The RINGING FOR ENGLAND Campaign is to get as many of the 44,000 volunteer bell ringers in the country as possible to ring out from as many churches as possible on St. George’s Day, England’s Day, on April 23rd, every year.
It is not only village churches that ring out but across the nation we have Abbeys, Cathedrals, Minsters, Castles, and some churches with one bell or some with even 13 but they ring.
Information on the Campaign
The Campaign was founded by Libby Alexander as a result of returning from living abroad and discovering that very little was done to celebrate England’s national day. “The campaign is to celebrate St. George’s Day every year, a tradition that was in serious danger of dying out. Bell ringing is part of our national heritage. It allows us to hear the same sound as our ancestors heard on April 23rd.
George Handel is quoted as saying “Church bell ringing is the sound of England”.
It started in 2010 as a result of a major article in The Mail on Sunday in 2009. See Google : Libby Alexander / Bishops. 28th March 2009
An article explaining the Campaign was featured for an entire week as the leader blog on The Archers web site leading up to April 2013. This was followed by an entire episode featuring the Campaign on 23rd April.
Country Life featured an article in the run up to St. George’s Day in 2014.
Each year local newspapers feature the ringing as a result of RforE contact.
In 2015 The Times mentioned bell ringing as part of the national celebrations for the first time as a result of RforE contact.
The Archbishop of York : “I am delighted to hear so many cathedrals and bell ringers are supporting the idea of ringing out their bells to celebrate St. George’s Day.”
The Bishop of London 2013: “I am once again extremely grateful to you for your efforts to ensure that Ringing for England will be even more joyful in its third year.”
The Mayor of London: “Its lovely to hear from you again and to hear about the growing support for your annual Ringing for England campaign and I am sure that this year will surpass the previous ones to make it the best yet” April 2015
“Please continue, you are doing a great job and each year it is building on the last”
“I am new to ringing and just wanted to say what a great idea it is. Thank you for setting it up. “
“Thanks for all your enthusiasm and hard work reminding us about the importance of remembering our patron saint.”
“We are right behind you to get England ringing on this day.”
In 2015 three generations of the same family, named George, all rang from the same church on April 23rd.
The Duke of Lancashire Regiment, known also as ‘The Lions of England’ rang out from their Regimental church for St. George.
Every church in Colchester rang out on the day. This created the idea for a ‘Rolling Ring’ challenge which will encourage an entire Branch of the Bell Ringers Guilds to ring out from as many churches as possible on the day in their area. There are already Branches who have taken up the challenge for 2016.
The most northern bells in the land in Berwick upon Tweed rang. The most southerly bells in the land, St.Mary’s, Scilly Isles rang.
St. George’s Primary School in Kings Stanley had their Year 3 ring in the entire school for assembly on the day.
Newcastle Cathedral, one of several cathedrals that rang out a ‘peal’ for April 23rd which is ringing non stop for 3 hours.
BBC Regional Radio stations have interviewed Libby Alexander on 22 of their Breakfast Shows.
Libby Alexander has spoken on the Vanessa Feltz morning show.
The Campaign was highlighted in The Steeple Times on line.
Libby Alexander was mentioned and the Campaign given a huge enthusiastic boost on the Chris Evans Show.
Many Regional and Religious newspapers led with articles on the Campaign on April 23rd across the country.
The Campaign was featured on the BBC ONE Show throughout the episode on 23rd April 2015 celebrating St. George’s Day.
A Roman soldier born between 275 and 281 AD. He was martyred on the order of Diocletian as a result of refusing to give up his Christian faith. He died 303 AD on April 23rd. There are many versions of how George became a Saint, what his name means, where he was born, where he died, and why he is mostly depicted with a dragon. Whichever version is presented, there is no doubt that he epitomises chivalry and faith, and champions good over evil. Surely excellent credentials for being England’s Patron Saint.
In 1346, at the Battle of Crecy, against the French in the Hundred Years War, King Edward III decreed that his men-at-arms identify themselves by the wearing of the colours of St. George. This official order was then extended to all the King’s ships.
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