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5988555 coronavirus thumb img COVID 01 

Information about the virus, signs and symptoms can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/  or https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus/?referrer=/health-covid-19/ but there are some very simple guidelines to follow during every day activities as found on the CCCBR website, while the IACR cannot offer any professional medical advice, we would recommend that you adopt sensible precautions and follow the advice from the Chief Medical Officer:

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds 
  • always wash your hands before and after ringing
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards or use sanitiser gel
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don’t

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • lick or spit on your hands before catching hold of a rope, use other methods of increasing grip e.g. liquid chalk

We all have a duty to adopt sensible precautions to protect ourselves, our friends and families and to follow the current advice.  Sources of information can be found here:

Northern Ireland -  https://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/images/news/pressreleases/2020/Covid-19-Poster-NI.pdf

Southern Irelandhttps://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/images/news/pressreleases/2020/Covid-19-Poster-RI.pdf


 

Update 4th June 2020

 

Dear Members,
 
A couple of people have been in touch asking when can we please return to ringing. And yes, it is hard not to be impatient as we continue to miss out on our Exercise and the companionship of our ringing friends.
 
However, the Central Council say that their guidance of 11th May still stands, there is no sign of ringing yet and we will have to contain our impatience. 
 
It is important to remember that every time we ring it is an extremely public performance. With everyone doing their best to comply with social distancing, it would do our reputation irreparable harm if people out in the street knew that a group of ringers were up in the tower close together, as we have to be when we ring.
 
However, it is also important that tower maintenance isn't neglected. I strongly recommend that tower captains read the CC guidelines on tower maintenance, and I've added a summary of them to this Website page.
 
As we continue to wait, let us pray that the Lord God who has been with our forebears throughout the ages, including at times of great uncertainty and danger, will give us patience and wisdom now too.
 
Julia Lysaght  
IACR President 
4th June 2020
 
 

The following is an abridged version of the current Central Council tower maintenance guidelines:

When we ring again – preliminary preparations

The time is going to come when we will be able to ring bells again. There is no sign of it yet, and the Central Council guidance of 11th May still stands. However, is it worth considering what checks we might do before even ringing a single bell.

What to do as we prepare to ring again

First, it must be remembered that the majority of bells are the property of the church, so the Tower Captain should confirm with the incumbent that they agree to ringing recommencing.

In addition, in most areas people in the vicinity of the tower have become accustomed to the unusual quiet – the bells have not been rung, many church chiming clocks have stopped, and traffic, aircraft, building and industry noises have all reduced markedly. This is a good opportunity to alert neighbours through the local media.  

We strongly advise that the conditions in every tower be checked. This includes those towers where there are few or no ringers, since for these towers the correspondent may just be a key-holder and may not be aware that checks should be undertaken or what to look for. We need to avoid the risk that they could let ringers into a tower many weeks or months after we start to ring again, without any checks being done.

Why are we advising that these checks are done, when no one will have been in the church or tower? Even though this should have been the case, no one will have been aware of what may have occurred – for example:

  1. The louvres and bird netting may have been dislodged so that birds have entered the tower and built up what can become very large piles of twigs! (see The Ringing World, issue 5631, March 2019)
  2. Somebody may have entered the tower for some reason, legitimate or otherwise, and left something or removed something such that the conditions in the tower are no longer safe.
  3. Something may have broken or become dislodged during the period since the tower was last visited and could now be in a dangerous state.
  4. If the bells were left mouth up, then something may have fallen into a bell, for example rainwater. (IMPORTANT – checks in the bell chamber with bells up will only be feasible in towers where it is safe to move around without any risk of injury while the bells are up.)

 

Update 10th April 2020

First, let me wish all our members good health and safety during the Covid-19 emergency.

Amid the disruption to our lives caused by this virus, people may have been wondering what will happen about the district and association competitions and AGMs that usually take place at this time of year but had to be postponed. We very much hope it is just that - postponed, not cancelled.

Consultation with district and association officers has come up with a suggestion to hold the Association AGM and Murphy Cup on Saturday 21st November, that being the third Saturday of the month. A venue will be fixed by the Ringing Master in due course. If the Covid-19 virus runs a similar course to most viruses, it could be possible to resume normal activities by the summer, in which case a November date would give the three districts plenty of time in which to choose dates for their own AGMs and striking competitions. In a worst-case scenario we could abandon everything for 2020, but I hope it won't come to that.

Meanwhile, stay safe, maybe do a bit of ringing homework during the lockdown, and look forward to better times.

Julia Lysaght

President, IACR

6th April 2020

 

Update from the IACR President

The Ringing World has published the following Central Council message on Bellboard:

The UK government has advised against all unnecessary social contact with immediate effect. The Prime Minister advised in a press conference of 16th March that now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.

The Central Council has released a statement in response to the UK government. They advise that If you haven't already decided to cancel ringing activities, it seems that now is the time to do so. The Ringing World agrees with this statement. It is hard to interpret the government's guidance in any way other than that all planned ringing activities in the UK should now cease.

In my opinion it would make sense for towers in the Irish Republic to adopt a similar stance.

Julia Lysaght

Thursday 19th March 2020

 
 
A message from the IACR President
 
Dear fellow members,
 
These are difficult times, with Coronavirus affecting every aspect of our lives, and of course this includes ringing. Some towers have already announced that there will be no ringing until further notice, and church authorities are cancelling or curtailing many services.  In these circumstances I feel that our parishioners will understand if we do not call the faithful to worship as we would normally do. Let us all use our common sense, and pray that we stay well and that the epidemic will soon be over
 
Julia Lysaght
IACR President 
Sunday 15th March 2020
 

As the COVID-19 situation changes daily, many ringing events may be called off. Please check with the tower concerned before travelling.

District secretaries and Tower Secretaires are asked to let Peter McBride or Andrew White know of any cancellations. 


As the COVID-19 easement starts and things starts to get back to normality, ringing in Ireland will also hopefully be able to get back.  Below will show below which towers has resumed ringing.  As towers start to get back to ringing District secretaries and Tower Secretaires are asked to let Peter McBride or Andrew White so that this page can be updated.

CCCBR – Covid-19 updates

Update 18th September 2020

Discussions are ongoing regarding the potential reduction of distance between ropes, although in view of the upsurge in Covid cases and the number of areas of the United Kingdom entering increasing states of lockdown there is extreme caution over reducing distancing for bellringing at the moment. 

The ‘rule of six’ is now in force in England, Scotland and Wales, albeit with regional variations. Places of worship have an exemption provided those in church stay in groups of six.

Update 11th September 2020

The period of time between ringing sessions has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is on the assumption that all hand hygiene guidance is being followed. 

We do not yet have the green light to reduce distance between ropes below current guidance, but it is under consideration on the basis that this will enable more towers (and ringers) to ring. The CofE Recovery Group is very sympathetic to the case but are consulting with others included MHCLG in the light of the upsurge in cases. 

Update 4th September 2020

There has been no change to the guidance this week. Updated guidance to reduce distance between ropes to enable more towers to ring more bells has been submitted for approval. Note that ringing is still limited to 15 minutes but does not have to be for a service, provided it is with the permission of the incumbent. 

Guidance on the use of simulators is being written and will be available shortly.

Update 21st & 28th August 2020

There has been no change to the guidance this week.

Update 14th August 2020

Following last week’s update on wearing face coverings for ringing (which is mandatory in churches in England and Scotland) the individual guidance notes have been updated to include references to face coverings. A number of people have enquired whether ringers who claim exemption from wearing a face covering can ring without them. It is our view that face coverings reduce the risk of transmission of the virus and therefore protect our fellow ringers, and hence anyone who is unable to wear a face covering should not ring.

Local lockdowns continue and may increase. The effect of these lockdowns on ringing is principally on handbell ringing in people’s gardens.

Guidance notes 2 and 4 have been amended slightly to clarify the 1.5m allowed separation for ropes which fall in a straight line, i.e. that the middle of three ropes which fall in a straight line should be 1.5m from the two adjacent ropes.

Update 7th August 2020

The only two things changed this week are that use of the word ‘facemask’ in this guidance has been replaced with the words ‘face coverings’ to bring this guidance in line with the Church of England’s guidance. The churches in Scotland also refer to face coverings rather than facemasks, while the Church in Wales does not appear to have stipulated the wearing of face coverings yet. Face coverings does not include visors.

We would like to also clarify that ringing does not specifically have to be for a service, but should still be with the permission of the incumbent. Ringers have been asked to ring for weddings, and on Sundays where there is no service but where the sound of bells is welcome to remind communities of the presence of the church. It is still only 15 minutes though, whatever the purpose of the ringing.

The wearing of face coverings is mandatory from 8th August in places of worship in England and Scotland (Wales doesn’t appear to be mandatory but advice welcome). Wearing face coverings does not reduce the minimum distances approved for ringing which remain as :

  • 2m spacing between ringers (which will generally mean alternate bells)
  • 1.5m spacing allowable if ropes fall in a straight line (ringers facing inwards not towards each other)
  • Adjacent bells can be rung by ringers from the same household

An increasing number of places may have lockdown restrictions brought back as happened first in Leicester, then in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire, and most recently in Preston. The effect of these lockdowns on ringing is principally on handbell ringing in people’s gardens

Update 1st August 2020

CCCBR's official guidance still stands, with the following additions:

A number of things have happened this week which while not changing guidance, should be noted at least.

[In the UK facemasks in church}  will be mandatory from 8th August. Facemasks will need to be worn for ringing next weekend, and are strongly recommended this Sunday. Wearing facemasks does not reduce the minimum distances approved for ringing which remain as :

  • 2m spacing between ringers (which will generally mean alternate bells)
  • 1.5m spacing allowable if ropes fall in a straight line (ringers facing inwards not towards each other)
  • Adjacent bells can be rung by ringers from the same household.

Some towers have rung not in accordance with the guidance, usually just from ringers or clergy not being aware of the guidance. On contacting the clergy involved, non-compliant ringing has been stopped – in one case a tower closed altogether. The point is that if the guidance is not followed, the ringing community will not be trusted, and there will be much less chance of any relaxation of ringing restrictions. 

The [CCCBR] website will be updated weekly on a Friday evening, whether or not there is a change in the guidance. Any changes will be brought to your attention in this introductory note. 

While the mask rule is only mandatory in the Northern District, I strongly recommend that all our members wear either a mask or a face shield when ringing, and that all tower captains read the full CCCBR guidance notes.  

Julia Lysaght
IACR President

Update 21st July 2020

St Audoen's Dublin

After 8 months of being silenced first by the builders & then by Covid-19, ringing will resume at St Audoen's this Sunday 26th July.    Restrictions will be in place with regard to the number of bells to be rung.   To limit contacts between ringers, the St Audoen's band will be selected from the morning band at St Patrick's only.

On Behalf of Kathleen McEndoo

Updated 4th July 2020

The above has been sent to all guilds and associations by Simon Linford, president of the CCCBR. 

We had a further update from the Church of England Recovery Group last night that Public Health England (PHE) now wants to issue specific guidance about bell ringing but they will not be able to publish it until next week. They expect it to be based on what we have produced. Although the Church has published guidance, which we shared, they are understandably nervous about ringing this weekend in advance of PHE publication, especially if it gets into the press. 

We had a conference call with Brendan McCarthy and Mark Betson of the Recovery Group this morning and whilst they stressed that anything published is guidance not instruction, they would really appreciate us waiting to restart ringing until after the PHE guidance is published. Given this is a new relationship that could be very important to us, we do not want to rock this boat for the sake of a week and some disappointment.

In the meantime, we have accumulated all of the questions we have received from ringers on the current guidance into a set of FAQs which we have published on the website. This will include such things as why the guidance is still 2m rather than 1m, and whether family members can ring on adjacent bells. That can be found here: https://cccbr.org.uk/frequently-asked-questions-on-covid-19-guidance/

New CCCBR guidelines are expected next week. In the meantime, many questions are dealt with in the link above. 

Update 3rd July 2020

 

We are getting closer to a return to ringing, and the CCCBR issued new guidelines on 1st July. 
 
Ringers should follow this link and scroll to page 9; it answers all the current questions", Although this is a Church of England website, the advice on it is issued jointly with the CCCBR 
 
https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/Opening%20cathedral%20and%20church%20buildings%20advice%20v.1_0.pdf
 
Julia Lysaght
IACR President

 

Update 26th June 2020

    CCCBR Latest Guidelines 21st June 2020

Running ringing whilst maintaining social distancing and reducing Coronavirus transmission will be very different from what we are used to. This guidance  gives some ideas to try and do to make it as safe as possible.

Before ringing

  • Be sure that your incumbent is content for you to ring – a guidance sheet is available for them
  • Liaise with the church in completing the risk assessment for the church and tower (partly specific Covid-19 measures, plus checking the condition of tower and bells after an extended period of them not in use)

Ringing

  • You should keep ringers on the same ropes for an entire ringing session, including ringing up and down
  • Least risk is from ringing alternate bells so they can be two meters apart
  • If you are using only some bells, choose musical sets that sound musical outside
  • Limit the duration of ringing to 15 minutes. This may get revised later but is the way to get started.
  • One band per session and one session per day
    (preferable per three days as the virus can survive 72 hours on hard surfaces)
  • Don’t let ringers spit on their hands!
  • Encourage your band to face the centre not each other
  • Avoid shouting, especially from on a box as this will increase transmission
  • No standing behind or teaching
  • Any inexperienced ringer who may need help shouldn’t ring (the exception is if an experienced family member can help)..

Neighbours

Your neighbours may have got used to the lack of bells and forgotten when you ring. It may be worth reminding them and letting them know the plan for resumption.

This is an opportunity to keep things simple. In the first instance, ringing again is to provide a service to the Church.

Not all your band will be comfortable about ringing, whatever measures are put in place. Try not to make anyone feel pressured to ring if they do not want to. Likewise, you should not feel under an obligation to ring yourself if you are not comfortable doing so or in a higher risk group.

Update 24th June 2020

 
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. 
 
Limited service ringing will resume from July 5th for St. Patrick's members & associate members only.
 
All practices remain suspended until further notice.
 
On behalf of Derek McEndoo - Tower Captain
 

 
 

These documents are intended to be succinct and easily readable. They do not contain all the detail that could be put in them but instead focus on the key issues. A more detailed group of documents has been produced by the Stewardship & Management Workgroup and can be downloaded here.

  1. Ringing risk assessment post Covid 9 July 2020
  2. Tower and bells risk assessment after non use 15 June 2020
  3. Tower Safety and Risk Assessment 15 June 2020
  4. Risk assessment template (based on HSE)
 

Cancelled Events , Practices and Service Ringing

As the COVID-19 situation changes daily, many ringing events may be called off. Please check with the tower concerned before travelling.

District secretaries and Tower Secretaires are asked to let Peter McBride or Andrew White know of any cancellations. 

Updated 12th May 2020

An updated version of COVID-19 News item has been added to the CCCBR website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

A message from our President Julia Lysaght on our new Facebook page: May I suggest that everyone logging on to the IACR Facebook page follows the link given by the CCCBR and then reads the assessment by Dr Barnes and Dr Kelso, both senior doctors as well as active ringers.

Information on Our silent Church Bells during Coronavirus from CCCBR.

Updated 7th May 2020

COVID-19 and ringing Central Council position statement May 5th 2020 can be view here issued on 5th May 2020.

The Irish Association of Change Ringers (IACR) now has a facebook group which dedicated to the art of change ringing in Ireland. This covers both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. If you aren't a member please join the group via this link and one of the admin group will be happy to approve your membership.

Updated 18th March 2020

  • IACR Association Practice - Saturday 28th March 2020 -  Cancelled - see message from IACR Ringing Master - Michael Pomeroy
    • "In the light of the ongoing and worsening Covid-19 virus pandemic, I have decided that the Association Practice scheduled for March 28th at Drumbo and St. Mark's Dundela is cancelled. I will reorganize as soon as it appears safe to do so. In the meantime, keep safe and learn those blue lines!
  • St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny - all Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice.
  • Mt.St Alphonsus, Limerick - all ringing suspended until 5th April 2020
  • St Mark's Dundela, Belfast - all Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice.

Updated 17th March 2020

As of midday on Wednesday 18th March 2020 all Sunday Church Services and Mid-Week Services are all cancelled until further notice in the Northern Province.

https://www.ireland.anglican.org/news/9472/advice-to-clergy-northern-province

  • Northern District AGM and Cunningham Cup Competition ~ Saturday 18th April 2020 - cancelled 
  • Northern District Mini bell practiceSaturday 21st March 2020 - Cancelled.
    • FROM: Robert Foulis, Northern District Chairman

      On Government advice, due to the recent events with the Coronavirus we have taken the decision to postpone the Meeting and Competition until later in the Year.

      Mini Bell practice also postponed.

      Consult IACR for updates.

      Keep safe.

      Robert Foulis

      IACR (Northern District Chairman)

  • St Comgall, Bangor, all Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice.
  • SS Philip and James, Holywood, Practices and Service ringing su cancelled until further notice.
  • Northern District Practice - SS Philip and James, Holywood, Saturday 4th April 2020 - Cancelled
  • Holy Trinity, Drumbo, Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice. 
  • St Mary's Church, Dunmanway, Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice. 
  • Skibbereen, Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice. 
  • Rosscarbery, Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice. 

 Updated 16th March 2020

  • Southern District AGM and Cherry Cup Competition ~ Sunday 5th April 2020 - Cancelled 
  • St Bronach's,  Rostrevor, Practices and Service ringing suspended until further notice.
  • St Saviour, Greyabbey, Practices and Service ringing suspended until further notice. 
  • Christ Church Lurgan (Shankill), Practices and Service ringing suspended until further notice. 
  • St Malachy, Hillsborough - Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice.
  • St Nicholas, Carrickfergus - Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice.
  • St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork - Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice.
  • St Donards, Belfast - Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice. 
  • St Patrick's, Coleraine - Practices and Service ringing cancelled until further notice.

Updated - 15th March 2020

  • St Macartins Cathedral Enniskillen - all ringing cancelled ~ as per Clogher Diocese website.
  • Southern District Practice - St Mary's Cathedral Limerick - Sunday 15th March 2020 - cancelled.
  • Christ Church Cathedral Waterford ~ Cathedral closed until further notice as per parish website.
  • St Thomas, Belfast, Practices and Service ringing suspended  until further notice.

Updated - 13th March 2020

  • Saturday 14th March 2020 - Eastern District AGM and Lindoff Cup - Cancelled
  • St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin - Practices and Service Ringing Suspended until further notice
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin - Practices and Service Ringing Suspended until further notice

We had a further update from the Church of England Recovery Group last night that Public Health England (PHE) now wants to issue specific guidance about bell ringing but they will not be able to publish it until next week. They expect it to be based on what we have produced. Although the Church has published guidance, which we shared, they are understandably nervous about ringing this weekend in advance of PHE publication, especially if it gets into the press. 

We had a conference call with Brendan McCarthy and Mark Betson of the Recovery Group this morning and whilst they stressed that anything published is guidance not instruction, they would really appreciate us waiting to restart ringing until after the PHE guidance is published. Given this is a new relationship that could be very important to us, we do not want to rock this boat for the sake of a week and some disappointment.

In the meantime, we have accumulated all of the questions we have received from ringers on the current guidance into a set of FAQs which we have published on the website. This will include such things as why the guidance is still 2m rather than 1m, and whether family members can ring on adjacent bells. That can be found here:

https://cccbr.org.uk/frequently-asked-questions-on-covid-19-guidance/

Eastern District Events 2020


Saturday 11th January

Christ Church Cathedral
Grandsire and Plain Bob 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 8th February

St. Patrick's Cathedral 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 14th March Bray - POSTPONDED

Lindoff Cup Competition
Eastern District AGM Team Captains meet ED Ringing Master 13:45
ED AGM to follow in the Church.

Saturday 18th April  Please note that the April meeting is the third Saturday due to Easter

Arklow 14:00 -16:00

May Murphy Cup
No EDP To be organised by Association

Saturday 13th June

Drogheda 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 11th July

Wexford 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 8th August

St. Audoen's (TBC) 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 12th September

Blessington 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 10th October

John,s Lane 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 24th October

Autumn Ringing Festival 

Northern District Venues and times tbc

Saturday 14th November

Christ Church Cathedral 14:00 – 16:00

Saturday 12th December

St Patrick's Cathededral 14:00 – 16:00

 

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