Welcome to the Guild of Clerical Ringers
Report of the Guild Autumn Tour to South Wales
South Wales in the rain
With only one tiny coffee shop at Newport railway station, it was not too difficult for the tour party to find each other, despite their trains arriving at random times. The minibus duly loaded, we were off on our fourth trip to Wales, aiming to ring at all of the available towers. We managed 31 this week, so one more trip should do it.
St Martins Church Caerphilly - 8 bells 13-0-1
The organiser, Tony Ellis, did a great job arranging the towers, even if he had to ‘pull (ecclesiastical) rank’ for some of them. We had some trouble finding St. Thomas’s, Neath, hiding in a pedestrianised street, but enjoyed the bells nevertheless. We were pleased to find most of the towers in good shape with musical rings. Personal highlights were Swansea, Aberavon, Caerphilly, Ebbw Vale and Usk (despite pulling off 23456781), with some enjoyable sixes in between.
Our guiding principle is to ring at every tower we pass, which can involve some intriguing challenges. Porthkerry, at end of the runway at Cardiff Airport, was very pretty in its white paint and setting, while the bells were grossly out of tune and fought back – great stuff! We did what we could to help at Trevethin, where rain damage and deteriorating fittings pose a real problem for the local ringers.
St Mary Swansea - 8 bells 20-2-12
Accommodation in Days Inns proved very satisfactory and good value. The first one required walking round the building in the pitch dark and rain, across a field of long grass to find a hole in a hedge (in the pitch dark and rain), crossing the motorway on a footbridge and then down an unlit lane to reach the excellent pub (Ty Risha) for apres-ring supper and ale. And we even did this on tow nights! Before arriving at the second Days Inn, we learnt our lesson and had supper on the way there, and on our final night together enjoyed a splendid meal in Magor.
St Illtyds Church Newcastle Bridgend - bells 16-0-3
The weather ranged from storm, tempest and flood to bright sunshine, but we were able to enjoy the rural scenery and the valleys to the full. Thanks to Kath and David who volunteered to drive, to Tony for arranging the trip, the ringing masters, to those who joined the party (including some ‘Wayfarers’) and to the ringers of South Wales who welcomed us so warmly.
Autumn Tour 2019 - The Planned towers
There were necessary alterations due to unforseen circumstances
2. 00 Bassaleg 8 14-1-7 in F tbc
3.30 Peterson super Ely 6 10-0-18 9 in A flat tbc
4.15 Pendoylan 6 Not available at this time
5.15 St. Hilary 6 7-1-26 in G
6.00 Llanblethian 6 8-3-24 in G
Staying at Day’s Inn Junction 36 on M4
St Mary Aberavon - 8 bells 16-1-2
9.15 Laleston 6 12-3-27 in G
10.15 Cadoxton 6 7-2-2 inB
11.00 Neath 6 6-8- 2 in A
12 00 Dyffryn 6 12-1-9 in F
2.15 Sketty 8 13-2-1 inF
3.15 St. Mary’s Swansea 8 20-2-12 in E
4.30 Baglan 6 12-3-8 in G
5.15 Aberavon 8 16-1-2 in F
9.15 Newton Nottage 8 8-3-0 in B sharp
10.15 Pen y Fai 6 14-1-15 in F
11.00 Coity 6 8-3-5 in G
12.00 Bridgend 8 16-0-3 in F
2.00 St. Bride’s Major 6 10-3-23 in G
3.00 Llantwit Major 6 11-3-7 in F
4. 00 Porthkerry 6 7-2-0 in A
4.45 Penmark 6 8-2-0 in A
5.30. Llancarfan 6 5-1-11 in C
Staying at Day’s Inn Magor Junction 23 A on M4
9.30 Lower Machen 8 12-0-0 in G
10.45 Caerphilly 8 13-0-1 in F
12.00 Bedwelty 8 14-0-0 in F tbc
2.15 Mynyddislwyn 8 12-1-4 in F
3.30 Trevethin 8 10-1-2 inG
4.45 Usk 8 14-1-7 in F
5.30 Tredunnock 6 8-3-3 in A
Priory Church of St Mary Usk - 8 bells 14-1-7
9.30 Caldicot 8 12-3-10 in F
10.15 Magor 6 7-2-20 in A
11.15 Llanfrechfa 8 5-2-27 in B
Details of this and Guild activities:
Contact the Secretary for details:
David Everett - 01638 718801
e mail: email@example.com
The Guild of Clerical Ringers Prayer
Almighty God, whose glory fills the skies
And whose steadfast love fills all creation:
Bless we pray you the members of our Guild,
That by our works in belfry, sanctuary, city, town and village,
your love may be known amongst all people,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God now and forever. Amen.
(Written for the Guild by John Nixon R.I.P. 2017)
Message from Guild President Anthony Ellis
While our aim is to enjoy ringing and meeting together we recognise that as clergy we have a responsibility to ensure that relations between the ringing community and Church authorities remain as harmonious as possible. We know that there are tensions at present that have evolved in recent times which we are in a unique position to bridge as ringers who are ordained. We understand that ringing has always been an activity which announces the presence of the Church in the world but it is now an activity undertaken by a group of people with a very varied set of beliefs.
We offer ourselves as a group that has a foot in both camps
Tony Ellis - President
Our Guild was set up with two aims:
- encourage fellowship between clergy who are ringers
- promote change-ringing.
We do this by arranging an annual five day tour in Low Week (the week after Easter Week) which traditionally has been a time for parish clergy to have a break. We spend the week based in comfortable affordable accommodation, and travel round ringing at nearby towers, usually by coach, in different parts of the country. The programme is relaxed, with time for conversation and friendship, and including some shared worship. It is a safe and refreshing week for clergy, who reflect a wide range of working backgrounds – parish, chaplaincy, business, teaching and retired.
The tours allow us to encourage one another in both confidence and skill, not only in trying new methods but tackling different sorts of bells. The tours often include some adventurous choices of tower, from mini-rings to St Paul’s Cathedral. Members range in ability from learning to manage rounds to spliced surprise, and those who have little opportunity to ring otherwise – all ringers are welcomed and encouraged.
We also meet for occasional peal attempts, bringing the opportunity to ring methods that may elude us at home, and for tours of areas where more travelling is needed to reach the towers there, such as Ireland or Cumbria.
We aim to enjoy ourselves and each other’s company, able to be ourselves, and enjoy ringing!
The Guild is open to Ringing Clergy and Ministers from all main denominations.
St Mary Axminster - First tower on the 2019 Low Week tour