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UK News

Church bell ringing to return

by Tola Mbakwe

As churches have been given the go ahead to host public services next week, the national body of church bell ringers said it can also now resume duties. 

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) said new guidance from the Church of England has set the scene for "a cautious return to ringing".

President of the group Simon Linford said: "It won't be all the bells, it won't be all the ringers, but it will be enough for ringing to be part of the resumption of church services and remind people which day is Sunday.

"We are particularly cautious of any misinterpretation of the drop in the UK Government's social distancing rule from 2m to 1m and that going from 2m to 1m represents a 10 fold increase in risk. 

"Our return to ringing will therefore be cautious, socially distanced ringing, for a very limited period of 15 minutes, and only for services.

"Ringing three or four bells for 15 minutes for a service is not what keeps most of us ringing. The novelty is going to wear off quite soon. It could be a long time before peals or even quarters are possible, and we won't be able to do any teaching. However it is an essential part of the strategy for us getting ringing going again that the church values our contribution, and we have managed to get them to include us in their plans and see ringing as a positive that we want it to be."

The CCCBR said although church services can resume on 4th July, it's not sure what date bell ringing will begin. It said it would need a couple of weeks to allow for maintenance and inspections before communities can start hearing church bells again.

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