We have two ringers coming to the end of their D of E bronze award, and within the last week another young ringer has asked us to support him in this scheme.
Our first ringer is Jonathan who will this week be successfully completed his bronze level. He started to learn bell handling in March 2015 specifically to do his D of E. We set the objective for him to complete LTR Level 1, which he did in July. He has since progressed to call changes and is starting Level 2. He is a regular member of the team at practices and on Sundays.
Our other D of E ringer, Andrew, learned to ring in 2012 and his targets were to ring a quarter peal on the treble, and tenor behind, and learn Plain Bob Doubles inside. These are modest objectives but most of our ringers are at the novice level, so progress into change ringing can be slow. Andrew has rung his quarter peal on the treble and should complete the other targets in the next month or so.
Similarly, Alasdair, the newest ringer signing up also learned in 2012 and we will be discussing his targets with him this week.
We are following the Learning the Ropes scheme for all our new recruits. This enables us to have a consistent approach in teaching at all levels and we find that it is very easy to accommodates the D of E award scheme. We meet with the candidate and ask what they would like to achieve in the set timescales. In Andrew’s case he selected his objectives and we agreed that they would demonstrate commitment and progress as required by the scheme. For someone new to ringing, the teacher needs to assess the potential and guide the candidate in their choices, but using LtR can help at whatever level is required.
We are always happy to teach anyone to ring even if they have never stepped inside a church before. We explain that the purpose is to ring for Sunday service and we expect them to take part in this. We tell them that they will be joining an all age group with opportunities to ring at different towers and take part in social events as well as enjoyable lively practices. The investment in time and hard work is a risk, and ringing always competes with football, scouts and a host of other activities including work, but we usually ring all six on a Sunday and can have up to 14 local ringers on a practice night. We currently have 4 at the handling stage, 1 at Rounds and call changes, 2 at Plain Hunt, 5 at Plain Bob Doubles and calling call changes, and 2 at Surprise minor.
Further information about ringing at Great Gransden can be found on the tower website.