The Retention of Ringers has a key part to play in keeping ringing numbers up. Good, effective teaching is a important part of maintaining new and old ringers and most of the resources below concern training.
Please make use of all the resources below and don't forget that more information and advice is available from the 3Rs committee
Teaching & Learning
ldgNEWS Education is a compilation of the regular 'Education' articles in ldgNEWS. Download it here.
Nervous Breakdown Bob Doubles is a beginner's version of Plain Bob Doubles where each bell does only one piece of work over and over again. It is very useful to teach learners the dodges, but make sure a competent ringer is on 2. You can download the method and notes here.
Ringing Up and Down is often struggled with by some ringers. This downloadable PDF written by Pam Copson is here to help!
Bell Ringing by Instalments is an excellent series of booklets clearly and simply explaining many aspects of ringing from first lessons to Surprise Major and everything in between! The titles currently available are...
These are freely available from the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers.
There are also a number of short handouts, written by Peter Wenham. Most are designed for learners themselves but may help tutors in their teaching. You can download each of them as a PDF below...
Progress and Recognition
The Bell Club Scheme is an informal progress scheme for new bell ringers. You buy a starter pack and easily run the scheme yourself in your own tower. For each new learner - a personal progress record card and the opportunity to earn four 'fun' achievement badges on the route from Ambitious Apprentice to Champion Campanologist! More information is available from the Bell Club website here.
Progress is important to keep our learners interested - if they stop progressing they stop coming ringing. Using small steps makes learners feel they are progressing. If a learner is struggling on an aspect - focus on something else for a while. A progress chart can offer a visible sign of improvement for learners. Download a guide chart here
Recognition is key (especially for younger learners) in encouraging your ringers. Present certificates or ringing books for significant achievements. Have presentation at a family service or at a district/guild meeting. Ask a district representative to present the award to give the learner a greater feeling of achievement.
Some Retention Ideas and Techniques
- Its best not to have too many learners, 2 or 3 is probably right. If necessary have a waiting list
- Make sure the belfry is welcoming - warm, well decorated, seating area, up to date noticeboard etc. Make sure the ringers are welcoming too!
- Don't expect silence at all times during ringing
- Try using the Bell Club scheme with younger recruits. See above for more
- Provide things to do when not ringing - eg games, cards, Rubik's cubes etc. Don't expect younger ringers to always read bell ringing books/leaflets when not ringing. If you are using the 'One-per Learner' books they could be filled out when not ringing
- Negativity is not allowed. Be happy!
- Every learner must progress at their own pace (whether slow or fast), but make sure that learners are always challenged. Finding the right amount to 'push' is a delicate skill
- Have an outing or social event at least once a year. If this is not possible encourage your ringers to attend Guild outings and events. Have a look at the Guild events page.
- Enter a band in your District striking competition
- Try to get all your ringers involved in the Guild and District, and then become a member when they are ready. Contact your District Secretary, see the contacts page
Child Protection is an issue that concerns many tower captains. This issue is best discussed on a local basis to be in line with your local Church policy. You can download the CC guidelines along with other helpful documents and get more information here.
Complaints about bell ringing are also a problem to some Tower Captains. The Central Council have a set of guidelines for ringers faced with complaints. You can see the guidelines here.
Central Council Publications
The Central Council has a very wide variety of publications and documents for sale, covering all aspects of ringing. Many are very good and will be highly beneficial to you and/or your tower. Click here to view a complete list of all available titles and their price and contact details for purchasing a publication.
The 3Rs Committee would like to know if you have any suggested items for this section, and also improvements that could be made to it or the resources available from it. Please contact us.