It’s almost Christmas and we were very much hoping that the bells would be able to ring out to celebrate the festive season. Covid-19 had other ideas!
We came out of the latest lockdown and into tier 2 meaning that ringing bells was still a no-no as people from different households couldn’t meet indoors which meant the ringing chamber was out of bounds so to speak! There was a glimmer of hope in that Richard and Gill (husband and wife) could ring and being very experienced ringers, they tried ringing two bells each and discovered that chiming was possible, albeit very hard work, they chimed the bells prior to the Advent Carol Service.
The Central Council of Bell Ringers are liaising with the government and we hope that the rules may be relaxed over the Christmas period allowing us to ring for the traditional services, fingers crossed.
We wish everyone a safe and Happy Christmas, traditions will, no doubt, be very different this year. We look forward to 2021 hoping that life will be able to return to a form of normal that includes bell ringing.
**UPDATE 22 DECEMBER **
The Christmas relaxation of the Covid rules permits church bells to be rung for a limited time, and Blewbury bellringers will be ringing 6 bells (the maximum permitted) on two occasions. We will ring at 11.05 pm on Christmas Eve for the Midnight Mass service which commences at 11.30 pm. We will also ring for 15 minutes at 9.45 am on Christmas morning. We do not recall any Christmas Day since the Second World War when bells have not been rung out over the village. Please note that there is not a physical service in the church on Christmas Day, and we request that you do not enter the church while ringing is taking place please. We hope that you will enjoy this brief sound of hope in this most difficult year. We wish you all a happy Christmas and a more joyful New Year.
Richard Loyd, Tower Captain