Site last updated 10 May 2021
The Shropshire Association covers the towers in the Salop Archdeaconry of the Lichfield Diocese, and is roughly the area north of the River Severn, from near Wolverhampton in the southeast to Selattyn in the northwest. The rest of Shropshire is in the Hereford Diocese.
If you would like to know more about bellringing click here www.cccbr.org.uk/bellringing/what-is-bell-ringing/.If you like to learn to ring please contact our secretary [ ], or go along to a tower near you on a practice night.
Information about the towers in the Association, practice nights and Association events, and much else, can be found by following the links on the left or below.
May 2021 Events
Please note that the link in the above graphic will not work. Use this link [ ] instead.
Ringing Recovery Presentations - updated 3 May
ART and the CCCBR are hosting a series of online presentations focussed on ringing recovery, starting on Saturday 8 May.
To register for one or more of the online events go to: http://ringingteachers.org/news/articles/book-your-place-recovery-convention
|Sat 8 May||16:00||Building better relationships with your church||The Revd Max Drinkwater of the The Guild of Clerical Ringers explores strategies for promoting a high-quality working relationship between ringers and the church|
|Sat 8 May||19:30||Q & A Evening hosted by Andrew Kelso||Here’s your chance to quiz the panel with all your ringing recovery questions. To submit a question in advance for the Q&A session send an email to .|
|Sun 9 May||16:00||How to re-establish ringing in your village||Debbie Phipps will explore ways to promote and grow ringing in your village band.|
|Sun 9 May||19:30||Getting bells and towers in order||David Bassford and Alison Hodge give Some practical hints and reminders to make sure that everything is in order and as safe as possible before we enjoy ringing again.|
|Mon 10 May||19:30||Managing expectations||Clare McArdle and Arthur Reeves reflect on the challenge facing ringing teachers as a result of the pandemic, and offer ideas for managing the expectations of lockdown learners.|
|Tue 11 May||19:30||Attracting and keeping ringers||Sonia Field and Steph Pendlebury share ideas that promote effective recruitment and retention.|
|Wed 12 May||19:30||Holding a successful practice||Lesley Boyle shares some top tips for a holding a ringing practice that meets the needs of everybody.|
|Thu 13 May||19:30||Developing a ringing cluster||Vinni Sullivan talks about how a pre-pandemic ringing hub of six towers was built and how it might work for you.|
|Fri 14 May||19:30||Online beer tasting||Hosted by Hayley Young, and only available to those who have joined in at least one of the other presentations.|
|Sun 16 May||16:00||Ringing school - town and country||Clare McArdle describes the development of the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing, whilst Frank Seabright explains how its founding principles were applied in the Ledbury Branch of the Herefordshire Guild.|
A select band of five ringers took part in the May Association practice. The ringing comprised Little Bob Minor, Plain Bob Minor, Plain Bob Doubles, and Grandsire Doubles. Wheatley participated every time.
Survival and Recovery Newsletter 5
Issue 5 of the Survival and Recovery Newsletter can be read and downloaded from https://ringingteachers.org/application/files/2916/1910/7323/Survival_Recovery_Newsheet_Issue_5.pdf
Previous issues of the Newsletter can be accessed from the Survival and Recovery toolbox: https://ringingteachers.org/survival-and-recovery-toolbox
Draft Guidance for Ringing from 17 May (at the earliest)
The following has been received from the President of the Central Council
Today we have published draft guidance for the period from 17 May to 21 June to enable ringers in England at least to plan for the next phase of lockdown release. This guidance has been agreed with the House of Bishops Recovery Group, but it remains in draft form until the Government finally confirms that its four tests have been met immediately prior to 17 May. The guidance is a major step change from previous guidance.
There are two new documents on the Covid guidance pages of the Council website. The first is one specifically covering this five-week guidance period, and then an update of the guidance note about individual risks.
The key points of the guidance are that:
- Rule of Six applies indoors – ringing sessions should be arranged for six people
- Hands – Space – Face rules apply – face coverings, hand sanitising between ringing, 1m plus mitigations when ringing
- Lateral Flow Tests – twice weekly, preferably timed for days of any sustained ringing
- Consider your own personal risk
- Restrict ringing time to 45 minutes whilst maintaining good tower ventilation
Please do read all of the two guidance documents as there is much more detail in them, and this is just a summary.
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers President
April Advanced Practice
Eleven ringers participated in the April advanced practice. The ringing included attempts at Kent Treble Bob Minor, Stedman Triples, Little Bob Major, Cambridge Surprise Major, Yorkshire Surprise Major, and three leads of Bristol Surprise Major.
April Quarterly Meeting and Practice
Sixteen ringers took part in the April Quarterly meeting held virtually. Geoff Harding reminded everyone to check their bells before starting to ring. Geoff and his team are willing to visit towers that are having difficulties with the mechanics of their bells. Geoff mentioned the videos available through the ART Survival and Recovery Toolbox ( https://ringingteachers.org/survival-and-recovery-toolbox/bell-maintenance).
Matt Lawrence gave an update on the Survival and Recovery plan and described the Association’s Recovery Champions and which areas of the Association they would be looking after. Matt reminded those present that there will be a talk on Survival and Recovery on Sunday 25th April from 7:30pm. Please let Matt [ ] know if you are planning to attend.
Following the business meeting a practice was held using Ringing Room. The ringing included attempts at Plain Bob Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Kent Treble Bob Minor, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, and Plain Hunt Cinques.
The next Quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday 10th July 2021. The next Association advanced practice will be on Saturday 17th April, from 7pm to 8:30pm using Zoom and Ringing Room. Contact Matt Lawrence if you would like to attend.
It is with sadness that the death of Kim Evans on 5th April is reported. Kim rang at Chirk for many years, and was a member of the Shropshire Association for a few years, attending practices when she could.
Updated Guidance on Ringing
The following webpage on the Government website gives updated guidance on the safe use of places of worship. In the section on Step 1 (from 29 March) is a list of some examples of activities not currently permitted in a place of worship. Group bell ringing is listed as one of those activities. Look for a grey rectangle immediately before the section headed 'Purpose of this guidance' to see the full list.
Westley Award for Belfry Maintenance and Improvement
Entries may now be submitted for the 2021 Westley Award for Church Bell Maintenance and Improvement.
Few church bell ringers will have had many opportunities to undertake any practical activities in belfries this year. However, we all hope to ring bells in good condition and in safe, pleasant environments, once conditions are safe for us to do so. Ringers are all dependent on the bells that we ring. Towers and bells in good condition will usually make it easier for ringers to develop their skills and, in particular help new recruits and those returning to ring. So this year we again intend to recognise people who have become involved in belfry maintenance and improvement in the last few years. The Stewardship & Management Workgroup of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers is launching the 3rd award to people who are newly involved in belfry maintenance and improvement, developing their own skills and helping others develop their own skills. The award will be made at the September 2021 CCCBR AGM. The winner will receive £100 and a certificate.
Full details and an application form will be on the CCCBR website here: https://cccbr.org.uk/about/workgroups/stewardship-and-management/westley-award-2021/
The closing date for nominations will be noon on Sunday 30th May 2021.
Tower Talk 19
The Association of Ringing Teachers produces a quarterly Newsletter. The
March 2021 issue is now available, and may be read and downloaded from
Your Association needs YOU!
There is currently a vacancy on the Committee for Safeguarding Officer.
If you are interested, please contact Matt Lawrence [ ] to find out more about what this important role involves.
Raising Funds for the Mobile Belfry
Because of the pandemic the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry has not been hired so no funds have been raised. The insurance of the Mobile Belfry still has to be paid and it is a significant amount of money. The three Associations which own the Mobile Belfry each donated £200 in 2020 to help fund the cost, but it would be helpful to have another source of income. To this end you can raise funds for the Mobile Belfry by making purchases through smile.amazon.
You must login to amazon via smile.amazon.co.uk, rather than directly through amazon.co.uk. You will then be able to choose the charity you want to benefit from your eligible purchases. Choose Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry. Then shop as usual. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible items to the charity of your choice.
Survival and Recovery Strategy
The Central Council (CCCBR) and the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) have been working together on the issues of ringing surviving through the lockdowns, and the recovery of ringing once ringing at towers can start again. To this end regular Newsletters are issued. You can read and download them here. http://ringingteachers.org/survival-and-recovery-toolbox.
Matt Lawrence [ ] and Paul Lewis [ ] are the Champions for the Shropshire Association. Contact them if you have any questions about Survival and Recovery.
Central Council COVID-19 Guidelines
The Central Council's guidance about ringing during the pandemic can be found at https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/
About the Central Council
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has issued three documents about its work, volunteering with the Central Council, and what it means to be a Central Council Representative.
2021 Quarterly Newsletters
The March Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.
Index of YouTube Videos
The Central Council has put together a list of training webinars and videos which have been recorded and posted on YouTube.
Zooming With SACBR
The Shropshire Association has taken out a subscription to the Zoom video
If your tower would like to use the app for a get-together please contact Matt Lawrence  who will email you the necessary login details.
Shaun Greenfield, the Association's PRO, has put together some useful
information about how to use Zoom video calling.
Click here to view and download the PDF.
Practising At Home
One of the more recent innovations in ringing is the ability to learn and practise from home using computer software. Practise and learning at home is known to accelerate progress.
There are some great computer programmes that can be purchased and downloaded on-line (such as Abel, Virtual Belfry or Beltower), with which we can practise some of the methods we learn and develop our listening skills– all with a perfect band around us! Wouldn’t it be great if, when the time comes, we were able to get back to ringing better trained and informed than before?
There is a handy page of resources on the Association of Ringing Teachers website about practising on a simulator at home. This can be found by following this link.
There is also a number of Apps available for mobile phones and tablets. A
couple of the most popular examples are:
Mobel - a ringing simulator for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, is available from Apple's App Store. If you choose the tower bells option, Mobel displays pictures of sallies and tail ends, uses tower bell sound, and rings at tower bell speed.
Methodology - a simulator that works on Android phones and is free to download. In the ‘interactive mode’ your selected bell appears at the bottom of the screen. To ring the bell, tap the dark blue rectangle. This doesn’t do anything until you start to ring – then you will see feedback on your timing, the little bars indicating how early/late you are on each stroke. Of course, you will hear if your timing is out as well.
100+ Club Pause
I have decided to suspend the SACBR 100+ Club for the time being. I know many towers have not yet received this year’s application forms, together with their Annual Reports. However, even if you do have these, would you please NOT send any cheques and application forms until we are able to get back to our normal Association activities.
With best wishes to you all at this difficult time.
SACBR and Facebook
The Shropshire Association now has a Facebook page! Click on the Facebook icon at the top of this page, you don't need a Facebook account to read the page. To add items to the Facebook page, please email them to Shaun Greenfield [ ], SACBR's publicity officer.
Safeguarding Guide from the Central Council
In The Ringing World of 13 September 2019 Chris Mew wrote a review of the current situation regarding ringers and Safeguarding. That article can be read and downloaded here.
The Stewardship and Management Workgroup of the Central Council has produced a document relating to Safeguarding for Bellringers. The document can be found here.
Support Your Association with SACBR Clothing
We can now offer members a range of items embroidered with the SACBR logo. These are embroidered to order: contact Biff Patterson [ ] for details or to place an order.
The background colour for ‘corporate’ events is burgundy (as shown) but feel free to choose a different background for personal use. Check availability but navy or black are obvious options.
Polo shirts, as worn by those manning the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry at Newport Show, £15. Biff has one lady-fit medium in stock. If you would normally buy small, this is for you.
Sweat shirts £17.50 Rugby shirts £25.
If you supply a garment it can be embroidered for a cost of £6.
SIZING – READ CAREFULLY PLEASE
The polo shirts are pure cotton, wash very well, BUT are skimpy. Biff suggests going up one or even two sizes on what you would normally select. Available in standard rectangular shape (men or unisex), quite long in the body; or lady-fit, which is shorter and more shaped. Choose from M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL.
Sweat shirts are only available unisex: S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL.
Rugby shirts are available in men’s or women’s: S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL.
Photos by Biff Patterson, Edric Broom
Books For Bellringers
Are you looking for some practical, written help for yourself or your tower but don’t know what is out there? If so, Books for Bellringers may be what you need. It is a small collection of books aimed mostly at beginners but with some material for those learning methods. Towers can borrow the collection for a period of up to two months so that everyone has a chance to see what they might find useful. Individuals or towers can order copies of the books using the details in the catalogue supplied.
If you would like to borrow the collection please contact me at: or telephone 01939 291014.
Shropshire Young Ringers
Do you have young ringers at your tower?
We have started a youth group designed to get the young people ringing together and help them to progress.
There have been three practices so far, attended by six ringers from different towers across the Association area and we hope to have a regular monthly practice going forward.
The leader is ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) trained and DBS cleared and can offer instruction in bell handling through to ringing call changes, plain hunting, methods and striking.
The aim is to encourage the next generation of ringers and recruit more young people to the exercise.
Please email Matt Lawrence
Tower Access Guidance Notes
The Towers and Belfries Committee of the Central Council has produced some guidance notes on the various ways we access towers. The notes cover the condition of stairs and ladders; handholds; lighting; doorways and trap doors; and some potential hazards.
The notes can be found at, and downloaded from, https://cccbr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/stairways.pdf
Would you like to ring a Peal? Andrew Gordon is offering to make arrangements and co-ordinate towers and ringers for Peal attempts. Please contact Andrew on 07973 398289.
In order to ensure that all ringers have the opportunity to read the quarterly Newsletter, and to help keep costs down, it would be helpful if the Newsletter could be delivered electronically. Is there someone in your tower who would be willing to receive the quarterly Newsletter by email, and be willing to make at least one copy of it for your tower notice-board? This person should be someone who checks their email frequently (not just once or twice a year!).
Please contact Shaun Greenfield [ ] with the name, email address, and tower of your tower’s email correspondent and of any other members who would like to receive their own copy. Email addresses supplied will be stored on the Newsletter Editor's computer and used only for the distribution of the newsletter. They will not be made available to anyone else.
Paper copies will still be sent out to those towers who do not wish to receive it electronically.
Shaun would welcome any comments on the future format of the Newsletter and any items for inclusion in it.
Association Monthly Surprise Major Practices
These practices are usually held on the last Friday of the month and at various locations.
The practices are not only aimed at members who want to progress in their Surprise Major ringing, but at those who feel they are capable of starting their Surprise Major ringing career. Those who aspire only to ring the treble may attend, but clearly they may not get much of a ring - there is only one treble in each touch. We rely on the experience of more seasoned Surprise Major ringers to strengthen bands; the ringing master is grateful for their support.
The practices will as far as possible be tailored to the needs of those attending. There will be one or two 'special' methods - probably one of the 'standard eight' plus something of the Ringing Master's choosing. The 'easier' methods of the standard eight will also be rung e.g. Cambridge and Yorkshire. Please let the ringing master know of any special request.
The next Association committee meeting will be held on Sunday, 13 June 2021.