Who’d have thought there could be such a dispute over the ringing of church bells? In May 2001 the bell ringers of St Martin’s-in-the-Bullring Church in Birmingham England proposed a special 3 ½ hour bellringing in honour of their rector being made an honorary canon of Birmingham Cathedral.

A wonderful gesture you might think, but not according to the Central Council of Church Bellringers. They refused to authorise the ringing of “Five Spliced Surprise 16”, not because the local population might object, but because the mathematical formulae used to compose the piece are deemed illegal according to the rules of the Central Council of Church Bellringers.

The Council has agreed to send the new method to a committee for examination, but those revolutionary bell ringers are going ahead anyway. They claim the Council’s rules were invented in a time before computer technology allowed more innovative bell ringing methods.

Isn’t it amazing how often we can allow tradition to stand in the way of doing something good for another person?

Source: Scott Higgins. Information from article in The Times Online May 29,2001.