The Chaplain's Thoughts
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has launched First Peal 2015, which has the aim of encouraging at least 300 ringers to ring their first peal this year. This is an ambitious target, for many ringers never ring a peal, one reason being that they are not asked to do so. Ringing might not have developed into the skilful and absorbing art and science that it is without the passion of leading peal ringers. Most of us are not destined to be leading peal ringers, but just to ring a few peals.
The Church has not always encouraged ringing and ringers. Even in the 19th century some clergy discouraged ringing. It is important that at least one ringer in each tower is a member of the Parochial Church Council in order to know what the Church is planning. Equally important is that the Vicar, or Rector, visits the tower from time to time and knows the ringers. The Annual Meeting of the ringers ought to be chaired by the clergy.
The Rt Revd Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, told a large gathering of ringers in about 1997 that the Church undervalues ringing at its peril. Ringing is, said Dorothy L Sayers,
the one loud noise that is made to the Glory of God.
Rev Dr Peter Newing