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Double Delight for Ringers

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Mar, 2020 08:42 PM

While our bells will now go silent for a while due to the present Coronavirus crisis, the Dorset County Association of Church Bell Ringers can look back on a succession of double delights from their 37th Annual General Meeting at Charminster at the start of March.

Double Delight for Ringers

The Mobile Bell Tower awaits!

The first delight was being able to ring the lovely set of 10 bells for 90 minutes before their annual service, as well as experience the Association’s new Mobile Bell Tower, which they have been making over the winter months and which will be on display at local fêtes and fairs for non-ringers to have a go on.

Ringers of all abilities and ages came together from East and West Dorset as well as the Dorchester area to enjoy an afternoon of ringing in the chamber under the guidance of Robin Mears their Assistant Ringing Master, as well as socialising within the hospitable church environment.

The second delight came as the service was conducted by Revd Mark Phillips (Rector of the United Benefice of Charminster and Stinsford) and the sermon from Canon Richard Hancock (Rural Field Officer for Dorset and Priest in Charge of Sixpenny Handley, Petridge and Gussage St Andrew).

During the service Revd Mark Phillips spoke of not being able to ring bells, and of the importance they hold in sounding people to church and bringing the community together. He recalled racing between the 2 churches he sang at as a child on either side of the river on alternate Sundays, and often forgetting on the rota at which he should be singing until the bells sounded up and reminded him!

There were also prayers for Alan Brown who was a Wool ringer and had been calling people to church for 73 years until he died this month.

Canon Richard Hancock in his sermon asked it to be noted that although not a ringer he saw the importance of the ringing community within local churches and the fact that they were perhaps on a mission to draw people into the church through ringing - although he also appreciated we do not need to be churchgoers to ring the bells. He offered his services and support in collaboration with churches and ringers, particularly those in villages near schools.

He spoke of his work to bring children in to ring the bells in churches so that they and their families might enjoy the camaraderie of this group. He expressed his interest in the new Mobile Bell Tower produced by the Dorset County Association of Bell Ringers, as this fell in line with his own ethos to go out as missionaries into the world to share the joys of bells and ringing.

This pandenic won't last forever so, for more information on how the Rural Field Officer can collaborate with your tower, or, if you are interested in the Mobile Bell Tower for a local fête or event, then contact .

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