16th September 2015

The Future of Change Ringing

At the AGM of the Central Council of Church Bellringers on 29 May 2015, there was something a little bit different on the Agenda. Members were given the opportunity to participate more than usual, by taking part in group discussions with others from their regions. These discussions were wide ranging, covering the challenges they face and identifying opportunities for further cooperation with each other and the Central Council.

The following report was published in The Ringing World on 19 June 2015:

Summary of regional breakout group data and detail by region, published only on this website:

The following document, prepared for the May 2015 Central Council meeting, gives more details of proposed actions to support the future of change ringing:


An extensive discussion on the recruitment of young ringers took place during the October 2010 meeting of the Administrative committee, including contributions from representatives of the Education and Ringing Trends committees and The Ringing Foundation. Subsequently Andrew Wilby, assisted by a number of others, prepared a strategy paper for discussion at the March 2011 meeting of the committee and Elva Ainsworth facilitated an initial consultative meeting in November 2010.

These events led to the definition of a mission for the Council to create “A Healthy Future for ringing” with the following objectives:

  • a fresh generation of younger ringers with enthusiasm and ideas;
  • a healthy age profile for the ringing exercise;
  • a better trained teaching base in the country and resource for the future; and
  • a brighter more positive image of ringing with many potential consequences.

The CCCBR Vice-President Chris Mew is actively coordinating the work to fulfill this mission (please see: 2020 VISION), involving especially the Education, Ringing Centres and Public Relations committees. During the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Council Elva Ainsworth was elected as an Additional Member to help develop, facilitate and lead the mission.

A national consultative conference was held at Wellesbourne/Kineton on 12 November 2011, organised by the Education Committee, to develop an action plan for a Healthy Future for Ringing.

Elva Ainsworth has since advised on the development of the project, and helped to organise and facilitate the subsequent stages including the November 2011 conference and development of the Youth Forum.

During the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Council Members discussed the principles of the planned work of the Council and its Committees and were asked to give their support at the local level.

Between October 2012 and July 2014 regional HAVE YOUR SAY seminars were held in Nantwich, Nottingham, Newport, York, Winchester, Bristol and Exeter, in order to improve the understanding of what is already being done and to draw upon the expertise and ideas of today’s active ringers.

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