Nearly all the Bishops in the land have sent messages of support and encouragement to the ringers in their Diocese to ring out for St. George and join the Campaign.
Nottingham, a wonderful city full of Civic Pride and full of English folkelore. It was here that Andy Whittaker of BBC Radio Nottingham was inspirational in helping the Campaign get off to a resounding start in its first year in 2010. Now in its second year he again has been urging on the ringers to support St. George’s Day. As a result over half those able to ring will be joining in right across the county having fun celebrating England’s Patron Saint.
The historic market town of Devizes with its Georgian architecture and famous flight of 29 locks sits in the heart of the county. It is from here that the enthusiasm for the Campaign has spread throughout the county and so Wiltshire will be ringing loud and clear.
Many towers in the county will be ringing out together with Chester Cathedral. A building dating back to about 660AD which, astonishingly, escaped the dissolutionment by Henry VIII. It is dedicated to Church of Christ and Blessed Virgin Mary and its 12 bells will be ringing out encouraging all the other churches to join in the celebrations of St. George.
If you were to take a trip to Diss, then on to a village called Shimpling and then away from the village down a track strewn with wild flowers, and through fields with luscious grass waving in the soft Norfolk wind you will come across an ancient graveyard and there in the middle sits St. George’s Church. Cloaked in warm coloured stone with an unusual Norman round tower, decorated with medieval stained glass is the church that is described by the Churches Conservation Trust as ‘ a beautifully proportioned building.’ It is here, says Bishop Graham of Norwich, a staunch supporter of the Campaign that the church will come alive with a service of Holy Communion the first for 25 years on Monday 23rd April. So whilst no bells are able to ring, it is part of the celebration of our Patron Saint and we wish them a happy day.
It is not just those of a certain age group that ring out from our churches. Several areas have been encouraging the young to be involved and now they have come forward to try their hand for the first time and have chosen to ring out for St. George. Not just teenagers but even as young as ten year olds. The future looks bright.
Another cathedral joins the Campaign. EXETER Cathedral of St. Peter with 12 bells will be ringing out encouraging other Devon churches to join in the celebrations for St. George’s day.
For those that are not aware, a ‘peal’ is the memorising and ringing of changes non stop for three whole hours. A tremendous feat of endurance and skill. And here we have a few that are going to ring a peal on 23rd April:
Oxfordshire – St. Mary’s of Kidlington with 8 bells
Somerset – St. George’s at Easton-in-Gordano with 6 bells
Somerset – St. Mary’s in Wedmore with 8 bells
If there are any others who are going to try for this wonderful and astonishing ring then please let us know.