Annual Report Available for Download
A redacted version of the Association  2020 Annual Report is now available to read, download or print from this link and will be available in future from the documents page of the site.

Bell Ringing and Coronavirus/Covid19

Dear Friends,

I am sending this email in my capacity as Ringing Master of the North Wales Association of Church Bell Ringers.

I am sure that everyone is aware of the present Government advice on unnecessary social gatherings and unnecessary travel. In addition the Church in Wales has advised the cancellation of all church services and any activities which involve social gatherings. Similar advice has been given by all Governments and church organisations across the UK.

In line with this advice the North Wales Association and its branches have cancelled, until further notice, all meetings, practices and training events. I also understand that all towers in North Wales have stopped practicing and there are no services to ring for. This seems to be in line with what is happening across the UK.

The best guess seems to be that this state of affairs will continue for at least three months, perhaps longer.

I believe that there are things we can do to look after our colleague ringers and ensure that we are in as strong a state as possible to resume ringing when we are able to do so.

It has brought home to me just how much that ringing is a social activity. I would urge everyone to set up mechanisms so that bands of ringers can maintain social contact without actually meeting up. The obvious way to do this is via social media like Facebook, Whatsapp Groups or just a good old fashioned mobile phone!!

The Central Council of Church Bellringers has issued a play list of ringing films and documentaties.

Many ringers will be socially distancing or self isolating. They may be glad of any contact. 

We can use the interruption to our normal activities to catch up with all those maintenance jobs in the tower that we never quite have time to do. However there are Health and Safety considerations. Lone working in towers is not encouraged. If you are going to do work in a tower on your own then please take extra care and I would suggest as a minimum that you have a fully charged mobile phone with you and that you arrange to call someone else at regular intervals. There should be an agreed plan of action if you fail to make a scheduled call. At the very minimum I would suggest that one person visits the tower at least once per week so that any issues are picked up and acted on early.

The present situation is being compared to the ban on ringing during the Second World War but it is subtly different. From 1940 to 1943 ringers were allowed to meet and socialise but bells could not be sounded. Now we can sound the bells but not meet or socialise. Some people will miss the regular sound of bells being rung, particularly the infirm and housebound.

The sounding of bells across the British Isles has long been an emotive sound welcomed and enjoyed by many if not all! By the ringing or chiming of individual bells, the use of Ellacombe chiming devices or automatic chimes they can play perhaps a more important role now than ever. If there is the local will to do so, I suggest that ringers should agree with their local church authorities a set time and day of the week when a bell or bells will be sounded to let everyone know that they have not been abandoned or forgotten. If you decide to go down this route use any local media or social media to let people know what you are doing and why. Stress that you are operating within Government and Church guidelines.

Please feel free to give me feedback on what I have said if you so wish. Also to suggest anything else we could or should be doing.

I hope and pray that the present situation will be resolved as soon as possible and that we all stay safe. 

Best wishes

Peter Furniss (With help from Beverley on the more technical bits!!)
Ringing Master - North Wales Association

PS.  Many churches are sounding a single bell or otherwise sounding bells, without groups of ringers getting together, in order to bring comfort and succour to people at this difficult time.

North Wales Team Win The All Wales Contest
On Saturday 28th September 2019 the North Wales 8 bell team won the Arthur Hoare Memorial Trophy at the all wales striking contest held at St Peters Church Carmarthen.  The six bell team from Berriew (representing North Wales this year) came joint first with the band from Llandaff and Monmouth.  Congratulations and well done to both teams.  The placings in the 8 and six bell contests were as follows:
1st: North Wales
2nd: Llandaff and Monmouth
3rd: St Davids
4th: Swansea and Brecon
Joint 1st: North Wales (Berriew) and Llandaff and Monmouth
3rd: Swansea and Brecon
4th: St Davids

St Peter Church Ruthin
After six months plus of set backs, sleepless nights, broken promises, missed deadlines etc. etc. Rhuthin bells and clock are complete. Many many thanks to everyone who has given their time and skills to bring this project to this point including Stuart,Dylan, Jenny, Elgan, John Ceris, Ken and others from the church, Steve, Anthony, Chris from Taylor's for their craftsman ship, and all the volunteers too numerous to name and finally to
 Peter Furniss 
without whom the project would never have started!
- Beverly Furniss August 30th 2019

Ringing for Notre-Dame Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th April 2019
The following bells were rung in North Wales in solidarity - following the fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on 15th April 2019.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 Bangor on Dee (St Dunawd) 1260 Doubles (1p, 4m, 1v)
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Beaumaris (St Mary and St Nicholas), Anglesey Rounds
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Gresford (All Saints), Wrexham Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Guilsfield (St Aelhaiarn), Powys Rounds, Plain Hut Doubles, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles and Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Halkyn (St Mary the Virgin), Flintshire Tolling and Rounds
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Llanbedrog (St Pedrog), Gwynedd Rounds and Call Changes
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Llandegai (St Tegai), Gwynedd Rounds and Call Changes
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Llandrillo yn Edeyrnion (St Trillo), Denbighshire Rounds and Call Changes
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Llandudno (Holy Trinity) Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Llanfyllin (St Myllin), Powys Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Llangollen (St Collen), Denbighshire Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Mold (St Mary the Virgin) Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Mold (St Mary the Virgin), Flintshire Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Porthmadog (St John Div) Rounds, Queens and Titums
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Porthmadog (St John Div), Gwynedd Rounds, Queens and Titums
Thursday, 18 April 2019 Rhydymwyn (St John the Evangelist), Flintshire Rounds
Thursday, 18 April 2019 St Asaph Cathedral (St Asaph) Tolling
Thursday, 18 April 2019 St Asaph Cathedral (St Asaph), Denbighshire Tolling

Note: this is not a definitive list - I have taken what I have identified from bellboard - please email me information about any that have been have missed.

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