BRF Rules and Procedures,
as approved at 2019 AGM 

Welcome to the main website for the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers

  Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit ... it also makes a glorious sound! 
This website is primarily intended to keep local ringers informed of news and ringing events. We hope other ringers will find the details of towers, practice nights and the ringing programmes useful.

The association is composed of four districts, each with their own website:
and there is a separate website for the Ely DA Young Ringers

Ringing courses and more
at the 
Stretham REC
Ringing Documents here
Association garments from Expertees of Huntingdon. More details here, or click the sweatshirt.
For an introduction to bell ringing, and how to learn to ring, click the bell.

Dates for the Association (larger calendar here)

Here are all the dates for the Association, Districts, Young Ringers and Stretham REC shown as a Google Calendar. A larger calendar (with space for more entries at a time, and options to view a whole week or month) is available here. Use of a Google Calendar is experimental - comments or suggestions to the webmaster ( please. 

See also the ringing programmes for the individual districts: CambridgeElyHuntingdon and Wisbech, for the Stretham REC and for the Young Ringers.

The Bells of St Clements, Cambridge

Here is a newsletter from Melissa, the St Clement's Fundraiser:

An exciting project is underway to install an easy-going ring of 6 bells in St Clement's, Cambridge. The intention is that St Clement's will host a teaching centre that can act as a feeder to other towers and provide a boost to ringing across the association. As well as recruiting and training new ringers, we aim to provide a place where anyone who is finding it hard work making progress can come for extra help and practice. We'll also aim to help ringers to develop their teaching skills and speed up the development of their bands wherever they ring.

St Clement's has recently undergone repairs and been provided with new facilities, including toilets, making it sustainable for the future and ideal for our purpose. We have the support of the PCC which has applied for a faculty for the bells and necessary improvements to the tower to provide a suitable first floor ringing chamber with easy access. The project can go ahead once we have the faculty and have raised the necessary money.

Our target is to raise £250,000, some from grants but mainly from members of the EDA, CUG and the Society of Cambridge Youths.  This should be enough to pay for the bells, the building work, teaching aids and running costs for the first year, including the salary of a part-time manager. We are hoping that EDA members will wish to contribute to a project that will be an invaluable resource for the area. Donations of all sizes are welcome. If you are interested, please get in touch at or visit our website

Look To - Chairman's chat, October 2019

Hi, everyone. 

Have you ever been in a situation (I know I have) when someone mentions a ringing term, or uses ringing jargon, and you haven’t a clue what they’re on about? And you ask, in all innocence, “what does that mean?” and they look at you pityingly and say, like the Owl said to Thumper in the Disney film Bambi, “Don’t you know?”

Things like why we need singles, why we get an extent of Bob Doubles with bobs only and yet you have to have singles for an extent of Grandsire Doubles, that kind of thing. Everyone thinks everybody knows about these things, but, sadly, we often don’t!

To this end, having consulted with EDA RATO Dee Smith, I’m running a workshop at Stretham REC, near Ely, on Saturday next, October 26th, from 2:00 until 4:00. It’s called “What you’ve always wanted to know about ringing but were afraid to ask”. It’ll include things like “why singles”, “the nature of the rows”, and simple method construction. You don’t need to be an “expert” (anyway, there aren’t any experts in the EDA); however, you may need to know about Plain Bob and Grandsire, but if you don’t, just come along anyway; it won’t be a difficult thing, you won’t get “put on the spot” by being asked awkward questions, and....there will be some ringing afterwards.

So, if you’re interested, let Louise at the REC know (email Louise on Maybe see you there on Saturday 26th October at 2:00 at Stretham REC.

Happy ringing!


More chats here.

Ely DA Autumn Event - Quiz 'n' Ring hosted by the Wisbech District - Saturday 27th October

  The Ely DA Autumn Event is hosted by the Wisbech District this year, and will be held on Saturday 27th October. Three towers in the North Nene area – Tydd St Giles, Wisbech St Mary and Walsoken, will be open from 12 noon to 3 pm for general ringing, and there will be a quiz in each church. Then there will be ringing at St Peter and St Paul, Wisbech from 3.30 – 5 pm, followed by tea and meeting.

Click the thumbnail image of the poster to the left for a full-size version.


Armistice 100 in the Ely DA

A nationwide Day of Commemorative Events is planned for Sunday 11th November 2018, marking the Centenary of the end of the First World War and paying tribute to the millions killed or wounded in battle, and those on the home front who struggled amidst pain and loss to help ensure freedom survived.

To support this Day of Events, in the Ely DA, we intend to ring 100 rows (i.e. 100 blows from each bell) at as many of our towers as possible during the weekend 10-11th November.

See the Armistice 100 pages for more details of the Commemorative Events, and ringing arranged so far at Ely DA towers. Use the Comments page to indicate details of ringing which is already arranged, request for more ringers at a tower or offer to help at a general time and place.

New Ely DA Rules and Regulations in 2018

The new Ely DA Rules and Regulations, approved at the AGM in May 2017, come into force in 2018. The new Rules are here, and the Regulations are here.
  • Some of the rule changes require the election of new officers and therefore cannot come into effect until those officers are elected, for example at the AGM in May 2018.
  • Subscriptions are for a calendar year, so the membership categories defined by the new rules take effect on 1st January 2018. The relevant membership categories are:
    • Ringing Members - Ringing Members shall normally be resident, or be regular ringers at a tower, within the Diocese of Ely and pay an annual subscription. For 2018, the annual subscription for Ringing Members is £10.
    • Junior Ringing Members - Junior Ringing Members are Ringing Members under the age of 21, and are entitled to pay a reduced subscription. For 2018, the reduced subscription for Junior Members is £5.
As a result, any Ringing Member who is under the age of 21 on 1st January 2018 is entitled to become a Junior Ringing Member and pay the reduced subscription, even if they were paying a full subscription in 2017.

The membership category of Senior Ringing Member, available for subscriptions due in 2017, is no longer available in 2018. Any Ringing Member who was already a Senior Ringing Member in 2017 remains under no obligation to pay a subscription. However, any Ringing Member who was not already a Senior Ringing Member in 2017, even if they reached the age of 70 in 2017, has to continue to pay a subscription as a Ringing Member.

For any queries or clarifications, please consult the General Secretary in the first instance.

Revd John Rowsell

The funeral of Revd John Rowsell will take place at St George’s, Methwold on Wednesday 29th November at 2.00pm John Rowsell was a long term member of the Ely DA and there may be some who wish to attend this service. Please contact Pam Wakeling ( for more information.

RWNYC - Birmingham, Saturday 1st July 2017

Congratulations to the Fen Tigers of the Ely DA for coming 2nd in the Call Changes category of the Ringing World National Youth Contest at Birmingham on Saturday 1st July. The Fen Tigers rang at Harborne to qualify for the final, and were awarded a B in the final at St Pauls. Full results are here. In ringing order, the band was: Catherine Morley (reserve), Henry Pipe, Alfie Pipe, Dorothy Brooke, Matthew Stevens, Toby Johnson, John Hinton (C), Daniel Stevens and Jason Burnet.

John G Gipson

From Peter Hinton, on the Cambridge District website:
I am very sorry to pass on the news that John Gipson has died, at the age of 93. He rang his first peal in 1939 and last rang on the rehung bells at Meldreth in September 2015. A short paragraph is never going to be enough to do justice to his life; John gave so much to Meldreth (not just in his ringing, but in his service to the church and to the village), to the District and the Association and to the ringing community nationally. His engineering skills were put to effective use in many bell-hanging projects, within the Association and beyond. He taught several generations of ringers and was always keen to encourage their peal-ringing. This is truly the end of an era. Our thoughts and sympathies go to his daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

From Richard A Smith, of the Cambridge University Guild:
I am sorry to have to report that John Gipson died earlier today (18th June) aged 93. Johnny was the first person to be elected an honorary member of the (Cambridge University) Guild, and was well known to many generations of Guild members. He rang his first peal on 9 March 1939, of Grandsire Doubles at Meldreth, then a ring of five. He went on to ring a total of 3015 peals, 1669 of which were at Meldreth, an impressive record for the number of peals anyone has rung at a single tower that's unlikely to be broken soon.

John's contribution to the ringing community was significant and will be much missed. He taught many people to ring, and encouraged many of his learners to take up peal ringing.

His engineering skills were frequently put to use in augmentations and bell restoration projects (to say nothing of repairs to ringers' bicycles and cars). He was instrumental in the augmentation of Meldreth to eight in 1968, and hung the new trebles himself; his name appears on the treble as a churchwarden. Although he had stopped peal ringing five years ago, when Meldreth were rehung in 2015, he was able to ring on the bells that September.

Service of Thanksgiving:
A Service of Thanksgiving will be held on Tuesday 25th July 2017 at 2:30pm at Holy Trinity Church, Meldreth. All are welcome.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent c/o Peasgood and Skeates Funeral Directors, 45 Moorfield Road, Duxford CB22 4PP for Holy Trinity Church, Meldreth and Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers.

A short biography of John can be found here:

Ridgman 10-bell Striking Competition, Great St Mary, Cambridge, 17th June 2017

Here are the results, congratulations to the Ely DA band. Steward's report and band photos on the Ridgman Trophy website here.

1 Ely Diocesan Association 86%
2 Bedfordshire Association 72%
3 Lincoln Diocesan Guild 67%
4 Suffolk Guild 64%
5 Hertford Association 63%
6 Peterborough Diocesan Guild 62%
7 Cambridge University Guild 53%
8 Essex Association (DNC)

Ely DA inter-district striking competition and AGM

Here is a short report from JoAnne Rutter as General Secretary:

8-Bell Inter-district Striking Competition at Meldreth

All 4 teams rang well, and provided some good listening in the sunny churchyard. Judges Chris McCarthy and Ann Clinton from Saffron Walden were complimentary about the standard of ringing in general. They particularly commended our competition Rules, and preferred them to many others they have struggled with in the past. The competition was won by the Huntingdon team (Grandsire, 33.5 faults), followed by Ely (CambSM, 37), Cambridge (CambSM, 38) and Wisbech (Grandsire, 57). Full results and band photos here.


The AGM was efficiently run as ever by Tom Ridgman, who batted through the Agenda in quick order. The current Officers were all re-elected with the exception of the Quarter Peal Secretary, who from January 2018 will be Ian Hamilton, and the Public Relations Officer, which is now a vacant position. Please do think about volunteering (yourself or another!) for this very important role, for which training is available. It would particularly suit someone who is comfortable with social media - could this be you?

The proposed new Association Rules were adopted, and will take effect in 2018, although no doubt we will be transitioning toward the new committee structure during the rest of this year so that we hit the ground running. (The new Rules are here and the Regulations are here)

The recent CRAG Report was discussed, and a straw poll taken to give our CC Reps an idea of Association feeling before they vote in Edinburgh at the end of May. Despite reservations in several areas (including concentration of power, lack of checks and balances, speed of change, and relationship with the church) the poll showed broad support for the report and the work of CRAG.
JoAnne Rutter

Ely DA garments from Expertees of Huntingdon - web shop here

Expertees of Huntingdon have set up a web shop for Ely DA branded garments, embroidered with the logo of the Association and space for your tower or district name. At present, the available garments are: T-shirt, polo shirt, sweatshirt and fleece jacket with sleeves or sleeveless, all in a range of colours. Visit the web shop here, or click on the sweatshirt. To arrange for garments with an alternative logo, for example for your own tower, visit the Expertees home page, here.

Draft new Rules and Regulations for the Ely DA

As discussed at the SGM in October 2016, the Constitution Subcommittee has worked hard to draft new Rules for the Ely Diocesan Association, and to provide draft Regulations to supplement the Rules. The consultation period is now over and these new Rules and Regulations will be formally presented for approval at the forthcoming AGM at Meldreth on Saturday 13th May. The drafts are now available in advance of the AGM. Draft new Rules; draft Regulations.

Felicity Webster

From Jackie Latham, Cambridge District President:

This morning we received the sad news that Felicity passed away last night (Monday, 5th December).  Many of us visited her over the last few months and those that saw her in the hospice could see that it was a good place to be at the end, both for Fliss and her family.

In her relatively short ringing career Felicity made a huge contribution to ringing at both district and association level and many of us had the great pleasure of ringing with her, and sharing in her positive and all-encompassing personality.  She never stinted in her generosity of both time and encouragement to others and she will leave a huge hole in the heart of the district.

I would like on behalf of every ringer in the district and wider ringing community who knew and loved Felicity, to offer our deep sympathy to Judith, Richard and the family at what must be a truly heartbreaking time.  

Service of Thanksgiving - Tuesday 20th December

Judith has asked me to let everyone know that there is to be a private family cremation, but that there will be a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Felicity to which all are welcome. This will be held at All Saints Church, Haslingfield at 2pm on Tuesday 20th December.

There will be open ringing from 1.15 before the service and the bells will also be available afterwards.  At Fliss's request, please wear bright colours.

No flowers please but donations if desired to the Arthur Rank Hospice or to support the maintenance of Haslingfield bells. Details of how to donate will be available at the service.
Jackie Latham

Ely DA Christmas Cards

KODAK Digital Still Camera
  A few Ely DA Christmas cards are still available from Barbara Le Gallez at the Stretham REC. They feature a beautiful bell ringing angel from a stained glass window in St James Stretham. Money goes to the Bell Restoration Fund. £2.50 for a pack of 5, available with a Christmas greeting inside, or blank for use on other occasions.

Rededication of the bells at St Mary's, Denver

The Bishop of Ely rededicated the bells of St Mary's, Denver on Sunday 27th November at a service starting at 3 pm. The local ringers rang before the service, and were joined by more ringers in the Ely DA to ring afterwards.

New Ringer's Packs

KODAK Digital Still Camera
  New Ringer's Packs are now available from the Ely DA.

These can be ordered for any new ringer, whether or not they are an Ely DA member. Anyone can order one - tower captains, trainers or simply friends of the new ringer. The packs, which are free, contain informative booklets and leaflets about bell ringing and about the Ely DA.

Please email to order a New Ringer's Pack.

RWNYC, 2nd July 2016

Congratulations to the Fen Tigers (Ely DA Young Ringers) who were placed joint second in the Call Changes Category of the Ringing World National Youth Contest in London on Saturday 2nd July.

They rang in the heat at St James, Garlickhythe, and were awarded an A grade; in the final at St Olave, Hart Street, they were awarded an A- which placed them joint second, together with Three Spires (Lichfield and Walsall).

The winners of the Call Changes Category were Young @ Herts Hot Buns, and the winners of the Method Ringing Category, and of the Whitechapel Trophy, were Bedfordshire Young Ringers.

The band was:
Treble Alfie Pipe
2nd John Hinton
3rd Toby Johnson
4th Rachel Frost (C) 
5th Daniel Stevens
6th Ben Edwards
7th Henry Pipe
Tenor Jason Burnett

Full results on the RWNYC website

Ridgman 10-bell Striking Competition, Daventry, 4th June 2016

The Ely DA band with the trophy
(photo: Odette Dawkins)
  On the glorious ten at Daventry, 4th June 2016, judged by Anne and Jeremy Pratt.

Place Team Rang    Faults
Winner Ely Diocesan Association 6th 21
Second Hertford County Association 7th 32
Third Essex Association 4th 40
Fourth Lincoln Diocesan Guild 6th 42
Fifth Peterborough Diocesan Guild    3rd 62
Sixth Suffolk Guild 2nd 64
Seventh    Bedfordshire Association 1st 68
Jeremy Pratt congratulated all bands on the quality of the ringing and the general advance since he last judged the competition (2011 at Ipswich).

Thanks indeed to the Daventry ringers and authorities, and to Andy Timms as the local organiser.

Full reports and more photos on the Ridgman Trophy website here.
Alan Winter

Thanks to Nick Elks for the YouTube video, featuring the recording and photos provided by Odette Dawkins.

From the Kilifi ringers

Here is a message from John Malala, the secretary of the Kilifi ringers, thanking us for electing them as NRLMs. 

I remember a time like this last year when we were very excited preparing for our trip to UK. I am glad for the Association to have honoured us. We still have the badges that you gave us. This is a nice idea and i believe in future we will make another visit to UK. As we become members i would like to request you to keep on updating us on the news of the Association so we are able to know what is going on. We are planning to have a picnic with all the ringers to celebrate the ringing achievement we have made so far one year since we returned from UK.
Regards from all the ringers.

Best regards, John Malala

Safeguarding - DBS Certificates

All new DBS certificates can be registered with the government's DBS Update Service. This will enable your DBS certificate to be transferred to another organisation or to different parish within the Ely Diocese. Certificates must be registered within 19 days of issue but the service is free for volunteers and it is an easy process, just go More details can be found here 

Contact Phillip George, Association Safeguarding Officer, on for more information.

More photos and reports

More photos and general reports of interest to the Association are here. See also Reports, including Training events.

St Benet, Cambridge
Cambridge District

Whittlesford bells,
Cambridge District

St Mary, Ely
Ely District

Ringing at Stretham,
Ely District

All Saints, St Ives,
Huntingdon District

photo: John Boocock
Gamlingay ropes,
Huntingdon District

Downham Market,
Wisbech District

Ringing at
Stow Bardolph,
Wisbech District

photo: Ruth Bramley
Inside Ely Cathedral

Visits since 15/02/2013