Swinging Bell Ringing Trends Questionnaire 2007 Swinging Bell

Click here to see a letter from Beryl Norris, Chairman of the ringing trends committee.

Click here for a word and pdf versions of the questionnaire.
Please return them as soon as possible (16/10/07)

The following gives an idea as to why a questionnaire is being carried out.

Are We Trendy Enough?

How many ringers are there in the UK, throughout the world? How old are they? How many people learn to ring, are they young or are they mature learners?

A lot has been said on this subject and there is a general assumption that there are 40,000+ ringers, with the majority of ringers over the age of 40. This might well be the case but there has never been a census of all ringers that would confirm these statements. Various surveys have been carried out over the last 40 years but there has been little consistency between them making comparisons difficult. The most comprehensive survey was carried out in 1988 and great care was taken to ensure statistical validity. The results of this survey were published but it is conjectured that much of that information is now out of date. Since then there has been much discussion on whether an historical record of the state of ringing should be developed and maintained, including a report on Trends in Ringing that made a number of recommendations in 2002.

As a result of all of this discussion a Central Council Committee called the Ringing Trends Committee was formed and the main aim of the committee is ‘To identify, evaluate and record trends in church bellringing for the purpose of guiding Council policy’ The plan is that, over the next few years, a census of all ringers will be carried out and the findings will be used to ascertain current trends in ringing to inform the Council and the wider ringing and lay community as necessary, in particular the new Ringing Foundation is very interested in the results of the survey. It is also intended to set the information gained from this first census against sociological and demographic data from the 2011 general census.

The Committee have a phased programme that is designed to collect data from different parts of the country over the next few years and Kent is part of Phase 1. Very shortly all towers in Kent will be asked to complete a questionnaire covering general information about their ringers and ringing activities. The information gained from this will be added to information already received from other areas of the country until a comprehensive view is obtained of the current state of ringing. An initial pilot survey in part of Surrey indicated that 75% of the ringers in that area were over 40 and that there were very few ringers in the 20 to 40 age group. This information was based on a very small sample of ringers and we need information from other parts of the country to prove or disprove these early findings.

Tower captains, your assistance with this project is vital so, when you receive the questionnaire, please take time to answer the questions and return the completed form.

Beryl Norris
Chairman
Ringing Trends Committee

Last updated: 16th October 2007