The Biden inauguration team is asking churches all around the nation to ring their bells to commemorate the more than 343,000 US pandemic deaths due to Covid-19. The plans call for church bells to ring nationwide at 5:30 p.m. EST on January 19, "in a national moment of unity and remembrance".

I would like to bring this suggestion to you as a possibility to re-introduce tower bell ringing to your community. I know many of you are still under strict lockdown procedures and this may not be possible. But, perhaps you may be able to have one or more bells ring and still be within the guidelines.

Most of our bells have been silent for a long time. We need our steeplekeepers to check on the bells, fittings, ropes, etc. before we commence ringing of any kind. This would be a good opportunity to arrange a day for checking the bells and cleaning our towers and belfries.

Many of us will have to recruit new ringers or locate lapsed ringers once the lockdown and pandemic eases off, hopefully by the late Spring/early Summer. It is not too early to think about this for your tower and handbell groups and by ringing, even one bell on the 19th, you may be able to publicize and promote change ringing for your tower.

Although though this is a US initiative, we hope our Canadian towers can use this as a reminder to keep up on your bell installation maintenance.