updated guidance re. Return to Ringing

Opening cathedral and church buildings advice v.1_0


Kathryn Grant:

Re bellringing – see p.9 in the attachments with links in the ‘opening cathedral and church
buildings advice’.
Here are some particularly pertinent points:

It’s not up to us – It is up to the Incumbent whether we ring or not.
Re-starting ringing should be with their permission.

Clock room and any intermediate spaces – Clock may have stopped and links
disconnected (risk of tangling with bell installation)
Check pulleys still running freely
Check nothing has come dislodged and could interfere with the ropes when
Bell chamber – Check nothing is obstructing any of the bells
Bells left up may have filled with water
Check for nesting birds, squirrels, etc
If work has been done in the tower check that nothing has been left in the
way of bells
Inspect ropes for rot or rodent damage
Are shutters / louvres in place correctly?
Check generally that nothing untoward seems to have occurred

Ropes to be used should be at least 2m apart to comply with current
Government guidance. Measure this accurately so that you are sure where
ringers will stand and move during any ringing. Mark this out on a floor
plan, ideally on the floor if this can be done safely and without lasting
damage to the
floor surface. In most towers this will only enable only a few bells to be
used while maintaining “social distancing”. As well as spacing, consider
seriously the
sound that will be heard by neighbours; use only musical combinations of
bells, but only where they are 2m apart.

Ringing will be for specific purposes only agreed with the Incumbent, and
for a short period, no more than 15 minutes.

Advise ringers that in the limited time they will only ring up, ring a short
touch and ring down. Pre-plan what it may be feasible to ring given the
Whoever rings the bell up, rings it to the end of the session and then rings
it down.

Use a (minimum residue) hand sanitiser and do not use creams or lotions that
leave residues on ropes. Alcohol 60% – 70% is recommended. Allow it to dry
per the instructions (maybe 15s – 20s) so there is no residue and any
flammable vapours have dispersed and certainly before operating any

If required, ringers should agree to use protective equipment correctly.
Each ringer should wear a face covering, put on before entering the church
removed only after leaving the church. Use a suitable washing / disposal
facility. Consider most towers to be more akin to public transport as a
guide to what
protection to adopt. Note that gloves do not provide any protection. The
risk of sneezing and heavier breathing while ringing makes use of a face
covering desirable. Avoid touching your face or face covering whilst wearing

It’s not up to us – It is up to the Incumbent whether we ring or not.
Re-starting ringing should be with their permission.

All best, Kathryn

Kathryn Grant, Bicester Branch secretary
Church Key Cottage
The Walk, Islip, Oxfordshire OX5  2SD