Health and Safety in Church Towers and Ringing Rooms.

As bell ringers we are very aware of the hazards and challenges associated with entering a church tower and know what to expect. We might take a worn step on the spiral staircase for granted but for those not used to the tower it is a potential hazard. In the Coventry Guild of Church Bell Ringers, we are committed to ensuring a safe place of ringing in every church in the Dioceses. Each Church is responsible for the health and safety of its building and land, the people who use the Church which includes the bells and bell ringers. In addition each Church is required to have public liability insurance for all activities engaged within the Church, its land and buildings and that includes bell ringers. Our Guild does not have specific insurance to cover bell ringers, only members who are working on the bells at the Guild’s request.

To help Parishes understand their responsibilities towards ringers, the Guild have produced recommendations on health and safety in belfries. A copy has been sent to all churches with bell ringers, but we wanted to ensure towers with bells, but no ringers, understood some of the issues. These might be particularly pertinent for visiting bands. This can be downloaded here:

In addition a guidance note produced by the Ecclesiastical insurance company is also available. This has a check list on identifying common hazards and how to prevent them. This can be downloaded here:

For further information, please contact . Mark Sayers is the Guild Health and Safety Officer.