That in every Diocese there should be a recognised authority to give advice on matters concerning church bells, and that it is hoped that each Guild and Association will take steps to provide such authority.
That this Council deprecates the breaking-up of church bells of proved good tone and real historic interest, urges the church authorities not to assent to their recasting except for the gravest reasons structurally or musically, and, furthermore, recommends that independent advice from persons qualified to advise on historic, engineering and musical grounds be obtained in all such cases before action is taken.
That (1) while there may be exceptional cases in which the use of recordings of church bells is justified, any general adoption of such a practice is emphatically to be deprecated, not only on the grounds that a substitute for the real thing is unworthy of the Church of God, but also because it eliminates the living service of hand and heart and mind which is of the very essence of bellringing and is of true spiritual value as contributory to an act of worship;
(2) the installation of such electronic equipment should be prohibited in any tower containing or capable of containing a ring of bells, except as a temporary expedient, as, for example, when tower or bells are under repair;
(3) in the case of building new churches it is obvious that the erection of a tower and bells must be often left to a future generation, or even omitted altogether, but it is a vital point of principle that no sanction should ever be given to the building or designing of a tower inadequate to its legitimate purpose with a view to the installation of playback equipment instead of real bells. The one practical object served by a church tower is to make provision for bells and to erect a tower to hold playback equipment cannot be regarded otherwise than as an architectural fraud, entirely unworthy of a building designed for sacred purposes.
That this Council deprecates installations of synthetic and recorded bells, which it considers to be unworthy of use in the House of God, and wishes to support the responsible authorities in the steps they are taking to prevent their installation. That this Council is always ready to give advice on alternative schemes.
That the primary aim of all Associations should be the encouragement of ringing for Sunday Services and on the Festivals and their Eves.
That it is desirable, whenever convenient, at all important ringing meetings of church bell ringers that arrangements should be made for holding a short service in church.
That when any peal, practice or ringers’ meeting previously arranged happens to coincide with an occasion of public mourning, whether national or local, it should be the normal procedure to make emergency arrangements with the proper authorities for the muffling of bells before use, care being taken, unless otherwise directed, to have the muffles removed at the conclusion of the ringing.
That in every Diocese there should be a recognised authority to give advice on matters concerning church bells, and that it is hoped that each Guild and Association will take steps to provide such authority.
That the County and Diocesan Associations be asked to consider the possibility of establishing in their respective areas a Bell Restoration Fund, from which grants may be made for the restoration of any rings of bells within the area, when local funds are insufficient to meet the cost.
That the attention of Associations be called to the desirability of accurate “striking”.
That this Council views with concern the comparatively small number of ringers ringing their first peal, and suggests that all ringers, mindful of their high calling, should do all in their power to encourage their less proficient brethren.
That in the opinion of the Council it is desirable that promising ringers should be given the opportunity of learning how to conduct.
That this Council strongly deprecates the recording as a peal on a commemorative tablet any performance which does not conform to the accepted standard of a true and complete peal, and calls upon all affiliated Societies to support the Council in this matter.
That this Council urges all ringing associations to press for proper insurance of all ringers, preferably under a group accident policy.
That the Memorial Books be placed in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and deposited for inspection and on permanent loan and produced to the Council on demand.
That a photostat copy of the Rolls of Honour be made, to be taken to Council Meetings.
A peal shall start and end with rounds and shall be rung without interval.
No row shall be struck more than once before the next change is made.
Every bell must sound at every row throughout the peal.
Each bell must be rung continuously by the same person or persons.
For handbells the bells shall be retained in hand.
For tower bells the bells shall be audible outside the building in which they are contained.
No assistance of any kind shall be given to any ringer by any person not ringing in the peal.
The use of physical aids to memory in conducting and ringing is not permitted.
No error in calling shall be corrected later than during the change at which the call or change of method or non-method block would properly take effect.
Any shift or error in ringing shall be corrected immediately.
The methods used in all peals shall conform to the Definitions and Requirements given in Part A of the Decisions on Methods.
Any objection which may be taken to a peal other than one with respect to the truth of the composition, shall be raised in writing to the conductor and Society concerned at the earliest date, and in any case within one month after the publication in The Ringing World.
The non-method blocks used in all peals shall conform to the Definitions and Requirements given in Part A of the Decision on Non-method Blocks.
The calls used in all peals shall conform to the Definitions and Requirements given in Part A of the Decision on Calls.
One or more umpires shall be present during any peal by a single ringer.
Peals of Minimus, Doubles, Minor and Triples shall be rung on four, five, six and seven bells respectively, or on five, six, seven and eight bells with the tenor as cover, and shall consist of at least 5040 changes rung in any combination of the following, each starting from rounds:-
(a) Extents, in which each of the possible rows at that stage occurs once and only once.
(b) Round blocks of two or more extents in which each of the possible rows at that stage occurs the same number of times.
(c) Not more than one touch shorter than an extent in which any of the possible rows at that stage occurs at most once.
Peals of Major, Caters, Royal, etc. shall be rung on eight, nine, ten, etc. bells respectively, or on nine, ten, eleven, etc. bells with the tenor as cover, and shall consist of at least 5000 true changes.
Peals of “Variable Cover Minimus”, “Variable Cover Doubles” and “Variable Cover Minor” shall be rung on five, six and seven bells respectively and shall consist of at least 5040 changes rung in any combination of the following each starting from rounds:-
(a) Variable cover extents, in which each of the possible rows, treated as being at the next higher stage, occurs once and only once.
(b) Round blocks of two or more variable cover extents in which each of the possible rows, treated as being at the next higher stage, occurs the same number of times.
(c) Extents or round blocks with the tenor as cover as permitted in 1 above.
(d) Not more than one of the following:
a touch with the tenor as cover as permitted in 1(c) above;
a variable cover touch shorter than an extent at the next higher stage in which any of the possible rows, treated as being at the next higher stage, occurs at most once.
Peals of “Variable Cover Triples”, “Variable Cover Major”, “Variable Cover Caters”, etc. shall be rung on eight, nine, ten, etc. bells respectively, with a cover bell which is not always the tenor, and shall consist of at least 5000 true changes. The truth is determined by treating all the rows as being at the next higher stage.
Peals of “Minimus and Doubles”, “Doubles and Minor” and “Minor and Triples” shall be rung on five, six and seven bells respectively and shall consist of at least 5040 changes rung in any combination of the following each starting from rounds:-
(a) Extents or round blocks at the lower stage as permitted in 3 above.
(b) Extents or round blocks at the higher stage as permitted in 1 above.
(c) Mixed stage extents, with a cover bell when ringing the lower stage, in which each of the rows possible at the higher stage occurs once and only once.
(d) Round blocks of two or more mixed stage extents, with a cover bell when ringing the lower stage, in which each of the rows possible at the higher stage occurs the same number of times.
(e) Not more than one of the following:
a touch at the lower stage as permitted in 3(d) above;
a touch at the higher stage as permitted in 1(c) above;
a mixed stage touch shorter than an extent at the higher stage, with a cover bell when ringing the lower stage, in which any of the rows possible at the higher stage occurs at most once.
The peal is described as “Variable Cover Minimus and Doubles”, “Variable Cover Doubles and Minor” and “Variable Cover Minor and Triples” respectively if the cover when ringing the lower stage is not always the same bell.
Peals of “Triples and Major”, “Major and Caters”, “Caters and Royal”, etc. shall be rung on eight, nine, ten, etc. bells respectively, with a cover bell when ringing the lower stage, and shall consist of at least 5000 true changes. The truth is determined by treating all the rows as being at the higher stage. The peal is described as “Variable Cover Triples and Major”, “Variable Cover Major and Caters”, “Variable Cover Caters and Royal”, etc. if the cover when ringing the lower stage is not always the same bell.
Reports of variable cover peals shall state the number of different cover bells and the number of changes of cover bell.
Compositions in more than one method in which the change of method occurs at the lead-head and/or the half-lead shall be called “Spliced”. In the case of compositions containing changes of method at both the half-lead and the lead-head, all the methods shall be symmetrical about the half-lead with no two of them differing only in the places made at the half-lead and/or the lead-head.
Peals consisting of extents and/or round blocks shall only be called Spliced if each extent or round block is spliced.
Doubles variations may be included in an extent or round block provided that either all the variations and methods have the same call or calls, and there is at least one plain lead of each, or all the variations and methods have the same plain course with no calls common to any two or more, and all the distinctive calls are made for each variation and method.
Peal reports shall state the number and names of all methods and all variations separately. For peals of Spliced the number of changes of method at lead-head and at half-lead shall be stated separately, and for peals of Triples and above the number of changes rung in each method shall be stated. In peals consisting of extents and/or round blocks the methods rung in each extent and/or round block shall be listed separately.
The Record Length Peal in a method or group of methods on a given number of bells shall be the longest length complying with parts A to D. Tower-bell and handbell records shall be kept separately. Variable cover records shall be kept separately. Records using non-method blocks shall be kept separately.
Record Length Peals of 10,000 or more changes must comply with the additional conditions below. The Editor of The Ringing World shall refer all peals of 10,000 or more changes to the Peal Records Committee before publication.
(a) Not less than 14 days’ notice shall be given in The Ringing World, stating the place, date and hour at which the attempt is to be made, and stating the method, number of bells and number of changes proposed to be rung. A copy of the notice shall be sent to the Peal Records Committee.
(b) The ringing to be heard and the figures of the composition to be checked throughout the peal by a competent umpire or umpires.
(c) If a record length is rung the peal report and the figures of the composition, if not previously published, shall be sent immediately to the Chairman of the Peal Records Committee.
(d) For handbell peals, every ringer shall ring at least two bells. Additionally, arrangements shall be made for interested persons to be able to hear the attempt.
The Analysis shall include all peals published in The Ringing World and shall identify peals not complying with parts A to D above.
A change is the progress from one row (permutation) to the next, effected by the interchange of bells in adjacent positions in the row.
A method is defined by the places made between successive rows of its plain course, which shall be a true round block, divisible into equal parts which are called leads. Starting the plain course from a different change does not give a different method.
The first row in each lead is known as the lead-head. The last row in each lead is known as the lead-end row. The change following the lead-end row is known as the lead-end change.
Bells that are in the same position at each lead-head in a course are known as hunt bells. Bells that are not in the same position at each lead-head in a course are known as working bells.
There are four types of method:
(a) Methods with hunt bells are known as hunters if all the working bells do the same work in the plain course and the number of leads is the same as the number of working bells.
(b) Methods with no hunt bells are known as principles if all the working bells do the same work in the plain course and the number of leads is the same as the number of bells.
(c) Methods with no hunt bells are known as differentials if all the working bells do not do the same work in the plain course or the number of leads is not the same as the number of bells.
(d) Methods with hunt bells are known as differential hunters if all the working bells do not do the same work in the plain course or the number of leads is not the same as the number of working bells.
No bell shall lead or lie continuously for the entire plain course of the method.
A method has palindromic symmetry if it is the same method when rung backwards, that is when the order of the changes is inverted. A method has double symmetry if it is the same method when reversed, that is when the places within each change are inverted. A method has rotational symmetry if it is the same method when reversed and rung backwards.
(a) A well-formed path is one in which the hunt bell has the same path if it is rung backwards and is symmetrical about two places made half a lead apart.
(b) In Plain methods the hunt bell has a well-formed path and strikes two blows in each position of the path within the lead.
(c) In Treble Dodging methods the hunt bell has a well-formed path, strikes more than two but the same number of blows in each position of the path within the lead and makes only two places within the lead.
(d) A cross section is a change at which the hunt bell passes from one dodging position to another.
Methods with one hunt bell are classified in paragraphs (a) to (h), and are further classified as Little if the path of the hunt bell is restricted to fewer positions than the number of bells.
(a) Place methods are Plain methods in which the path of each bell consists only of hunting and place-making.
(b) Bob methods are all other Plain methods.
(c) Treble Bob methods are Treble Dodging methods in which the hunt bell dodges in only one position, or that have no internal places made at any cross section.
(d) Surprise methods are Treble Dodging methods in which at least one internal place is made at every cross section.
(e) Delight methods are all other Treble Dodging methods.
(f) In Treble Place methods, the hunt bell has a well-formed path, strikes the same number of blows in each position of the path within the lead and makes more than two places within the lead.
(g) In Alliance methods, the hunt bell has a well-formed path, but does not strike the same number of blows in each position of the path.
(h) In Hybrid methods, the hunt bell does not have a well-formed path.
Each hunt bell is either a principal hunt or a secondary hunt. The properties (a) to (e) are considered in turn and the paths of the hunt bells are examined until a hunt bell is found whose path has that property. The principal hunts are all the hunt bells whose paths have that property, unless the paths of some but not all of these hunt bells are Little, when the principal hunts are those hunt bells whose paths are not Little.
(a) Plain hunting;
(b) Treble Dodging;
(c) Treble Place;
Methods with two or more hunt bells are classified using the definitions and classifications for methods with one hunt bell but with reference to all the principal hunts, and with the following exception.
(a) Slow Course methods are Plain methods with one principal hunt and a secondary hunt that has a well-formed path and makes second’s place when the principal hunt is leading.
The stage names for different numbers of changing bells are:-
4 Minimus, 6 Minor, 8 Major, 10 Royal, 12 Maximus, 14 Fourteen, 16 Sixteen, etc.
5 Doubles, 7 Triples, 9 Caters, 11 Cinques, 13 Sextuples, 15 Septuples, etc.
(a) The title of a hunter shall consist of Name, Class (with the exception of Grandsire, Double Grandsire, Reverse Grandsire, Little Grandsire, Union, Double Union and Reverse Union) and Stage.
(b) The title of a principle shall consist of Name and Stage.
(c) The title of a differential shall consist of Name, “Differential” and Stage.
(d) The title of a differential hunter shall consist of Name, “Differential”, Class and Stage.
(e) If a non-Little Plain method with double symmetry and either one plain hunting hunt bell or two or more principal hunts, all of which are coursing, has the same number of leads in the plain course as the corresponding method with no internal places below the hunt bell or principal hunts, they shall have the same name but with the prefixes “Double” and “Single” respectively.
(f) Where a principle or differential has a distinct reverse, both methods shall have the same name but one with the prefix “Reverse”.
(g) A method may not be given a name if the title excluding the Stage would be the same as a method in a different type or class, or a non-method block.
(a) Methods at different stages in the same type and class shall only have the same name if they are related as in the Decision on Method Extension.
(b) Methods at different stages in the same type and class that are uniquely related as in Parts A to D of the Decision on Method Extension shall have the same name, and where not uniquely related one relationship shall have the same name.
(c) Methods in the same class that are related as in Part E of the Decision on Method Extension shall have the same name.
A new method shall be named and published in The Ringing World, subject to D.2 and D.3 above, and to the power of the Council to change the name or leave it unnamed if it considers it necessary, by the band that first
rings an extent or round block as permitted in Part B.1 of the Decision on Peal Ringing; or
in the case of Triples only, rings a touch of at least 1260 changes, or in the case of higher stages, rings a touch of at least 1250 changes, otherwise complying with Parts A to D of the Decision on Peal Ringing; or
includes it in a multi-method peal complying with Parts A to D of the Decision on Peal Ringing.
The conditions controlling composition vary so greatly, according to the method treated, that it is impossible to devise a comprehensive set of rules which shall be equally applicable to all methods and yet free from the imperfection of being too lax when applied to some methods, and too stringent in the case of others. Each method requires separate consideration and rules determining the limits of originality in composition applicable to itself; and though it would, no doubt, be possible to form groups of methods, to each of which one set of rules might be applicable, the result would be both cumbrous and confusing. The following propositions are, therefore, limited to a general statement of the features distinguishing “Originality”, which are more or less applicable to all methods:-
(1) The earliest ascertainable true composition on any definite plan in any method, which is not a reproduction or obvious variation of the same composition in another method, is entitled to be termed the “original” composition on that plan.
(2) Subsequent compositions on the same plan which are not demonstrably reversals or transpositions (as hereinafter described) or obvious variations of a previous composition in the same method, may be considered as “distinct” compositions on the plan and allowed the claim of “originality”.
(3) Reversals, in which the calls in one position are exchanged for those in another, including direct inversions of calling; Transpositions, by which one bell is substituted for another as “the observation”, or rearrangements of the same calling; Artificial Alterations, such as the employment of alternative calls, the multiplication or subtracting or shifting of singles, or the redistribution of “shunting calls”, by which the general result is not affected, but only the form of the composition -- if applied to any previous composition possessed of the distinction of “originality”, are to be considered as “Variations”.
In the foregoing statement, the word “plan” is used in a comprehensive sense, as embracing not only the divisions of a composition into a given number of parts, but also the assignment of “qualities” with reference to length, the treatment of “fixed” or “observation” bells, or any other Distinctive Feature in Construction.
That it is desirable that Thurstans’ well-known composition in Stedman Triples be designated his “four-part”; and his other compositions his “five-part” and “one part” respectively.
That in the opinion of the Council the publication of palpably false compositions and worthless methods reflects discredit on their composers.
A cycle of working bells is a set of bells that successively occupy each other’s positions at the lead-heads of the plain course.
A method is said to have Plain Bob-type lead-heads if it can be started from a change such that the treble leads at the lead-end changes, and the lead-heads and lead-end rows all occur in a course of Plain Bob.
An extension by an even number of stages must meet the requirements listed in this Part, in addition to following one of the formulae described in Parts C to D.
The relationship must cover an indefinite number of stages.
The extension of a method must have the same symmetry as the parent.
The extension of a method must have the same number of hunt bells as the parent.
The extension of a method must have the same number of cycles of working bells as the parent. Where a method has two or more cycles of the same size, this characteristic must be retained in all extensions.
The extension of a method with Plain Bob-type lead-heads must also have Plain Bob-type lead-heads. The extension of a method with non-Plain Bob-type lead-heads must also have non-Plain Bob-type lead-heads.
The extension of a method must not have a bell making more or fewer consecutive blows than are made at the related position in the parent.
Wherever the parent has a place made adjacent to the path of a hunt bell, this characteristic must be retained in all extensions.
Wherever the parent has working bells making adjacent places, this characteristic must be retained in all extensions.
(a) In this Part it is assumed that the method is started from a change such that the treble is the hunt bell or a principal hunt.
(b) This Part covers all plain and treble dodging methods and Alliance methods with the treble’s path formed from these two. It also applies to some other forms of Alliance, Treble Place and Hybrid methods.
(c) All extensions must satisfy the requirements of the formula laid out in 2 below.
(d) For methods that do not have palindromic symmetry the formula may be applied separately forwards from the lead-head and backwards from the lead-end. The same mode must be used for both applications of the formula above the treble and the same mode must be used for both applications of the formula below the treble. Where either the work above or the work below the treble is symmetrical, this characteristic must be retained in all extensions.
Capital letters are used to describe the places made when the treble is in the following positions in the parent.
External places remain external.
The permitted extensions are those whose notation above the treble is described in (b) and whose notation below the treble is described in (c) below, taking Major as an example.
(b) Extension above the treble.
A, B, C, etc., above the treble are counted from the back and An, Bn, Cn, etc., are derived in a mode-m extension from A, B, C, etc., by expanding all internal places below mths place from the back n positions from the back.
Extension in steps of two stages above the treble.
Extension in steps of four stages above the treble.
The constructions for permitted extensions in steps of more than four stages are similarly derived.
(c) Extension below the treble.
An, Bn, Cn, etc. below the treble are derived in a mode-m extension from A, B, C, etc. by expanding all internal places above mths place n positions from the lead.
Extension in steps of two stages below the treble.
Extension in steps of four stages below the treble.
The constructions for permitted extensions in steps of more than four stages are similarly derived.
Note that although the notation is necessarily different, the constructions permitted below the treble are structurally identical to those permitted above the treble.
(a) The length of the lead remains constant.
(b) In a mode-m extension all internal places up to and including mths place remain static with respect to the lead and all internal places above mths place remain static with respect to the lie.
(a) There shall be two coursing hunt bells in the extension, which hunt to one position further from the lead than the hunt bell does in the parent.
(b) The places above the hunt bells in the extension are the same as those above the hunt bell in the parent but all moved one position from the lead.
(c) The places below the hunt bells in the extension are the same as those below the hunt bell in the parent.
(a) There must be no places made above the hunt bell at the half-lead or below the hunt bell at the lead-end change in the parent.
(b) No places are made above the hunt bells at, or either side of, the half-lead or below the hunt bells at, or either side of, the lead-end change in the extension.
(a) Grandsire, Double Grandsire, Reverse Grandsire and Little Grandsire are the twin-hunt extensions of Plain Bob, Double Bob, Reverse Bob and Little Bob respectively to the next higher stage, although strictly Plain Bob at odd stages (Grandsire at even stages) is a different method from Plain Bob at even stages (Grandsire at odd stages).
That, where it appears beneficial to do so, alliances should be formed between the Council and ringing organisations not affiliated to the Council, including those with traditions of ringing other than in the English style, for the purposes of mutual support, fraternity and cultural understanding. Where it is appropriate, the Council will encourage the development of change ringing in new regions.
A non-method block is a block of changes that does not constitute a plain lead of a method.
(a) The title of a non-method block shall consist of Name, “Block” and Stage.
(b) A non-method block may not be given a name if the title excluding the Stage would be the same as a method or another non-method block.
The band that first includes a new non-method block in a peal complying with Parts A to D of the Decision on Peal Ringing, shall name the non-method block and publish it in The Ringing World, subject to B.1 above, and to the power of the Council to change the name or leave it unnamed if it considers it necessary.
A call is a modification made to the changes that would otherwise occur while ringing a method or non-method block. It is not part of the definition of the method or non-method block.
A call in a method may be effected in one of the following ways:
(a) by altering the places made between two or more consecutive rows without altering the length of a lead;
(b) by omitting consecutive changes, altering the length of a lead.
(c) by inserting additional changes between two rows, altering the length of a lead.
A call in a non-method block is effected by altering the places made between the last two rows without altering the length of the block.
(a) Standard calls are defined for the following plain Doubles methods.
For methods with palindromic symmetry and one plain hunt bell, standard calls are those that only affect the places made when the plain hunt bell is leading.
For methods with no internal places made below two coursing hunt bells, standard calls are those that only affect the places made while the first hunt bell hunts down or is leading and that cause the changes rung to be symmetrical about the first hunt bell’s lead.
For methods with no internal places made above two coursing hunt bells, standard calls are those that only affect the places made while the first hunt bell hunts up or is lying behind and that cause the changes rung to be symmetrical about the first hunt bell’s lie behind.
(b) Where standard calls are defined for a plain Doubles method, a variation is defined as the use of calls other than the standard calls.
(c) Each variation must by itself be capable of producing a true six-score, and may be given its own name.
The Council’s primary rôle is to provide support and services to bellringers.
The Council recognises its responsibility to undertake actions locally or globally that will help to ensure the long term future of ringing by supporting the development of all aspects of the art, science and practice of ringing, and fostering a sustainable community of competent, motivated ringers.
The Council recognises the church as an important partner for the ringing community - most ringers are members of church bands that provide a service within their church communities and most ringers depend on the use of bells in churches. However, the Council seeks to promote ringing as a living tradition open to all.
The Council supports ringing for many reasons, including for church services, community celebrations, the development of skills and the personal satisfaction of ringers.
The Council will seek opportunities to develop an appetite for ringing and a respect for ringers in the wider community and in all organisations with an interest in bells.
The Council recognises the need to ensure the long term availability of bells suitable for ringing, whether in churches, former churches or other buildings in civic, commercial or private ownership, especially in an era of closing churches.
The Council recognises itself as one of a number of providers of services to ringers, and will seek constructive synergy with other service providers, taking a leading rôle in helping different agencies to work effectively together.
The Council recognises that its responsibility to ringers includes seeking to ensure the continuity of any service on which the ringing community depends, if the original provider is no longer able to do so.
This page is maintained by Tony Smith 30th May 2016