Some have asked for further clarification regarding the possibility of marking the 75th anniversary of the VJ Day on 15th August. As we were unable to ring for VE Day in May because of the total shut down of churches, the suggestion (not instruction) that there might be able to be some form of commemoration on VJ Day now that some towers are able to ring, albeit under certain conditions, still requires the relevant safety guidelines to be met.
Further support from the CofE in the UK has been sought for their consideration. Note we asked for their support rather than their permission but if a band had the approval and support of their parish priest and were willing to follow the CCCBR guidance re distancing, maximum ringing times etc plus the added provisions of the same band ringing on the Saturday and Sunday and ringing the same bells on both occasions then the risk should be very low and could be lowered further by the wearing of face masks. Where towers wish to mark this they could do so either with the chiming of a single bell, or with a short period of ringing that complied in all respects with the CCCBR guidance as approved by the Church and PHE – in other words a limited number of bells, with the agreed social distancing and other precautions and for no more than 15 minutes.
The time being suggested for ringing is 11am (local time) or soon after if observing a 2 minutes silence, and we are aware that in most cases there will not be a specific service going on at that time, but as always consideration to local events and availability should be borne in mind. We would add a further stipulation that in those towers where ringing for Sunday has already restarted then it should be the same group of ringers who rang on the Saturday for VJ Day and then again for Sunday service (to avoid spread between one band and another ringing so close together in time) and we would stress that absolutely no one apart from the participating ringers should be in the ringing room for either the VJ Day or Sunday service ringing – just in case this gets forgotten.
If you do mark this occasion, there is a Bellboard event set up to link your performance to at https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/event.php?id=13084
Public Relations Officer