Ringing Returns: A New Beginning.
With the news a vaccine could be available to combat Covid-19, there is a real enthusiasm for life to ‘get back to normal’. What the new normal will look like remains to be seen, but it is a real boost to our sagging spirits to think we might soon be able to meet up with old friends and start ringing again.
After a minimum of a nine-month layoff from ringing, it will take time and effort to get things moving again. The Central Council and ART are formulating ideas and plans to help and I have been privileged to hear of some of their work which I would like to share with you. There is a recognition that what works in an inner-city church may be different to what works in a small Warwickshire village, but hopefully something will suit individual needs.
Here is the list of some ideas:
|1 ||Tower Captains to remain in touch, or make new contact with their local ringers. Many towers have been having zoom meetings throughout the lockdown, but not everyone attends and some TC’s are nervous about the technology. ART have produced a youtube video to offer help and guidance |
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|2 ||Ringing room has proved very popular and some towers are making great progress. Some started off using it and have dropped off. Also, some have been nervous about using it and again ART have produced a youtube video instructing people how to use it. |
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|3 ||Focus on social events, on line and by phone. Quizzes proved very popular at the start of lockdown, but many feel they have exhausted their range of impossible questions. Staying in touch is very important, so maybe the quizzes could be replaced by virtual pubs or coffee mornings, when people can chat informally for 30 minutes or so. Having a topic in mind is often helpful, and talking about the old days can prove popular. |
|4 ||Getting in touch with lapsed ringers. As teaching may prove difficult to start with, when we get back into towers, encouraging lapsed ringers to come back might suit them as well as the local tower. There are so many reasons why people stop ringing, but a call from an old friend might be just the fillip they need to restart. If you are conscious, they may have stopped ringing for ‘political reasons’, perhaps this is where the Guild can help. If you could pass their name to me, we can see if help can be provided from another source to rekindle their enthusiasm. |
|5 ||A Covid hub is being established on the Guild website. This will contain all the details people might need to give them confidence to get back to ringing. This will also include all the latest information from the CC regarding health and safety and indeed any instructions from the Church Recovery Group. |
|6 ||Not having rung for so many months, many of us will be experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms. Stiff backs, sore shoulders and fitness climbing the belfry stairs, spring to mind. Exercises, designed by Lucy Gwynne, a physiotherapist, are available to help and we are looking at the possibility of videos too. You will find copies of the exercises on the Guild Covid Hub. |
|7 ||Finally, the importance of making people feel welcome is so important. The long layoff means some people will have fallen back in love with their garden or other hobbies. The friendship and comradery from ringers are so important and might just help in getting them back into towers for ringing. |
That is probably enough for now. Ideas are being formulated about webinars, the role Bellboard could play in advertising virtual events and online and text teaching courses.
I would be delighted to hear from you regarding the ideas.
Guild General Secretary