The Wokingham Paper

The bells ring out across Wokingham once again after Covid-19 paused physical church services

Wokingham bellringers
Bellringers from All Saints Church ringing handbells

THE CHIME of bells can now be heard in Wokingham town centre, as bell ringers return to work.

For the past 19 weeks, Sundays have been quiet, as ringing in bell towers was suspended due to social distancing requirements.

But these restrictions were lifted this month.

John Harrison, at All Saints Church, Wokingham said: “Since the restrictions on meeting out of doors were lifted in June, Wokingham’s bell ringers have taken advantage of the good weather to ring several handbell performances outdoors.

“By July, Public Health England had agreed guidelines for a limited return to tower bell ringing.

“But the arrangements for safe ringing at All Saints Church weren’t in place for the first post-lockdown service on Sunday, July 12.

“Instead, parishioners arriving for the service were greeted ringing on handbells, with the ringers standing outside, instead of being in the tower.

“Then last Sunday, the tower bells were rung before the service — the first time for 19 weeks.

“The need to maintain distance between ringers meant they could only ring five of the eight bells, and they only rang for 15 minutes in line with official guidance.”

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