Association News

This is where we'll be sharing the latest news about the Association and providing advice and information about the current situation for local ringers.

News and advice from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

The CCCBR have put out various general notices and advice for the ringing community relating to COVID 19. Please note that any advice given must followed in conjunction with the guidance provided by the church authorities on permitted access to and ringing within our churches:

VE Day update from the Master, 7th May 2020

Dear Surrey Ringers

Tomorrow is the 75th Anniversary of VE day when many of us would have been involved in celebrations of this event, including much ringing and our proposed quarter peal week where I was hoping we could ring a quarter in every tower of the Association. Sadly many of our celebrations will not be happening but we look forward to maybe reorganising them for VJ day in August.

Many of us will have had family that lost their lives or were injured during WWII – either in our armed forces or as civilians - and we should take this time to remember their sacrifice.

Although reduced in scale there are still National celebrations and acts of remembrance going on including:

11am - 2 minutes silence

2.55pm - Solo buglers, trumpeters and cornet players from their homes

3pm - National Toast

6.55pm - Town Criers cry out for peace.

Other details can be found on:

Something else that is worth sharing with you is a message from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCRB), which contains their advice and thoughts on how ringing will look coming out of lock down. We cannot obviously predict exactly what will happen, but it seems unlikely that their will not be a sudden return to ringing, and certainly not as suddenly as when ringing stopped.

As we hear more from the government and the church authorities we will be able to plan more on how to proceed. However, when we are permitted, it will first of all be the decision of individuals as to when they return to ringing.

Until restrictions are lifted please do continue with your virtual tower meetings - chats, pub nights, ringing, quizzes - its great to see us all keeping together as a community and how much we value everyone's friendship. It's still not too late to start setting them up or to join in existing ones:

I also look forward to you all joining in with our virtual Surrey Association AGM on 16th May.

I wish you all the best for tomorrow's celebrations and acts of remembrance, and for the coming weeks. Stay well and safe.


Association Master

Update on the AGM (28th March 2020)

Dear Surrey Ringers

I do hope you are all well and keeping 'socially distant' in body, but making the effort to keep in contact with all your friends and family, including ringers.. I am certainly getting a few jobs done in the house and garden that I haven't managed to do for a long time (checking the drains and clearing the gutters!!)

You will have seen from recent communication that due to the government restrictions currently in place the arrangements for the Association AGM (due to be held at Oxted on Saturday May 16th 2020) have been seriously affected i.e. cancelled. - unless the restrictions and situation improves very quickly.

The General Committee has been considering how we should deal with this situation, as there is no obvious way that we can comply with all of the Association rules at once - the rules have been 'frustrated' by the unparalleled circumstances. Principal Rules are Rule 24 to hold an AGM in May and votes shall be cast in person (Rule 9i). For those who might be interested:

We have looked at two main options to comply with the rules as near as we are able and to undertake the most important parts of the AGM Agenda - Election of Officers and approval of the Accounts:

· To defer the AGM until a later unknown date which will depend on when restrictions are adequately lifted, and there is time to organise an AGM, before the next is held in 2021

· To hold a 'Virtual' meeting using on-line conference facilities (Zoom) on a Saturday in May (probably still 16th May)

Although no solution is ideal we concluded that we will hold a 'Virtual' AGM in May with a reduced agenda. The outline proposals for this are:

· Nominations for all the Officer posts will remain open until 28 days before the AGM

· In advance we will hold practice 'virtual' discussion sessions to ensure we get the technology working and to give everyone the opportunity to practice calling / logging in. We will provide all the assistance we can to support those who have difficulty so that the meeting will be as inclusive as possible

· Hold a 'Virtual' AGM using Zoom, to undertake the most important parts of an AGM agenda - voting in of Officers and approval of Accounts

We will be working on the details to ensure it will run as smoothly, and be as inclusive, as possible and will advise these in due course. Please let me know if you have any concerns of how all this will work so that these can be considered in the finer details.

I do hope that you will support this decision in light of the current unprecedented circumstances.

I wish you and your families all the best.

Best wishes


From the Master 19th March 2020

Dear ringers

I cannot quite believe how quickly everything has moved on. This time last week we were all enjoying ringing in our towers and looking forward to various events. This week the Church of England has put all public worship on hold and we are all to practise 'social distancing'. It therefore follows that all our ringing activities (practices and service ringing) have had to cease. The CCCRB has put out some advice to the same effect:

The consequence of this is that I can confirm that all Association and District arranged events will be cancelled or postponed with immediate effect until restrictions are lifted. This includes such events (assumed up to the end of May at least) as:

  • Association Quiz night (8th April)

  • 6 and 8 bell striking competitions (25th April)

  • Southern District Quarter peal day (28th March)

  • Association Quarter Peal week (8th to 17th May)

  • Association and District, and the many other miscellaneous, practices and training events

  • The Association AGM (16th May)

If the situation dramatically makes a U-turn then we could reconsider but I doubt this will be the case. In the mean time we must continue to follow up to date advice from the government and our churches. I know this is a great disappointment to us all, but it is a sacrifice we must make to minimise the effect and spread of the virus through our communities.

I will send out some further correspondence at the weekend with more information about the AGM cancellation and also suggestions on how we can keep ourselves entertained and develop our ringing without pulling a rope. We will also add information to our web pages.

We are not just ringers but also a community and so we must ensure that we remain in contact with our ringing friends and provide help and support to them where we can. It is important that we continue to talk to each other during this period of social distancing through the many forms of communication, especially by picking up the phone for a chat, as many will be lonely.

I wish you all the best