Thought for the Week – 21st June – Stephen Campbell

New Every Morning

Someone in our village told me that her brother’s twenty-five years as a Town Crier has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours. How wonderful! 

Proclamation of Good News has a very long history – well, from Biblical times, certainly. Nowadays news would probably travel on X or WhatsApp or even email. The Town Crier has only a symbolic and traditional role. And news of battles comes via satellite rather than dishevelled, panting messengers.

Church bells, however, are still in business to announce and proclaim the Good News of a community worshipping the Risen Lord. It may not be proclaimed new every morning, unless the bells chime for the church clock on the hour and on the quarters, yet the news is heard across the town or village on a Sunday, ringers being available, and at practice times. Woe betide any incomer who objects!

These days it is increasingly difficult to recruit and retain learner ringers. There are so many competing interests and calls upon time and energy. And why is it that almost as soon as you have taught teenage ringers to a plain course of Bob Doubles they disappear off to university or on a gap year round the world?

To me this reminder of the love of God and the presence of Christ in our lives remains a complete justification for maintaining the bells and recruiting ringers and practising happily (with a pause for tea, coffee and light refreshments.).

New every morning is the love. May there always be bells and ringers to proclaim this message.

Stephen Campbell