Barmy Brexit bell-ringing plan blasted by Buckingham bishop

Barmy Brexit bell-ringing plan blasted by Buckingham bishop January 18, 2020

FEBRUARY 1 marks my 73rd birthday. It’s also the day on which the UK will have officially exited the European Union, thanks to xenophobic, racist and downright stupid Brexiteers who want church bells to ring out across the UK to celebrate Britain  being freed from the shackles of the EU.

But Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, has spoken against the idea.

Two thirds of the population never voted for Brexit in the first place. It’s deeply divisive to ring church bells for something like this. Churches are there for the whole community, not for a political faction to crow over people they have beaten.

For the record, conservative Church of England members don’t like Wilson. He’s far too LGBT-friendly, don’tcha know .

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) also chimed in. While making the downright ridiculous claims that leaving the EU would “reassert the Church’s relevance” it was against “politicising” Brexit.

Said Vicki Chapman, the organisation’s public relations officer:

There are historical moments for which bells have been rung – end of world wars for example. However the Central Council, as a principle, does not endorse bell ringing for political reasons. Individual towers have discretion to ring for such occasions but is on a case by case basis and typically needs permission from the incumbent.

Image via YouTube

The organisation Leave EU has been asking its Twitter followers to contact CCCBR about their desire for church bells to ring for Brexit. It’s founder, Arron Banks, above,  said he received as many as 150 emails from people who supported the idea and wanted their church bells to ring whether or not  they had permission from church authorities.

All this bell-ringing malarkey began when Prime Minister Boris (“bung a bob for a Big Ben bong”) Johnson suggested that iconic clock should chime on Brexit night (January), and called for public funding of £500,000 to allow this to happen.

Almost 30 crowdfunding pages were immediately set up but by January 15 they managed to raise only £551.00.

Image via YouTube

This pathetic response left Tory MP Mark Francois, above, looking even more foolish than his anti-EU rants. He led the campaign for Big Ben to ring and predicted that the fundraising target would be met within two days.

Francois , who has pledged £1,000 of his own money, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain:

I think we will get it within 48 hours.

That amount did eventually rise to around £150,000, but the Telegraph (£) reported that “the battle for Big Ben to bong on Brexit night has descended into farce” after the House of Commons Commission – chaired by the Speaker – said the money could not be used because of parliamentary rules on financial donations.

So the whole plan got binned.

Leave EU made the appeal  for church bell ringing on January 10, comparing leaving the EU to winning a war.

On May 8 1945, bells rang out across the country to mark the end of our long and brutal experience of war on the European mainland. As Berlin surrendered to the triumphant Allied forces, people across Britain celebrated a new dawn and churches across the land marked the occasion with a victory peal.

On January 31, our nation leaves the European Union. On Saturday morning, February 1, the sun will come up on an independent United Kingdom for the first time in almost five decades.

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  • kaydenpat

    Can’t they buy their own bells and ring them at some appointed time throughout the country so that they can be revealed as the vindictive, pathetic people they really are? That makes more sense than ringing Big Ben or church bells for a blatantly partisan cause.

  • Jennny

    ‘..would reassert the church’s relevance…’ Oh not again, that old chestnut, the CofE – voiced by the bellringers here – but church leaders often say it. They still delusionally believe that god is going to show them how to be relevant any day now. That latest scheme, which supercedes the previous many that achieved nothing, will be The One to revive their fortunes. The church will be flooded with new people who have had their eyes opened to see how relevant the CofE is to them. Ain’t ever gonna happen, that ship sailed port decades ago.

  • Thanks4AllTheFish

    Love the alliteration.

  • flexilis

    Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

    Edited to correct a misremembered word.

  • Starlady

    Half a million??? In a country with so many people dependant on food banks and a desperately underfunded NHS, is this a remotely sensible use for half a million?
    I mean, no, you aren’t going to fix everything wrong with the NHS for that money, but it would buy a heck of a lot of, say, spaghetti.

  • Erp

    Or to quote a past politician “Now they ring the bells, soon they will be wringing their hands”.

  • Broga

    Perhaps the Queen would pay for the bongs. She is big on patriotism, service to the country etc. etc. My daughter sent me this earlier. The resentment from a younger generation not indoctrinated with religion and knee jerk servility to the royals is growing. This man speaks the truth.

  • Michael Neville

    Another part of John Donne’s Meditation XVII is also relevant: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main….”

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Can the wringing of necks be far behind?

  • CoastalMaineBird

    The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

    You’re making this up.

    Somebody please tell me they’re making this up.

    public funding of £500,000 to allow this [Big Ben chimes] to happen.

    How the hell does it cost that much? And doesn’t the “public funding” have better things to spend it on?

  • Jim Jones

    There’s no shortage of poor kids in the UK.

  • Jim Jones

    Church bells? No. Handbells? Sure.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Brexit is worth a passing bell.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Oh course if they DID ring all the bells, then over here donnyawesomesauce would tweet out that all the bells were ringing because HE made BREXIT happen. Or just as likely he would claim it was about something that didn’t even happen, like him making a deal to build a wall between Switzerland and New Zealand.

    EDIT: Ima go out on a limb and actually predict that feb 1 will see tweet(s) from his hairness claiming responsibility for Brexit.

  • barriejohn

    Probably because he “saved another war”.

  • barriejohn

    All adore appropriate and apposite alliterations.

  • firebubbles310

    Spending money on the poor! What blasphemy is this? God needs the money more… for reasons…


  • Old Harry

    Mark Francois would be outwitted by even a particularly dull hedgehog …, flattened in the road.

    He is the quintessential Short-Shite with a Big Mouth. I have never heard him say anything that wasn’t craven lickspittle, on the par of wanting ‘to be David Cameron’s Pig’s Head’.

  • Old Harry

    This amount coule EASILY be diverted from all those HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS to be saved by Brexit, and as brazen boasted on the side of the BoJo Brexit Bus.

    All BoJo or Child-Catcher Moggy needs to do is dig into their own personal pockets and then be reimbursed once those MILLIONS start rolling in.

    [Yeah, what a bunch of craven, money-grubbing cowards. Frankie Boyle is right about Tories.]

  • Vanity Unfair

    …and somebody following, calling “Unclean”?

  • kaydenpat
  • Vanity Unfair

    Well, that’s one point of view.
    You might like Mark Steel’s opinion on The News Quiz Extra of 14th. January. The BBC’s balanced approach is at and runs from 8:33 – 21:46. Steel reworks his earlier essay from The Independent, 9th. January to great effect.

  • Broga

    Thanks. Much appreciated. I have just sent these links to my daughter. The fawning of the BBC, including this morning’s main news, continues to be “balanced” as she combines the loving grandmother, wonderful judgement and firm hand when the Crown needs saving.

  • Anne Fenwick

    Given what Brexit is likely to do to the UK, maybe funeral peals would be appropriate.