Bell Tower Challenge Has
Nice Ring To It
CHURCHES and cathedrals across
Merseyside are being challenged to show people the ropes by bringing to life the
400 year old tradition of English style bell ringing as part of Heritage Open
Days this September. The call to the ringing world to open up 500 sites will
provide a unique opportunity for ringing bands across England to share the
heritage hidden inside their bell towers as well as their passion with millions
of visitors who every year venture out to discover the treasures on their
Bell ringers across the country are already signing up to take part in Challenge
500 including enthusiasts at some of Merseyside's most interesting locations,
such as Holy Cross Parish Church, Woodchurch and St. Andrew's Church, Maghull.
The tradition of change ringing is a unique
form of music which has its roots in England. Instead of 'tunes' the bells ring
in orderly sequences that the ringers learn as patterns and then ring from
memory. Ringers control the bell with a rope, while the bell turns full circle,
mounted on a wheel. Famous people who are reported to have rung bells include
comedians Victoria Wood, Jo Brand and Timmy Mallett, gardener Alan Titchmarsh
and entertainer and writer Frank Muir.
In addition to the Challenge 500 ringers are
invited to come together to create a collective bell ringing moment as part of
the festival on Thursday, 8 September between:- 18:00 to 19:00 hours.
Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days, said:- "Heritage Open Days
provides the perfect opportunity to join together to bring to life the
four-hundred year old tradition of English-style bell ringing for a huge
audience. We are keen to recruit churches and cathedrals to become involved in
the festival by registering an event for visitors to discover their bell towers
and to take part in hands on demonstrations."
Chris Mew, President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, said:-
"We are excited that bell ringers will join this annual celebration of our
cultural treasures. There are 5,000 bell towers for change ringing and our
challenge is to unlock the doors to 500 of them. What's more, some visitors may
be able to see the bells, often locked away over our heads, discover our ringing
forebears' achievements recorded on peal boards, learn about bell ringing and
maybe have a go themselves."
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said:-
"Ringing out the bells over Heritage Open Days is a great way to bring people's
attention to the cultural and historical significance of bell ringing and its
preservation. We are excited that millions of visitors will be able to discover
the hidden history of bell towers in churches and cathedrals which will be free
to access over four days."
To take part in the challenge and to be counted, bell towers need to register
with Heritage Open Days, by 1 August 2016. By registering, all participants
will be able to access a free marketing support pack and their event will be
online from mid July.
2 examples of the 500+ registered events...
► Holy Cross Parish Church, Woodchurch. Enjoy the opportunity to try your hand at ringing the tower bells alongside
experienced bell ringers. Climb the 100+ steps up the tower for views of
Woodchurch and beyond. Enjoy our Church Trail, activities and a colouring
competition for children. Old photographs of Woodchurch and our Church together
with memorabilia will be on display, and visitors can speak to us about family
► St. Andrew's Church, Maghull. Listen to the wonderful art of bell ringing by St. Andrew's hand bell ringing
team and explore the gorgeous sights at St Andrew's Church.
Husband and wife peace
campaigners accept Honorary Doctorates from Edge Hill University
COLIN and Wendy Parry have been
awarded with Honorary Doctors of Education by Edge Hill University for their
efforts in promoting peace and community education in the wake of a family
On 20 March 1993, Colin and Wendy's 12 year old son, Tim was involved in an IRA
bombing attack in Warrington, and died 4 days later. Keen to ensure that
their son did not die in vain, Colin and Wendy established the Foundation for
Peace charity in 1995.
It was in the "very, very dark days" immediately following the bombing
when the couple tried to find answers about why the IRA would choose Warrington,
that they agreed to make a programme with the BBC.
"It was a very tough programme to make... But we
did find one bright spot in that month of making the programme. We witnessed a
group of young Northern Irish people, politically divided but united around the
concept that you cannot resolve disputes through violence.
So while they may have had different political ambitions they all united around
the concept of peace building. The foundation is predicated on the principle
that you talk to your enemy. I can't see how any progress can be made in any
conflict of any kind without dialogue" said Colin.
The Foundation for Peace works with people from all backgrounds to prevent
conflict by helping them to develop the skills and understanding to be able to
resolve conflict through non-violent means. The Foundation also provides
training and guidance to leaders and mangers, including those at government
level, on how to deal with past, present and future conflicts.
In March 2000 Colin and Wendy opened the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre
in Warrington; a safe place where people can learn about non-violent resolution
of conflict. Colin and Wendy are passionate about encouraging those involved in
or affected by conflict to build meaningful friendships and find the means of
working together to eliminate the prejudice and distrust.
Speaking to today's graduands, Colin added:- "What matters most to us is
that we make a meaningful and long term difference in the world. I would look to
you to be the generation that can break the mould, who will step across the road
to speak to someone from the other side, whatever that other side is, who do
take the trouble to learn more about why people have differences and to make
your own contribution. Everyone can make those bigger gaps smaller in a very
simple way by conversation. That's our simple mantra."
Edge Hill University will award ten Honorary Degrees during its 2016 summer
graduation ceremonies. Each of the recipients - leaders in a range of areas
spanning film, law, politics, music, education, and philanthropy - will be
recognised by Edge Hill for their contributions to society that resonate with
the University's values, teaching and research.