a barge carrying a ring of 8 bells, on which members of The Ancient Society of College Youths will attempt a quarter peal. As you might imagine, this could be tricky! The pageant will start at 3.00pm, which is to coincide with church bells generally being rung. There are full details about the event on various web-sites. The best of these is probably that of the CCCBR. See

There will ringing at churches along the river pageant route. These include: Putney, Fulham, Battersea, Chelsea, Pimlico, St Clement Danes, St Paul's Cath, Southwark Cath, St Magnus the Martyr, Rotherhithe and Greenwich.