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Bell ringing questions in Parliament: The Church of England Newspaper, March 9, 2012 p 6. March 15, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Church of England remains keen to support campanology, the Second Church Estates Commissioner told Parliament last week.

In response to a question from the member for Pendle, Mr. Andrew Stephenson (Con.) who asked what steps the Church Commissioners were taking to “promote bell ringing,” Mr. Tony Baldry stated that a “general fund provides grants to enable the repair and maintenance of historic bell towers.”

He added that the Church of England was “delighted” that bell ringing in churches would take “centre stage” during the diamond jubilee and Olympic celebrations.

Mr. Stephenson informed the House that the bell ringers of St Mary-le-Ghyll church in Barnoldswick had raised more than £60,000 to add three bells to their church, and were in the process of raising funds to add an additional two bells.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner stated this was a “fantastic achievement” and expressed his hope that all six bells would ring out on 3 June 2012 to coincide with the river pageant on the River Thames.

“I am glad to report to the House that the lead barge—the herald barge—will contain a floating belfry, the first of its kind with a new ring of eight bells cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Each of the royal jubilee bells will have the royal arms cast on it and will be named after a senior member of the royal family. The bells will go down the Thames and ring a quarter peal on the river, with the church bells along the route providing a musical response. It is hoped that at 3 pm on 3 June bells throughout England will ring out to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee,” Mr. Baldry said.

The speaker congratulated the Second Church Estates Commissioner for the breadth of his knowledge on bells, saying “no one could accuse the hon. Gentleman of providing the House with insufficient information.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.