Anorak News | Hell’s Bells!

Hell’s Bells!

by | 19th, March 2004

‘IF Quasimodo were alive today, the chances are that he’d never have been allowed access to Notre Dame.

His face rings a bell

His criminal record would have immediately disqualified him from acting as a bell-ringer and he would therefore not have been able to offer sanctuary to his beloved Esmeralda.

In France, common sense may still prevail, but here we read in the Telegraph that the Church of England has decided that its 40,000 bell-ringers should all have undergo the same kind of child protection tests as teachers.

All ringers – and potential ringers – will now be obliged to go through an eight-point application process, including providing two referees, undergoing an interview and being vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau.

And Dr Michael Henshaw, president of the Central Council Of Church Bell Ringers, is none too happy about it – and has written to Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams to say so.

“It seems entirely unnecessary for volunteers going into an activity which is not aimed at children but at all ages,” he says.

But the Church disagrees.

“The Church’s first responsibility is to ensure the safety of children,” a spokesman says, “and if that involves adults filling in forms, that is what has to happen.”

One wonders what effect these new rules would have had if they had been in place in First Century Judea.

“Suffer little children to come unto me,” Jesus says (Mark 10:14).

“Not until you’ve completed Forms C-D26, C-D27 and P1452 and been vetted by the Criminals Record Bureau we won’t,” replies the Pharisee (Mark 10:15).’

Posted: 19th, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink