Sun and Monday 29th and 30th August 2021 St James Tower Clean
Over the Bank Holiday weekend our ringers spent a few hours cleaning the bell chamber and the ringing chamber. Thanks to all involved for your hard work!
Sat 5th July 2021 St James Bells Ring Out for the NHS GC
Ringing to thank the NHS
At 8.00pm on Monday 5 July the St James Bells rang out for the NHS GC to acknowledge a collective thank you for the work of the NHS, as part of the National day of thanks. Our bells were joined at 8.00pm by other towers across the nation. There were 73 changes, each change marking each year since the founding of the NHS. Throughout the pandemic our team of ringers have, when possible, kept alive the sound of bells across Didsbury, as they have done since 1727..
Sat 10th and 17th April 2021 Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
On Saturday April 10th 2021, many bellringers across the country tolled a single bell 99 times to mark the sad death of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday 9th April. Helen Lacy tolled our tenor 99 times - one for every year of his life.
On Saturday 17th April between 2.30pm and 3.00pm, Terry Henfrey, Maggie Ratcliffe, David Lacy and Helen Lacy joined in the nationwide tolling of bells for the funeral
23rd March 2021 Ringing for the Anniversary of COVID lockdown
This article appeared in the Manchester City Council Staff Spotlight featuring Terry, one of our ringers
Sat 27th Feb 2021 Funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore
On Saturday February 27th 2021, many bellringers across the country tolled a single bell 100 times on the occasion of the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore who died on 2nd February 2021 aged 100.
Our own Paul Robinson led our tribute to him by tolling our tenor at noon.
January 2021 Winter at St James
This atmospheric picture was taken by Kate, one of our ringers
Tue 22nd December 2020 Changing the flag for Christmas
One of the jobs that falls to the Didsbury ringers is the periodic changing of the St George's flag which flies from the tower. Paul - our steeple keeper - normally performs this task.
The Earl Marshall’s Warrant made on 9 February 1938, laid down that the flag to be flown upon any church within the Provinces of Canterbury and York was “a St George's Cross with the arms of the see (which should not be surmounted by a mitre except when used by the bishop personally) in the first quarter”, that is, the arms of the diocese in the top quarter nearest the mast. The Warrant was endorsed by the two Archbishops at the time and continues to be quoted in legal guidance on the subject, but it is not compulsory. There is however an ancient tradition of churches flying a plain St George Cross as we do at Didsbury.
The flag gets really battered by the English wind and rain and high-quality (and expensive) flags usually last about 6 months before being ripped to shreds by the weather. Cheaper flags typically cost a quarter of the price of the expensive flags and last approximately 3 months.
This picture shows old and new side-by-side and shows what a battering the flag gets
November 2020 Ringing in Lockdown 2.0
England went into its second COVID lockdown between Thursday 5th November 2020 and Wednesday 2nd December 2020.
Didsbury Bellringers were asked to ring at 6pm every evening of lockdown to mark the start of an hour of prayer as directed by the archbishops of the Church of England.
To get round the risk of transmission of COVID (72 hours need to elapse before someone else can ring the same rope) we kept track of who rung and on which rope.
All ringers, as can be seen from the pictures, were required to wear a mask and follow the usual sanitisation procedures for hands before and after ringing.
A register was kept for track and trace purposes.
Here are some of those that took part in our lockdown 2.0 daily ring.