Ringers will be aware that the Dean and Chapter at York Minster are now inviting non-Minster ringers to assist in ringing the Minster bells over the Christmas period. Whilst this may be attractive to the community it has raised varying reaction from ringers approached to help and from the wider ringing fraternity. When I met with the Dean on 17 th November, the option of interim arrangements for Christmas was certainly discussed with the longer-term objective of reviving a local York band. Having awaited an announcement by the Minster authorities as to their chosen course of action, events have overtaken that expectation and the Council is, therefore, making this brief comment.
The complex nature of York Minster operations and relationship with the ringers is not a matter for public debate. It is, however, a pity that some of the former ringers could not have been suitably passed through the latest processes for volunteers including, where appropriate, DBS checks since this could have been achieved between October and December. That there is a genuine desire to re-establish ringing at the Minster is without question and the Dean and Chapter together with the Yorkshire Association are working to that end. In the meantime, ringers invited to “substitute” at the Minster must follow their own consciences but I would counsel against any extreme comments or actions taken whether in the media or against individuals.
Chris Mew, President CCCBR
12 December 2016