We are ringing for England on 23rd April 2016
This year – 2016 is a Leap Year so 23rd April will be a Saturday
A campaign was started in 2010 to promote the celebration of St. George, England’s Patron Saint, on April 23rd of every year. Most Nation States have a Patron Saint and celebrate their national holiday unashamedly and with great pride. We think the time has come for the English to stand up and enjoy their heritage and to be proud of so much that has been achieved throughout our Nation’s history.
Bell ringing was chosen as it is the quintessence of a form of Englishness. It celebrates a unique musical genre – Change Ringing, which was described by Handel (image below) as: ‘ THE SOUND OF ENGLAND’.
They are rung by volunteers nationwide who represent the heart of communities. The bells are hung from towers within the country’s most beautiful and ancient buildings that are wonderful examples of our culture and architecture. They are living monuments reflecting the Christian heritage of where we come from, of great moments in the lives of ordinary people, recording the deeds of famous men and women, and as a library housing great historical moments in the forming of our country.
‘Ringing for England’ is the umbrella under which anyone, of any nationality, or any denomination, can find comfort in celebrating St. George’s Day and be it ringing out from a humble village parish church to the magnificence of our cities’ cathedrals we can all be united on the day. So come and join us by flying the flag and celebrate St. George’s Day – England’s Day.
What is the Campaign?
The idea is to get the 44,000 bell ringers to ring the 208,000 bells in the 12,000 churches ringing across the country on St. George’s Day, England’s Day, April 23rd … imagine what the 50,000,000 people in England would think of such an incredible sound.
Who will be ringing?
There will be people from all walks of life, all ages, even teenagers, who will be ringing out of every corner of the entire country. They will ring from towers that might have only one bell or some that have a stupendous 13. In small parish churches, from Priories, Abbeys, Universities, Minsters, Cathedrals and even a Castle. They will be ringing ‘methods’ from the genre Change Ringing. There will even be some exceptional bands who will try and ring a peal which is an astonishing feat of ringing non-stop for three whole hours.
And the date?
It is April 23rd. Why? Because that was when St. George was martyred, his death decreed by Diocletian for refusing to give up Christianity. He was a brave young man and very worthy of being hailed a Patron Saint. He shares this date with that of another well known Englishman – William Shakespeare. So the aim of the Campaign is to get all 44,000 ringers across the Nation to ring out and make the country proud of her Patron Saint and to make it a national celebration every year. Every community in the country has a bell tower near them and anyone can learn to ring no matter what age so if you want to get involved we would love to hear from you so please contact us. Even if you are not a ringer its a day for celebration, to have fun, to fly the flag, and enjoy yourselves. We wish you a Happy St. George’s Day!
- Central Council of Church Bell Ringers – www.cccbr.org.uk
- The Ringing World – www.ringingworld.co.uk
- Churches Conservation Trust – www.visitchurches.org.uk
- English Heritage – www.english-heritage.org.uk
- Round Tower Churches Society – www.nationalchurchestrust.org
- The Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust – www.rmhct.org.uk
- The Association of Ringing Teachers – www.ringingteachers.co.uk
- Handbell Ringers of Great Britain – www.hrgb.org.uk