The Ringing World

The Ringing World is a weekly publication and the official journal of the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR). It is published in the UK as a paper periodical and an online edition for bell ringers around the world.

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

The CCCBR is a UK-based organisation for ringers, around the world, of church bells in the “English style” where a diatonically tuned set of, usually 5–12, bells hung with wheels and long ropes are rung in pre-determined sequences known as change ringing. Such bells are hung mainly in churches and cathedrals in the UK and a in few Commonwealth and ex-colonial countries.[1] The CCCBR is a UK registered charity. The object of the Central Council is to promote and foster the ringing of bells for Christian prayer, worship and celebration.

The CCCBR is the representative body for bellringing and has affiliated societies in many countries: for example, the South African Guild of Church Bell Ringers, the North American Guild of Change Ringers, the Irish Association, the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers, the Ladies' Guild of Change Ringers (international) and the Associazione Suonatori di Campane a Sistema Veronese (Italy).[2]

The CCCBR decides the technical specifications for ringing methods, compositions and “world records”, much in the same way as an international sporting body.[3]

The Ringing World

The Ringing World was first published in 1911 from Guildford as a weekly periodical to report ringing news and details of peals and quarter peals rung around the world. It is the "journal of record for performances" in ringing.[4]

Its founder and first editor was John Sparkes Goldsmith, who was born, at Southover, Lewes, on 13 January 1878 and died on 1 June 1942.[5] In 2011, celebrations of the 100 year anniversary of the magazine were held in Derbyshire[6] and Westminster Abbey.[7]

In 2016 readers of the magazine wrote to insist that bell ringing was "an art and a sport", as demonstrated by regular "striking competitions." It was suggested that classification of change ringing as a sport by Sport England could save it from becoming obsolete. But the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers opposed the move, suggesting that it would jeopardise its relationship with church bodies, since bell ringing should be seen as part of Christian worship, not exercise. The council's president, Chris Mew, said: "Where is the glamour of the sports field and where are the David Beckhams of the belfry?"[8]


  1. "Official website". Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  2. "Ringing Societies". Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  3. "Decisions". Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  4. Harrison, John (2016). Bells and Bellringing. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0-74781-433-7.
  5. John Eisel 25 March 2011 "John Sparkes Goldsmith" The Ringing World, Andover Issue No 5213 25 March 2011 pp273-275
  6. "Bakewell church's bell party for Ringing World centenary - BBC News". BBC News. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  7. "Centenary of The Ringing World celebrated at Westminster Abbey". Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  8. Jamieson, Sophie (19 February 2014). "Ding-dong for bell ringers as row breaks out over bid to be classed as a sport". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 February 2016.

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