“Ding! Dong! Merrily on high, in heaven the bells are ringing…”
As we approach the great feast of Christmas, and the end of 2018, I take this opportunity to give tribute to all ringers, willing volunteers, who give your time and skill selflessly week on week throughout the year. And what a year it’s been!
In December last year, I shared some “New Year’s Resolutions” for 2018, thus:
- To recruit and develop new learners and new leaders
- To engage maturely with the Church and other relevant stakeholders
- To continue to raise positive public awareness of ringing
Looking back on the past 12 months, I feel confident in saying that we’ve embraced these aims wholeheartedly. Recruitment has experienced a massive boost, our “external relations” go from strength to strength, and we’ve had a bumper year of media attention – print, radio, TV and social.
Further, I offer my thanks to all those involved in the work of Central Council at whatever level. The call for reform, begun at Portsmouth in 2016, came to a crescendo at Lancaster in May this year. A strong vote of approval ushered in new governance and new structures, aimed at creating a more agile central body more responsive to the needs of ringers and ringing today. A good start has been made, and this excellent work continues. I am grateful for the way in which so many involved in Council’s activities have responded so positively to these efforts. If only the UK government could demonstrate such unity!
Still, it’s important to deliver on one’s commitments. For 2019, much is in the pipeline. Look out for the release of “Dove 11”, version 1 of the Framework for Method Ringing, a refreshed CCCBR website, further work on “leadership studies”, youth engagement, health & wellbeing, and more. My hope for the new year is to build on our recent successes, maintain focus on areas for improvement, and deliver tangible benefits and services across our widespread ringing community.
As Christmas bells call out across the land, may they bring us together in solidarity to share the pleasure of our art. Let’s continue to ring with precision, passion and purpose:
“Pray you dutifully prime, your matin chime you ringers!”
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers