[Bell Historians] Tower Classification required
'Richard Offen' email@example.com [bellhistorians]
bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Wed Apr 20 15:07:48 BST 2016
From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com [mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 20 April 2016 6:16 PM
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [Bell Historians] Tower Classification required
This does all seem to come down to approaches to purpose, definition and classification. Choices are legion. To name a few there is a location approach. We could separate religious and secular by whether or not the bells hang in a consecrated building. Alternatively, we could consider control issues. Who has to give permission for the bells to be rung? Is it the vicar and/or the churchwardens on one hand, or some lay person on the other? A third choice is use. Is the ringing of bells ever associated with church services? The example of Swaffham Prior demonstrates the complexity of reaching any definitive conclusion. Two churches in the same churchyard. The one with bells redundant, the 'church' (can we even still call it that?) mainly used for a variety of secular activities (including 'champing' - imagine glamping but in a church) and never used for services. Yet the bells are rung for the services in the other church. On location and control criteria it is 'secular'. On use it is 'religious'. Take your pick.
>From a historical perspective I think it is arguable that provision and maintenance of bells in churches (certainly up to the nineteenth century) formed part of the local government responsibilities of a parish - along with mending the parish pump, dealing with highways, lighting, policing and poor relief - rather than having much to do with the care of souls.
For me, what might be helpful is not simply a list of rings divided into secular and religious, but one with more metadata associated (such as, in my example, where each sits in the location, control, use categories). But that's probably too much work to do on the basis that it might be useful to someone at some point.
Please can we drop this topic now, it’s getting very boring.
A ring of bells is a ring of bells and, to most ringers, it matters not what classification of building they are in. Here in Perth we have one, very useful, ‘secular’ ring, which greatly helps to feed new recruits to the three ecclesiastical rings (the majority of whose ringers make up the secular tower’s band).
For the record, and going back to the original gist of this correspondence, we have NEVER set out at the Bell Tower, Perth, to be the leading quarter peal tower in Australia, but ringing quarter peals is a fun way to supply the daily ringing we are committed to provide at the tower for the enjoyment of our non-ringing visitors and also helps the Perth band as a whole to make progress. Whether or not Alan Buswell choses to list the Bell Tower’s quarters in his annual ranking is a matter of total indifference to the majority of our band …end of story!
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