Inegalitarian clanger dropped by York Minster with its bellringing changes

One of the bells at York Minster, where the cathedral’s management last week sacked all of its voluntary bellringers without warning. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian - Autor: THOMOND, Christopher for the Guardian
One of the bells at York Minster, where the cathedral’s management last week sacked all of its voluntary bellringers without warning. - Autor: THOMOND, Christopher for the Guardian

Church bellringing as an activity that ticks all the boxes for longevity, health and wellbeing needs to be encouraged (Ding dong in York after minster sacks bellringers, 14 October). Whatever may have occurred at the minster, the issues identified by the authorities are not unique to them. All ringing bands are expected to have a tower captain properly appointed in line with an appropriate job description and to have child protection, health and safety, and risk assessment procedures in place. The job is usually voluntary and, while ultimately in the gift of the church’s authority, it is normal practice for the ringers to choose their leader and for the incumbent to approve unless there is good reason otherwise.

Ringing is egalitarian across age, race, class, gender and ability. Banning ringing and imposing a professional seems contrary to this ethos and unlikely to inspire new recruits.

Mary Jones

Towednack, Cornwall

JONES, Mary
The Guardian (18-10-2016)
  • YORK: Bells, bell ringers and bell ringing
  • YORK MINSTER SOCIETY OF CHANGE RINGERS (YMSCR) (YORK) : Ringing and other activities
  • Bell ringers: Bibliography

     

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