Dear fellow ringers,

First let me wish you all a happy new year. Although 2021 started badly it will improve in due course and, we trust, end up better than 2020. My heart goes out to those who have been bereaved by Covid-19, and we hope and pray for those of us who have escaped it, that times will get better soon.
The last time the bells were silent for so long was during World War II. Now, again we are facing an enemy; this time those fighting for us are our health workers and medical researchers - and our own common sense. We will return to ringing one day, but at the moment we just have to be patient and abide by all the recommendations.
There are some things we can do while we wait:
- A lot of people find the various online ringing set-ups enjoyable, and they are a great help for anyone feeling lonely..
- If you are a method ringer, it is worth going over some 'blue lines' in your head; we may be out of practice at handling, but there's no need to forget all our methods, and why not look up one or two new ones.
- If you are a steeple keeper and your bells have not been rung at all since last March, you could ask permission to go up the tower (taking with you of course, for safety reasons, someone from your bubble) and check that everything is in safe working order, tidy up and do minor repairs where applicable.
And above all, let's keep in touch. That's the best medicine of all.
With love and best wishes for 2021 to all my ringing friends.