I’m just back from ringing at Midnight Mass at Goldhanger – we call it Midnight, but its always at 10 pm, apparently because its midnight somewhere, but also because its a lot more convenient than the late event. My friend Barbara is now off to ring for the real thing at Maldon (hard core..!), and most of our band also rang for the Christingle service this afternoon, for our village concert on Friday, and earlier this month for our village carol service.
I was pleased to be able to join the Northern district ringers at Shalford for their district carol service earlier this month, and enjoy the conviviality afterwards. On the same afternoon, there were also district services at Langham, Sandon, Hutton and Hatfield Broad Oak.
Tomorrow I go to Coggeshall for a peal attempt, which I’m quite excited about – I’ve never rung a peal on Christmas Day before.
Christmas is a busy time – it’s not just ringing, but there are parties, shopping, work (boo!), carol concerts and families and relatives to squeeze in. However, ringing always takes me back to being a teenager in the town where I grew up – even tonight, walking between my house and the church where I ring in the moonlight, I had a little reminder of the thrill that I always feel ringing at Christmas. It’s really special – something that we share between ourselves as a private pleasure, but also something that we share in a very public way with the rest of the world outside our churches and in our villages, towns and cities.
Enjoy Christmas ringing – there’s nothing quite like it. As I’m ringing tomorrow, I’ll be thinking about all of my ringing friends and acquaintances ringing at the same time.