Ringing Out In Celebration

by Gerry Lynch last modified 15 May, 2014 03:55 PM

Diocesan Guild of Ringers AGM at Amesbury showcases successful year and ambitious plans.

The 2014 Guild Festival and AGM of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers was held on Saturday 10th May at Amesbury, hosted by the Salisbury Branch. Ringing took place on three routes into Amesbury in the morning as well as at the host tower of St Mary and St Melor, the parish church of Amesbury.

The Master, Tom Garrett, welcomed the Deputy Mayor of Amesbury, Councillor John Swindlehurst, his consort, and other guests to the Festival lunch held at the Wyndham Hall.

The Festival service in the parish church of St Mary and St Melor was conducted by the Reverend Canon Alan Gill, who also gave the address on the theme of ‘the shepherd leading his sheep’. This involved a wonderful rendition by Canon Gill in his native Dorset dialect of the poem Lydlinch Bells by William Barnes: “Still Lydlinch bells wer good vor sound, An’ liked by all the naighbours round”. Handbells were rung and the organ was played magnificently by Alison Hogg, ending the service with a particularly jaunty anthem with a noticeable ‘fairground steam organ’ feel to it.

The AGM followed in the Wyndham Hall chaired by the Master, showing an active branch with reports of successful events in the year past and plans for more in the year to come. The Guild has ambitious ideas for Great War commemorations, including a memorial service in September at the cathedral, as well as plans for the Magna Carta 800th anniversary in 2015. The Dorchester Branch plans to hold an open day in August

2013 Improved Ringer WinnersA successful Guild Training Day was held in April for some forty students and there are plans for a steeplekeeping course later in the year. The Guild’s Improved Ringer Award winners were announced as Mark Symonds from Whitchurch Canonicorum (adult) and Lucy Taylor from Bradpole (junior), both from the West Dorset Branch, who were both present to receive their awards.

Certificates of Achievement went to Diana Mortlock (Savernake), Nicki Tinkler (Broadchalke) and James Vingoe (Trowbridge) in the adult section; and to Peter Wyld (Preshute), Kenneth Muhumuza (Calne), Paul Brown (Devizes St John) and Matthew Child (Wimborne Minster) in the junior section.

A report was received on the Guild’s very creditable performance in the recent Tewkesbury Shield ten bell striking competition, in which it came fifth out of nine.

The Guild and change-ringing continue to be a key part of the worship and public witness of the Church in the Diocese of Salisbury.

Bottom image: Mark Symonds and Lucy Taylor receive their Improved Ringer awards from Guild Education Officer, David Hacker.

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