Oxford Diocesan Guild
Old North Berks Branch


Welcome to the web site of the Old North Berkshire Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild. Use the menu on the left to navigate the site.

Please see below for important legal information about cookies on the ONB website.

What's New

  • Please see below for the latest updates from the CCCBR and branch.

Updates to the Branch News page:

  • Added the February committee meeting and 2021 AGM.

Updates to the Calendar:

  • Added the (rather sparse) 2021 calendar.

Please let the webmaster know of any branch events that need adding to the 2021 calendar (an email link is available from the Frequently Asked Questions page).

Ringing update from CCCBR (21 April 2021)

Today we have published draft guidance for the period from 17 May to 21 June to enable ringers in England at least to plan for the next phase of lockdown release. This guidance has been agreed with the House of Bishops Recovery Group, but it remains in draft form until the Government finally confirms that its four tests have been met immediately prior to 17 May. The guidance is a major step change from previous guidance.

There are two new documents on the Covid guidance pages of the Council website. The first is one specifically covering this five-week guidance period, and then an update of the guidance note about individual risks.

The key points of the guidance are that:

  • Rule of Six applies indoors – ringing sessions should be arranged for six people
  • Hands – Space – Face rules apply – face coverings, hand sanitising between ringing, 1m plus mitigations when ringing
  • Lateral Flow Tests – twice weekly, preferably timed for days of any sustained ringing
  • Consider your own personal risk
  • Restrict ringing time to 45 minutes whilst maintaining good tower ventilation

Please do read all of the two guidance documents as there is much more detail in them, and this is just a summary.

Lateral flow tests can be ordered via the government website:

Simon Linford
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers President
Registered Charity Number: 270036

Branch Ringing before May 17th (published 25 April)

There is a lot of optimism and excitement about the prospect for a return to regular ringing and it will be such a joyous occasion for ringers and non ringers alike.

I just want to remind everyone that there is currently no clear CCCBR guidance which allows indoor ringing and mixing of households, until the rule of 6 with one metre plus and two negative Lateral Flow tests comes into force from May 17th. This will then allow a maximum of 6 people to ring indoors for up to 45 minutes with the above mentioned caveats.

Until then only ringing of a single bell (or multiple bells where ringers are from the same household) is actually permitted. If you are ringing beyond these guidelines for Sunday worship, etc., please ensure that you have carried out a formal risk assessment using the 'Hands / Face / Space / Fresh Air' Government Covid advice. This risk assessment, together with the Central Council guidelines, should be reviewed with your incumbent and PCC and their approval given. You need to confirm that you are covered at least by the PCC insurance for your ringing activity. If you are in any doubt, please err on the side of caution. Stuart is investigating the situation with regard to the ODG insurance for ringing during the period up to May 17th.

Clear guidance is in place for the period after May 17th and we really hope that June 21st will be the time when almost normal ringing can commence. Currently the CCCBR are not providing guidance for that period as it is not certain if social distancing, masks, etc. will still be required.

In the meantime, please keep an eye on all the good communications coming from Jenny Dyer, who is representing the branch on the national Ringing Recovery initiative.

Thank you and best wishes

Richard and Philip

Useful websites relating to physical exercise

Getting fit for ringing – article in Ringing World 24th May 2019

A webinar from the St Martin's Guild website:

Video from the Peterborough Guild at the end of the ART toolbox page on getting fit to ring

General Information

The Map page is a clickable map of the Branch.

The Towers page provides correspondents’ contact details, a tower photograph and links to tower web sites and on-line Dove’s Guide. Doves provides full details of all the bells and has a facility to call up a Google or Multimap map to locate the tower(s) you are interested in.

Ringers on holiday looking for a quick grab should check out the Practice Nights page which lists towers by their practice night.

There are separate pages for Branch news and Guild news.

Officers are depicted on the Officers page.

The Calendar page lists all the Branch events for the year ahead.

A copy of the latest Branch Newsletter can be downloaded from the Newsletter page.

The Articles page offers items of general interest.


If you are interested in learning to ring Church Bells then please do get in touch! Either visit your local tower on practice night or you can contact the branch Training Officer using the link on the Officers page.

If you can already ring, you can contact the Training Officer for ideas and suggestions.

Upcoming training courses

Details on upcoming (and past) Branch and Guild training opportunites can be found on the new Learn to Ring page.


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