End of year message from the Central Council President

At this time of year when everyone is busy with festive celebrations, it is perhaps appropriate to look at some of the highlights of the ringing year and consider the more sobering challenges of 2015.

Without doubt the most significant activity involving ringers this year has been the commemoration of the commencement of World War I. The events and interest which have touched the whole nation have been matched by carefully measured support from ringers. Yes, there has been the flush of peals and quarter peals rung, but to my mind the best reflection of our involvement has been at a local level. Initiatives have seen ringers closely linked to historical research and memorial ringing for individual parishes which have complemented the superb research of Alan Regin.

If anyone thought that we couldn’t recruit new young ringers then the Ringing World National Youth Contest at Worcester was a wonderful antidote. The enthusiasm of 128 participants and their supporters made the event a day to remember – a great tribute both to them and the organisers.

The Ringing Roadshow organised on behalf of the Council was another success story with some 2,000 people attending at Newbury racecourse. Not only was the event a great showcase for all that is ringing, but it showed a handsome surplus over costs.

A much more sobering thought is the future of ringing and its associated organisations and institutions – this being subject of a special CC meeting in July. Recruitment, training and retention of new ringers is critical to the survival of our activities. A thorough review of how the Council, Ringing Foundation and Association of Ringing Teachers can work together with local societies will be a key challenge for 2015. In parallel the financial and logistical future of The Ringing World, our special newspaper, is under scrutiny.

There is much work to be done and I hope that ALL OF YOU will be willing to put effort in whatever ways you can to help ensure the future of ringing. Finally I wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and New Year and start with new determination to succeed in your ringing activities.

President CCCBR

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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers