Guild Newsletter

The Guild Newsletter is published quarterly and is distributed to the Districts at each of the quarterly Whole Guild Meetings which are held in January, April, July and October, in rotation between the districts.

Articles for inclusion in the next newsetter should be sent via email to

They will be published on receipt on this website and included in the next available edition of the newsletter. They can be accessed from the tabs at the top of this page.

Please ensure that all items for inclusion are sent in by approx. a fortnight prior to a meeting to allow time for the collation and printing of the Newsletter. The deadline is always shown in the current edition.

The current edition can be read online via the appropriate link in the Newsetter menu, as can PDF copies of previous newsletters.


The Youth Team. 2018-2019

This summer, the Coventry Spires youth team made their fourth appearance in the Ringing World Nation Youth Competition. They did extremely well, finishing a credible 11th out of 22 teams. Simon Allan had been the team’s conductor for the past two years and has rung in each year we have competed. Unfortunately, time stands for no man and now Simon will be ’too old’ to ring in the competition again. He did extremely well in his ‘A’ levels and is now off to Manchester to read medicine. Estella Haynes has also rung with us since the Coventry Spires team was formed, ringing in 3 competitions. Estella worked with many of the younger ringers giving them confidence and encouraging them to give of their best. She was Head Girl at Rugby Girls High School and also did extremely well in her A levels and is off to study at Nottingham university, Simon and Estella, thank you for all your hard work and enthusiasm. We will miss you, and wish you well.

It is always difficult to know how to introduce new ideas and it has been suggested we hold some practices on Sunday afternoon. When there are more details, they will be circulated through the District Secretaries.

During the next few months, all current members of the Coventry Spires will be ringing quarter peals on 8 bells. Andrew Alldrick has kindly invited us to ring some of the quarters at The Cathedral on the middle 8. This is a fantastic opportunity especially as he has invited us to bring some of our ringing friends to ring as well. There will also be a Youth Band in the 8 bell striking competition.

After Christmas, there will be a number of events to attract new members to join the team, before we begin to practice again for the RWNYC. This will be held in Liverpool on Saturday 6th July 2019. David Hull will be running the competition and has some new ideas. There are no fixed details at present, but it seems there will be additional ringing activities for the young people, apart from the competition. It is a great day out. If you know anyone who would like to join the team please email: .

Dates for the Diary
  • 17th October Guild 8 bell practice at St Nicholas Warwick 6.30-7.30
  • 27th October. Guild training mornings at Leek Wootton, Honiley and Stoneleigh.
  • 10th November 2018. Guild Ringing Remembers, Towers open across the Guild.
  • 11th November. Armistice Day. Muffled ringing before 11.00am. Open ringing 12.30. Battles over at 7.10pm
  • 21st November. Guild 8 bell practice at St Nicholas Warwick 6.30-7.30
  • 24th November. Guild training mornings at Leek Wootton, Stoneleigh and Honiley.
  • 8th December. The Guild Carol service will be held in Stoke.
  • 12th January 2019 The Guild Social meeting will be held in the Coventry District.
  • 2nd March. The 6 bell striking competition will be held in the Warwick District.
  • 27th April 2019, The 2019 AGM will be held in the Rugby Deanery,
The Diocese of Coventry 1918-2018

The beginnings of the Diocese of Coventry go back to the seventh century when the Diocese of Mercia was divided so the southern part became the Diocese of Worcester and the northern part became the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, stretching as far north-westerly as Chester.

During the English Civil War, Coventry was a stronghold for Parliamentarian forces. Consequently, when the monarchy was restored the new Restoration Bishop, John Hacket, reversed the title of the diocese to “Lichfield and Coventry”.

In 1836, the four deaneries of Arden, Coventry, Marton and Stoneleigh were transferred to the Diocese of Worcester by an Act of Parliament, creating the Diocese of Lichfield and leaving Coventry without its name in the title of a diocese.

In 1905, the City of Birmingham, together with the north-western parts of Warwickshire split from the Diocese of Worcester to become the new Diocese of Birmingham. The Bishop of Worcester, Charles Gore became the new Bishop of Birmingham. Bishop Gore was succeeded by Bishop Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman-Biggs who began to bring to birth the new Diocese of Coventry.

St Michael’s, Coventry was made a Collegiate Church in 1908. Two years later, in 1910, No. 13 Priory Row was purchased as a Chapter House. An appeal was launched in 1913 to raise £60,000 and by 1918 the new Diocese of Coventry consisted of two Archdeaconries (194 benefices) – its area being the parts of Warwickshire remaining up to that time in the Diocese of Worcester.

Bishop Huyshe Wolcott Yeat-Biggs transferred from Worcester to become the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Coventry.

The Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers was formed on 23rd November 1907, and was originally known as the Warwickshire Guild of Change Ringers. It was not until 1928 that a member suggested the name should be changed to the Coventry Diocesan Guild. There was no immediate response. A formal proposal to change the name was put to the AGM in 1929 and discussion was deferred for one year. In 1930, a prominent ringer proposed the existing name was retained and inertia won the day.

It was not until 1936 that the matter was resurrected with a proposed title of ‘Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bell ringers’, our current title. However, despite argument that an ecclesiastical title was better than a secular one and would clear up the overlap with the St Martins Guild, a counter proposal to retain the old name was carried. Again, the status quo held until after the war.

Just two weeks before the formal declaration of peace in Europe, the Guild AGM held in Rugby, agreed to change the name of the Guild. The first option for the name was proposed as the Warwickshire Guild for the Diocesan Guild of Coventry. On amendment, the meeting agreed to the Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers with the boundary of activity being the Diocesan, the same as it is today.

To commemorate the birth of the Diocesan a number of quarter peals and peals were rung in celebration.

Berkswell Ringers Bike Ride

On Sunday 16th September, members of the Berkswell band of ringers will take to the saddle again and support fellow ringer Sue Webb by taking part in the Balsall Common Save the Children sponsored cycle ride. We last took part in 2016 and between us, tackled each of the three routes of 20; 40; and 60 miles and raised over £2000. We hope that many of you will encourage us to go that extra mile by sponsoring the cycle team again.

Our Justgiving page can be found HERE

Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Steve Tibbetts

Guild Training Sessions

Following the summer holiday, the Guild training sessions will resume on 22nd September. This will be the third year the Guild has run these events and it is hoped more members will come and join these popular sessions. They will run on the fourth Saturday morning of the month, so they do not clash with District events and at central towers within our Guild.

At Stoneleigh, the focus will be on rounds and call changes; Leek Wootton on Plain Hunt and Bob Doubles and at Honiley on Grandsire, Stedman and minor methods. In addition, Leek Wootton will hold a familiarisation session for anyone thinking about learning to ring.

There will be two sessions at each tower; each lasting for 1 hour 15 minutes and the numbers of learners is restricted to allow maximum rope time. Each session is supported by experienced ringers.

In addition on the third Wednesday of the month, there is an 8 bell practice at St Nicholas Warwick from 6.30-7.30pm. This is to give people the opportunity of ringing on 8 with an experienced band.

Dates for the diary are:

Saturday morning training sessions: 22nd September; 27th October and 24th November.

The 8 bell practices: 19th September; 17th October and 21st November.

If you would like to find out more information, please send your enquiry to:-

CCCBR Workgroup Update

Back in June, following the CCCBR annual meeting in Lancaster, the President circulated a couple of updates – “What happens now” and a “Who’s Who” of the new workgroup leads. As promised, here is a further update, reporting on workgroup current activity and initiatives as well as future plans.

Ringers can be reassured that plenty is going on. The Executive have commenced a schedule of monthly skype briefings, with a focus not only on important items of governance, but also on the practical activity programmes of workgroups. In turn, Workgroup Leads have been in consultation with workgroup members and the wider ringing community to determine specific actions and initiatives. To avoid any potential “silos” forming, the Workgroup Leads have themselves been liaising to identify any crossover of work, and opportunities for collaboration. A joint Executive and Workgroup Lead away-day on Sunday 1stJuly provided an excellent opportunity to bring all these elements together into a cohesive framework of activity.

As the ringing community rightly expects, our focus is to provide services and support FOR RINGERS and RINGING – for Associations, for towers, and for individuals. A key aim is to preserve and celebrate the best of existing practice, while building on this through activities clearly linked to our mission and vision. To find out more go to the CCCBR website

Louise Nightingale
Workgroup Lead - Communications & Marketing

It's a Lock-Out!

While most of us will have experienced the occasional lock-out of towers while on an outing, those of us lucky enough to enjoy a very pleasant outing organised by the Aston Cantlow ringers recently had the novel experience of being locked out of the pub that had been arranged for lunch! Impeccable planning could not have foreseen the water mains burst in the High Street of Coleshill that closed a good part of the town for business.

As bad luck would have it, Roger and I saw the "Closed" notice on the front door of the pub, while the rest of the group were sensibly at the back, using the pub carpark, when they found out. With some good local knowledge they chose an alternative pub a good walk/drive away. Meanwhile we unfortunately set off on a pub-crawl in the opposite direction, trying to resist the temptation of a drink at every stop.....

Eventually of course, mobile phones came to our rescue, but not before a call to friends in Warwick to get our numbers! The problem would have been solved much more quickly by younger ringers with their social media groups etc. However, for us older ringers the moral is to check you've got all the contact numbers with you that just might be useful, then to remember to turn phones on again, possibly on loud, after you've been ringing or driving, and finally, as was learnt after a different outing this summer, to pick the phone up from a seat in one of the towers!

Barbara Howes

The Ringers

Janice Combines Her Hobbies!

Janice Sheasby

As well as her bellringing, Janice Sheasby is involved in the Morris Dancing fraternity.  While staying in Warwick for the Warwick Folk Festival she naturally combined these hobbies and came to ring for service at St Nics in full Morris Dancing dress!

Guild Outing - July 14th 2018

This year’s Guild outing had been planned for the14th July, long before we knew this was to be the hottest summer since 1976. Mike Burdett set out to make the event truly memorable and despite it being Bastille Day, decided to give the event a truly English flavour.

The first tower was Banbury and by 10.15 there were over 25 members in the tower. The ringing was fast and furious as we rang everything from rounds and call changes to Cambridge Royal. On leaving the tower to drive to Bodicote, Christine handed out directions to find the following 5 towers. There were a number of music festivals on in the area and the maps were very handy in avoiding the crowds and traffic jams.

Bodicote are a lovely light peal pf 8 and we enjoyed some interesting ringing. More members arrived and the numbers grew as we moved towards lunch time. An hour had been allowed for lunch so some could enjoy a pint in one of the local hostelries. Others ate their picnics in the Church yard at Deddington, the next tower. This 15 cwt 8 go well and were enjoyed by experienced ringers as well as those beginning their ringing journey.

The drive to Great Tew was one of the highlights of the day. The winding roads through the glorious Oxfordshire Countryside could not have been more beautiful. The music festival was in full swing when we arrived and we did wonder how they would react to the sound of the bells. Mike had arranged for the ringers to park on the verges by the entrance to the church, which has no vehicle access. They are a heavy ground floor ring and it was a great place to have the ringers’ tea: nothing short of scones, with jam and cream!!! Fantastic. There was a short business meeting to confirm 3 new members and to take the draw club. Joy proposed a vote of thanks to Mike for making all the arrangements and he received warm applause.

It was then off to Hook Norton again travelling though some lovely villages. Hooky bells are also on the heavy side. It was 48 steps to the belfry and some of us were beginning to flag. Some of the younger ringers enjoyed ringing the heavier bells, and we were quite happy for them to carry on. Temperatures of 28 degrees were beginning to tell, but more excitement had been planned. There had been no sign of Mike at Hook Norton – what was he planning next?

We arrived at Whichford to be greeted by that distinctive smell of Barbeque and there was Mike, slaving over the coals. By now numbers had dwindled somewhat but justice was done on these 12 cwt 8, from Call-Changes through to Surprise Major. Emerging from the Tower we could hear Music playing and we were greeted at the Church Gate by the ‘Plum Jerkin’ Morris men with a variety of musical instruments. With Mike exchanging his ‘Chef’s Hat’ for his ‘Morris Hat’, the side gave us a demonstration of ‘Stick Dancing’ whilst the Ringers enjoyed a veritable Barbeque feast and Punch. However, nothing comes free and supper had to be earned! The Ringers were lined up in pairs, provided with sticks and taken through a 9 part Morris Stick Dance. What fun it proved to be – and how quickly did they learn. Their completed dance was without fault, a job well and enthusiastically executed. It was the perfect end to a perfect English Country Day.

Enormous thanks must go to Mike for all his organisation, his meticulous planning, his catering prowess and his ability to unite two of the great loves of his life. What next………….!

A huge thanks to Mike and all his work in making this such a memorable event. In total, 50 members attended the outing, representing 19 towers from across the Guild. A number of visitors joined us as they had seen the event advertised on the website.

Ringing at Great Tew

Ringing at Great Tew

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea at Great Tew

Ringing at Hook Norton

Ringing at Hook Norton


Dancing at Whichford.


 2018 Edition Available

The latest newsletter is available to view as "Current Edition" and a printable version has been put into "Downloads".

Please note that the deadline for the following edition 27th September 2018 and items submitted after this date may have to be held over until the January 2019 edition.


Tower Talk

Welcome to the latest issue of Tower Talk, the magazine for ringers on the Learning the Ropes scheme.

This is a special edition for the run up to the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

11 November is always a poignant day for ringers, but this year it is particularly special because it is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and, on top of that, ringers all around the country are being recruited in the ‘Ringing Remembers’ campaign to honour the 1400 ringers known to have been lost in the Great War. We have taken this opportunity to introduce you to some of our newest ringers who have got involved through Ringing Remembers. There is plenty to read in here, but it’s only a flavour of all the hard work which is going on everywhere to get ready to ‘ring for peace’.

Read Tower Talk magazine

If you or one of your ringing colleagues started (or returned to) ringing since November 2017 then why not sign up for the Armistice 100 band.

Ruth Suggett
Editor, Tower Talk
Learning the Ropes from the Association of Ringing Teachers

Caroline Stockmann, Central Council Public Relations Officer

We know many of you are eager to have some guidance on next year’s Remembrance Day ringing (for and around 11th November 2018) but, as ever, there are so may considerations and people we need to talk to – so it’s great if you can bear with us in the meantime! But we do have a lot to say and to share already, and we hope this will mean that the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War will really be something special.

More than 1,400 of our bell ringing community laid down their lives for peace in the ‘war to end all wars.’ We know in retrospect that wars were not ‘ended’, but we also know that there is an ever increasing movement to address this. Our fallen bell ringers came from all walks of life, as we ringers still do today (from skilled workers to academics to business people – you name it!), and today we are all united in wanting to ring out a message of peace around the world.

Many of you have been asking: for 2018, the 100-year anniversary of Armistice Day, how will we make this really special for bell ringing? Here are a number of things we would like to support and help you in (and of course get your support for):

  • On Nov 11th 2018 we would like as much bell ringing as possible (goes without saying!)
  • We recommend half-muffled ringing in the morning, and opening the bells in the afternoon and evening – the idea being that we start with commemorative ringing, which naturally has its sombre tone, to recognise the loss of so many lives, and then later in the day we move to a more forward-looking tone of affirmation, - to acknowledge that our fallen have contributed to the future in terms of helping secure peace, and to make the clear statement that bell ringers want peace
  • We have been speaking with relevant government departments around the general commemorations and they would like to work with us in an official capacity; in particular they would like to support the idea of recruiting new ringers. One thought is to ensure that in 2018 we recruit 1400 ringers, the same number as those who fell in the Great War. These new ringers could be involved in some supported ringing on the actual day. We anticipate a more detailed announcement on this quite soon
  • Ringers will need to coordinate with their Church and work together on making the day very special. The more prominence on this special day for ringers and ringing, the better, as it will no doubt have a positive effect in terms of raising awareness for potential new ringers
  • We would like to share ideas as to what to ring on the day, providing a pool of ideas to tap into: varying from ‘whole pull and stand except the tenor’, which most bands would be able to do, to ringing appropriately-named methods such as Ypres and Gallipoli Surprise Major; we would love all ringers around the world to do something special this day to ring out for peace, and to send in their ideas to share with others
  • Another thought is to have 1400 quarter peals rung around the date (one for each of the fallen), for which we can set up an event on BellBoard and issue certificates
  • There is also an opportunity to ring as part of the large-scale British project, ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’. Pipers will be piping in the morning, bugles sounding and 1,000 beacons lit across the UK in the evening; this organisation (fully backed by all the key military) would like to encourage 1000 towers to ring at 7.05pm on the day, if this fits with local arrangements – (towers do not need to be aligned with the beacons).

So, in summary, we suggest half-muffled ringing in the morning to tie in with the normal solemnities and, where possible, to ring open at other opportune moments during the day (with more to come on that in due course). We are looking at how to acknowledge the various efforts made around the world, eg in the form of certificates for the various activities (there is already one available to download from Battle’s Over). And you might want to consider a community lunch or social between ringing, – why not make this a really special day for your whole ringing (and broader) community?

To input your ideas for things to ring to commemorate our fallen, or indeed ring out for peace, for all levels of ringing and numbers of bells, please write to . We will then share what we hear on the CCCBR website, in the Ringing World and via other forms of communication.

To find out more about Battle’s Over and sign up to ring at 7.05pm please give your details to:

ALSO, and finally: a call to all towers to check their muffles, and order more NOW so that you’re not caught short!

Using the Website Message Board

If you want a message put onto the website, please follow these simple steps

  • Click here - the link is at the bottom of the messages if you forget this one. It is also on the "News and Notices" menu.
  • Click on
    • Practice Night Information, or
    • Meeting Information, or
    • Ringers Required
  • Click on "New Topic"
  • Fill in the form with:-
    • Your name
    • A subject line for your message - not the whole message, something such as, "6-Bell Practice at XXXXXX on Thursday  XX December - this appears on the website
    • Type in the details in the "Message" box
    • Click in the "I am not a robot" box
    • Click on "Submit" to post the message

It is very simple to do. Please give it a go

Coventry DG Brokerage Scheme

The Guild is hoping to be able to give a helping hand to ringers and towers in the area by arranging for ringing support for what YOU want to be able to do next.

Do you need some ringers to provide a steady band around a learner in a given method?  Do you just need the odd ringer extra so you can make the next step with your, or your tower's, ringing?  Do you need a conductor for a quarter or a peal?  Do you want to ring a quarter peal or a peal and don't know the next step?

Help is at hand!  Simply download the CDG Brokerage file that you can find from

, in both pdf and Word format, complete it and then send it off.