Site last updated 11 September 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.
Association Picnic - 25 September
I have been unable to reschedule the mobile belfry for our picnic, but I hope many of you will be able to make it to a late summer/early autumn gathering from 3 - 7 pm on Saturday, 25 September.
I have booked the Bradbury Hall and Cloisters, at Holy Trinity Meole Brace, where we can eat our picnics, as previously planned, though, this time, you don't need to bring your own chairs. There will be a couple of puddings and some paper bowls, but please bring along your own spoon! And, if you would like to contribute a pudding for others to share, that would be lovely too.
The church bells will be available for ringing for about an hour and a half from 3 o'clock, there will be some riddles to solve, and, if you have not seen them before, the Burne-Jones/William Morris stained-glass windows are worth a look. But, most of all, I hope we will enjoy seeing and talking to old friends again.
Please let Vicki Sivess, the Association's Social Secretary, know if you are planning to attend [ ].
First Quarter Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Shaun Greenfield, ringer at Shifnal and the Association's Publicity Officer, who has rung his first quarter peal.
"Calling It Round"
The Central Council has issued a new publication focused on the first steps in
calling and conducting from any bell. The publication has been written by
Bryn Marie Reinstadler and is free and available at
Central Council Covid-19 Guidance Summary from 19 July 2021
The following has been adapted from a statment from Simon Linford, the President of the Central Council, issued on 16 July 2021.
Ringing guidance for England for the period from 19 July onwards has been agreed
with the House of Bishops Recovery Group and can be found at
The lifting of any restrictions on how long we ring for and with how many other ringers is welcomed, although we need to be mindful that at a time of greatly increasing infection rates, and big regional variations, many ringers will still be cautious in terms of how much ringing they do. Some towers are actually discussing reducing the amount of ringing they do because of the rise in infection levels, not increasing it.
The Church of England’s own guidance has not been published yet, but should be later today. It includes a paragraph referring to the Central Council’s guidance.
Although the wearing of facemasks is no longer mandated in places of worship, and will not appear in the Church of England guidance, we have included a number of situations where due to the particular nature of ringing we would expect masks to be worn, including close face to face teaching, and ringing with unvaccinated children. Some clergy may retain a policy of facemasks in their church or cathedral, and if they do then their wishes take precedence.
The Government now wants us to take responsibility for our own actions. If you don’t think you should ring for as long as you are allowed to – don’t. If you want to wear a facemask when ringing – wear one. If a member of your band wants you all to wear facemasks to protect them – discuss it as a band and come to an agreement. Bellringing is a group activity and we are responsible for each other not just ourselves. The virus has not gone away by any means – we are learning to live with it.
The guidance (updated on 16 July 2021) can be read at and downloaded from https://cccbr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Guidance-at-a-glance-2.0-3.pdf.
Tower Talk 20
The Association of Ringing Teachers produces a quarterly Newsletter. The
July 2021 issue is now available, and may be read and downloaded from
Survival and Recovery Newsletter 6
Issue 6 of the Survival and Recovery Newsletter can be read and downloaded from https://ringingteachers.org/application/files/8716/2487/7230/Survival_Recovery_Newsheet_Issue_6.pdf
Previous issues of the Newsletter can be accessed from the Survival and Recovery toolbox: https://ringingteachers.org/survival-and-recovery-toolbox
Carbon Dioxide Monitors
We are now in receipt of 2 NDIR Carbon Dioxide monitors that are available for loan to Association members. CO2 monitoring is not about our current return to ringing (which is predicated on low virus levels in the community and high uptake of a good vaccine which protects against currently circulating variants) but it will help us make an informed choice on how we can continue to ring if/when coronavirus levels rise into autumn and winter.
Further information can be found at: https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/carbon-dioxide-monitoring-whilst-ringing/
Please contact Matt Lawrence if you would like to borrow a monitor. [ ].
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.
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
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.
The next Association committee meeting will be held on Sunday, 26 September 2021.