Guild Newsletter

The Guild Newsletter is published quarterly and is distributed to the Districts at each of the quarterly Whole Guild Meetings which are held in January, April, July and October, in rotation between the districts.

Articles for inclusion in the next newsetter should be sent via email to

They will be published on receipt on this website and included in the next available edition of the newsletter. They can be accessed from the tabs at the top of this page.

Please ensure that all items for inclusion are sent in by approx. a fortnight prior to a meeting to allow time for the collation and printing of the Newsletter. The deadline is always shown in the current edition.

The current edition can be read online via the appropriate link in the Newsetter menu, as can PDF copies of previous newsletters.

 

April 2017 Edition Available

The latest newsletter is available to view as "Current Edition" and a printable version has been put into "Downloads".

Please note that the deadline for the following edition is Saturday 1st July 2017 and items submitted after this date may have to be held over until the October 2017 edition.

 

Leslie Lunn from Berkswell, Still ringing at 94

Leslie LunnThe ringers at Berkswell are proud to have among their number, Leslie Lunn who is our most ‘senior’ ringer at the age of 94.lunn2

Les still comes along regularly to Friday night practices and is still ringing with us on Sunday mornings.

He is the oldest Sunday service ringer in the Coventry Guild and on Sunday 7th May, Chris Mew, President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers presented Les with a certificate in recognition of this achievement.

The Berkswell ringers also gave Les a box of chocolates, which he later admitted didn’t last long at all! Les does love his chocolate!

It was a lovely sunny morning so after the presentation, with his family present and amongst many friends, we went outside for some photographs to capture the occasion.

Try "The Ringing World" for Free!

The May 12th issue of The Ringing World contains extensive material on matters of current importance to ringers: the proposed reforms of the Central Council, the long-running York Minster saga and a recruitment initiative in schools, all covered in a depth which other media find hard to manage. There is much more besides.

The Ringing World have been working to improve the content, so if you haven’t read a copy recently, take a look at this issue which we are making available free online. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Join the discussions. Be informed. Be entertained! Subscribe to The Ringing World today.

Nigel Orchard
Chairman

Answers to the most frequently asked questions to the group looking into the future/structures of the Central Council of Church Bellringers, CRAG, may be downloaded below


 

BBC Music Day is Coming!

BBC Music Day is returning for its third year on Thursday 15 June 2017, celebrating music’s ability to unite communities across generations, and this year bell-ringers have been asked to play an even bigger role.

The sound of bells, with their power to bring communities and generations together, was a feature of last year’s BBC Music Day, with over 200 bellringing groups taking part.BBC Music Day

This year's theme is the power of music, and the day will feature broadcasts on BBC TV, Radio and digital services from 6am to midnight.

Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio and Music explains:

"BBC Music Day is a unique opportunity for people to celebrate music and musical talent, whether attending one of the many events taking place or tuning in at home."

Last year's BBC Music Day was supported by a number of stars including Duran Duran, Izzy Bizu, Laura Mvula, and Nile Rodgers, who performed at the Eden Project in Cornwall on BBC Music Day.

Meanwhile, BBC Local Radio (in partnership with BBC Outreach) marked BBC Music Day 2016 with Take it to the Bridge: musical collaborations on over 40 bridges around the UK, both large iconic bridges such as the Tees Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough and smaller, quirkier bridges like Bishop Bridge in Norwich.

Award-winning Scottish band and BBC Music Day Ambassadors Travis performed live with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the Barrowlands in Glasgow.

In the evening, bells from over 200 church towers across the UK rang out simultaneously throughout towns, cities and villages, from cathedrals such as Bristol and Manchester to smaller parish churches like Saint Francis Xaviers in Liverpool.

This year, BBC Music Day will be even larger and the BBC would like to build on last year’s success by inviting tower and handbell ringers from the UK and around the world to ring out at 1900 their local time.

BBC Music Day Producer, Rebecca Sandiford, comments

“Church bells are a wonderful symbol of community cohesion and since BBC Music Day is all about uniting people through music, bell ringing is going to provide a fantastic unifying moment. This year we’d like to make this even more special by inviting ringers around the globe to join us, ringing at 1900 local time, to show how the power of music can unite people around the world.”

Ringers are being asked to ring only for a few minutes or for longer if they prefer. The BBC aims to select performances to include in their coverage.

How to take part :-  
  • Agree with your venue, plan your band, what you will ring and any special event or dedication associated with your performance. If possible, arrange permission from your band and venue in case the BBC ask you to video or record your ringing on the day.
  • Email the BBC Music Day team at as soon as possible to let them know you’ll be taking part with the subject heading “RINGING EVENT - and include in your email :-
    • A contact email and mobile phone number
    • Who will be ringing and what will be rung
    • Details of any event, story or dedication associated with your performance, which will be of interest to the BBC’s audience.
  • Ring, starting at 7pm local time on Thursday 15th June.
  • The BBC may invite you to submit a video or audio clip of your ringing on the day. If so, they will contact you using the email or phone number you have provided.

Here is a flyer for you to download


 

AGM Quarter Peal Success

Ove the past 8 months, the Guild has been running a series of training days on the fourth Saturday of each month. The Guild AGM is held on the fourth Saturday in April and rather than cancelling the training session, it was decided to try something different. Trainees were invites to ring a quarter peal at a tower close to the AGM venue of Wellesbourne. 8 members said they would ring and four quarter peals were arranged. Ian Wilson, Norris Poon and Mary Jones rang their first quarter peal. George Wrycroft and Mark Chaplin rang their first of Grandsire Triples. Ian Willis rang his first quarter on 8 bells and Lucy Gwynne conducted the quarter peal at Barford, to complete another of the 50 ringing things

All 4 quarter peals were successfully completed and congratulations go to all involved.

Barford, Warwickshire St Peter
Saturday, 22 April 2017 (5)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Nathan Gould
2 John Gwynne
3 Lucy Gwynne (C)
4 Charles Hayward
5 Mark Sayers
6 Clare Gould
Rung prior to the Coventry Guild AGM.
First as Cover: 6

Honiley, Warwickshire St John the Baptist
Saturday, 22 April 2017 in 42 mins (6)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Norris Poon
2 Steven Tibbetts (C)
3 Richard East
4 Angela Roskelly
5 Annie Hall
6 Mary Jones
1st Quarter peals for ringers 1 and 6.
Rung to celebrate the 91st birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Kineton, Warwickshire St Peter
Saturday, 22 April 2017 (10)
1260 Grandsire Triples
1 Christopher F Mew (C)
2 Vikki Chaplin
3 Barbara M Howes
4 George Wrycroft
5 Mark Chaplin
6 Mike Young
7 Mike Burdett
8 Ian Willis
1st Grandsire Triples: 4, 5. 1st on eight: 8.
Prior to the Guild AGM

Warwick, Warwickshire St Nicholas
Saturday, 22 April 2017 in 45min (15)
1260 Doubles
(2m: 720 Grandsire; 540 Plain Bob)
1 Ian Wilson
2 Jane Rogers
3 Julie Tarling
4 Karen French
5 Simon Rogers (C)
6 Geoff Randall
First quarter - 1.

Honiley Band Kineton Band Warwick Band
 Honiley Band Kineton Band Warwick Band

Guild Outing - Saturday 15th July

King Richard’s Tour.

10.45-11.30 Sutton Cheney: 6
11.45-12.45 Market Bosworth: 8

Picnic lunch and quiz at Bosworth Battlefield.

2.45-3.45 St Mary De Castro, Leicester: 10
4.00-4.30 View King Richard’s tomb
4.30-5.30 Leicester Cathedral: 12

If you would like to attend, or need a lift, please contact

All the towers have been selected because of their connection to Richard III

King Dick spent part of his childhood in Warwick and St Mary’s bells will be available from 9.00-10.00 for those who would like to ring here as well. This should allow plenty of time to travel to Sutton Cheney.

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.

September 2017 Ringing Courses at Tulloch

2 peals of bells, a simulator, handbells, patient & friendly ART tutors and no neighbours – all add up to a winning combination

Learn to Ring Week Sept 18th – 22nd

Are you struggling to get enough ‘rope-time’ in your home tower? 18 places are available @ £50 per head for 5 days of total immersion in the fun of ringing. ART registered tutors will lead students through bell handling, change ringing in hand and working with a simulator to produce ringers fit for the 21st century. We will liaise with your local tower for easy integration when you get home. 5 days of concentrated handling/listening/ rounds/theory & vocabulary – what better way to spend a week? We will provide a light lunch of soup/sandwiches & all day tea & coffee. Accommodation available locally, we can make recommendations but you must book your own.

Improve Your Ringing Week, Sept 25th – 29th

Can you ring a bell unaided but want to polish your handling? perfect your raising & lowering, work on your call changes, understand ropesight & work towards plain hunt. Learn about plain bob, what does it mean to dodge. Fancy a go on handbells? we can help:-) 18 places available for a week of intensive tuition covering handling, hunting and bob doubles. Learn to ring handbells. Perfect your striking with a simulator For £50 pp we will provide a week of patient tuition, easy to ring bells & friendly support – extend your horizons at Tulloch. Light lunch and all day tea & coffee provided. Accommodation available locally, we can make recommendations but you must book your own

This is an opportunity to get on track with the best team sport/performing art/mathematical puzzle in the UK.

For more info & to book your place please see www.tullochbells.com

Safeguarding News

Church of England requirements have changed since October and the following note is a reminder of key processes which are required of ringers who lead towers and teach young people. In each parish where bells are rung and teaching of minors is involved, there is now a mandatory requirement for the “leader” (Tower Captain) to have a “Role Description” which clearly sets out responsibilities, this may be drawn up with the Parish Safeguarding Officer (a sample “Role description has been posted on the CCCBR website). A confidential declaration covering past conduct is required and a DBS check completed. If at any stage, the individual does not complete these requirements their confirmation in post will not proceed. It may be good practice to have number of the band DBS checked to act as deputies and even where no young people are at present being trained, a DBS cleared leader will meet potential demand. It would be bad if a young person presented themselves and could not be taught until “certified adults” were available.

In applying for a new DBS certificate or for a renewal, it is recommended that all applicants tick the requirement for the DBS Update Service AND for automatic renewal of that facility. The Update Service means that an individual’s records are continuously updated to include any possible relevant details including, investigations, cautions or convictions. The whole point is that, for most people, there will be no change from a “clear” certificate and this can, with permission of the individual, be verified on line. The latest Church Guidelines recognise a degree of portability with certificates issued in one parish (for say bell ringing teaching) being recognised for the same activity in other parishes but ONLY within the same Diocese. This will facilitate a lot of the mutual assistance which exists in ringing, also helping at Guild training days. If, however, you are registered with the update service and your clearance can, therefore, be verified on-line, then ringers may assist towers across Diocesan boundaries as part of the update service flexibility.

There may be concerns over the changes in church governance but we have no automatic right to ring, it being with the permission of the incumbent and PCC. It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that good relations exist between church and ringers. When did your priest last visit the belfry, are you and your ringers known to the congregation and do they understand what our skills represent both to the church and to the local community? If you have doubts have an open evening/day and invite your church officers and members to see what we really do “up the tower” or at ground level.

Chris Mew
23rd March 2017
Guild Safeguarding Officer

Review of the Central Council Part 4:

What people say about the Central Council and some suggestions for the future

By Phillip Barnes Chairman, CRAG

What follows is largely from the 39 formal written submissions we received but I have also included comments made in the responses to our draft Vision and Mission articles as well as from the many conversations that I have had with ringers over the last five months and those shared with me by other CRAG members.

The comments provide a quite rounded view of the current Central Council and suggestions for how a future central body for ringing should be different in order to be more effective and more in tune with what ringers in general want and need.

WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK AND FEEL ABOUT THE CENTRAL COUNCIL?

Positives

Although some of what was said seemed rather harsh, even hurtful, to past and present members of the Central Council, it is important to stress that most submissions acknowledged and often praised the large amount of hard work that is done by Council members – all of whom are unpaid volunteers. None of the submissions showed signs of being vindictive or unkind and all were written in a way to provide honest feedback and thus something to work on to do better. Very few felt that ringing would be better without any central body.

Criticisms of the Central Council

Accountability is poor and the CC lacks follow through

There was a repeated theme that the CC and its committees are seen to be inefficient and sometimes not to see important tasks through to completion. Various examples were provided and the observation that previous attempts to introduce effective accountability for committees or chairmen have failed, largely for cultural reasons within the Council.

It lacks any clear strategy or vision

The lack of an overall strategy or vision was commented on by a number of people. This was felt to prevent coordination between the different committees and prioritization of what the council should, and should not be doing.

It seems Closed, Insular and Inward-­‐looking

The Council was variously described as “impenetrable”, “opaque” and “inward-­‐ looking” with insufficient turnover in some committees. It was noted that most of the business transacted at Council meetings is about the Council itself or its activities and that it was frequently dismissive of work that was initiated outside of its control.

It is defensive

Regrettably the reputation for being defensive still persists quite strongly. It was also noteworthy that some of the submissions made in a personal capacity by people who are prominent members of the Council put the blame for the Council’s problems as a lack of volunteers willing to join the CC. They did not explore what about the Council itself might be the cause for this unwillingness. I should say however that the current officers of the Council have in no way been defensive in their dealings with CRAG.

It is ineffective

A number of submissions, including some from Council members, commented on problems with getting things done effectively with a tendency to dive into irrelevant details seen as part of the culture. Many submissions said that the size of the Council was far too big to operate effectively and to make decisions swiftly.

It can appear autocratic

A number of submissions referred to a perception of “Council knows best” and issuing top down edicts rather than engaging with those outside it. While much of this was in relation to the treatment of new methods and novel compositions – clearly a minority interest – the debate over ringing as sport was seen to be another example.

It communicates poorly and doesn’t promote ringing

There were more adverse comments about communication than any other issue. In general, despite some efforts to engage and communicate more widely, the Council has a poor reputation in this area.

It is run on a shoestring

Many submissions stressed that funding was a major issue, with the ability of the Council to get things done being hampered by a lack of available funds. :

It appears irrelevant to most ringers

There was a recurrent comment in submissions that the CC was irrelevant to most ringers and was that it focused on matters that were not of interest or relevance to the majority.

SUGGESTIONS FOR CHANGE

There many individual suggestions for change and many contributors have clearly put a lot of time and thought into the problems. Some were about individual services but there were a number of frequent themes for a future central body for ringing: -­‐

  • It needs to be properly funded with subscriptions more in line with those paid for other hobbies and activities
  • It would need to communicate with ringers in general far better than at present
  • It should have a broader focus so as to be of relevance to all ringers
  • It should be more open and transparent
  • The body itself should
    • Be smaller
    • Be more “nimble” and proactive
    • Operate more efficiently and effectively
    • Open membership of its committees and elected roles to the whole ringing community
    • Hold itself and its officers properly to account
    • Pay for professional help in areas of importance, such as projecting a positive image for ringing with the public

There were a significant number of submissions that favoured individuals being able to join the central body directly rather than only having a relationship via other ringing societies.

WHERE HAS CRAG REACHED IN ITS THINKING?

I should be clear what CRAG will be doing when we make our recommendations to the Central Council later this year. We will describe what a central body serving ringing and ringers should look like, how it needs to work and behave and particularly how it needs to relate to all ringers no matter where they are based or what they can ring. Put simply, to design a body that is not only fit for purpose now but will also be looking to the medium to long term and planning how it will respond proactively in the interests of ringing and all ringers.

During the course of our various meetings (both face to face and by Skype) a broad consensus has emerged that, while a central body for ringing is needed, the Central Council needs radical change if it is to do what ringing needs it to do. The evidence from the feedback described above and in previous articles reinforces this view.

While attempts to improve engagement and communication might help to improve the perception of the Council to some extent we are not confident that it will create something fit for the future. We are therefore developing proposals for a body that would be quite different.

  • A smaller representative body of about 50-­‐70 delegates providing advice and holding committees and officers to account.
  • The body to be run by a small management executive, probably of seven people, which will develop strategy, be proactive, plan and oversee the work that needs doing – just as is the case now for many other charities.
  • A reduced number of committees or workgroups, with full membership selected for skills and attributes and all ringers encouraged to apply – not just those members of the representative body.
  • It will seek actively to be relevant to all ringers and be accountable to all ringers.
  • A body that will develop funding streams that will in time allow professional help to be hired for tasks that volunteers may not have the time or skills to undertake.

We are also considering whether ultimately ringing would be served best by opening membership of this central ringing association to all ringers.

PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF OUR SUGGESTIONS

We are interested in knowing how ringers in general feel about some of the things we feel are likely to be important in a future central body for ringing. We have constructed a short online survey that which will be open from 0900 on Saturday January 14th until February 3rd via http://cc-­‐crag.weebly.com/2017-­‐ survey.html.

The survey will also includes links to a longer version of this article with some of the quotes and to the previous articles from CRAG.

We would like as many ringers as possible to complete the survey, which should take no more than 3-­‐4 minutes and will greatly help our work. Please therefore pass the web address to as many other ringers as possible. We need to hear everyone’s feedback.

Review of the Central Council

Part 3: Your feedback on “Vision” and “Mission”

The third article from the "Crag" group has been published in The Ringing World. A copy may be downloaded from 

CRAG Part 2:The Role of a Central Body

In my last article I outlined the background to the review of the Central Council and the work that CRAG (the Council Review Action Group) was undertaking in order to advise the Central Council on how it might change and modernise in order to serve ringers better.

At the time of writing we have had just over 50 responses of which about two- thirds were in total or general agreement with what was proposed as a vision for ringing. About ten per cent of respondents felt that a Vision was unnecessary and that CRAG should simply have proposed reforms to the Central Council. A number were disappointed that there was no mention of ringing as a sport, while a few others (all from the UK) felt that the church should have featured more prominently. While both of these viewpoints were from a small minority it is clear that any central body (or bodies) that exist to support ringing in the future will need to understand and accommodate both points of view.

The Services We Need

Having consulted on the proposed Vision for ringing, we wish now to present our outline suggestions for what needs to be done centrally to support and develop ringing. We describe below these as an outline Mission Statement for a central body.

I would stress two things at this point. First, that we have an open mind whether all of these services would need to be delivered by the reformed Central Council. Second, the list below is an outline list. For example, we don’t seek to describe each and every type of publication or software that a central body (or bodies) should produce.

Suggested Mission for a Central Ringing Body

“To promote the Vision for Ringing through the provision of the following services, either directly or through links with others: -

  • Strategy: Maintaining strategic oversight to ensure that bell-ringing continues to flourish and responds pro-actively to external challenges.
  • Promotion: Promoting bell-ringing as an attractive, inclusive and worthwhile pursuit.
  • Engagement: Supporting the spread of ringing amongst those groups of people and countries where it is under-represented.
  • Advocacy: Representing the interests of ringing and ringers to external stakeholders, media and others outside the bell-ringing community.
  • Communication & Cohesion: Facilitating communication and cohesion amongst ringers and bell-ringing societies to assist ringers in supporting each other and achieving their ringing objectives.
  • Recruitment: Providing support to those recruiting new ringers at all levels and using its efforts to foster the continuing recruitment of ringers.
  • Development: Promoting the development of ringing skills at all levels so that each ringer has the opportunity to progress as far as their ambitions and talents allow.
  • Resources: Encouraging and advising on sources of funding, expertise and resources necessary to support the training of ringers and the availability of places to ring.
  • Bell Installations: Sharing, promoting and advising on best practice relating to the repair, maintenance and improvement of bell installations and training facilities.
  • Standards: Consulting on and recommending technical standards in ringing, maintaining records as necessary to uphold these standards.
  • Heritage: Securing the maintenance of historic records, publications and artefacts relating to ringing which will be of value to current and future generations.
  • Innovation: Encouraging research and innovation in the advancement of ringing; its methodologies, tools and technologies.

There may well be things that you think are important that we have missed. Please let us know in your feedback. You may also have strong views on which things the Council / central body should or should not do itself. We would be interested in these views too so, once again, please provide us with feedback.

Have Your Say!

We would like your feedback in one, or both, of two ways:

  1. Please send all feedback about the proposed Mission statement above preferably by email to . Please could you include all your comments in the text of the email since some mail servers appear to strip out file attachments sent to our email address.
    For those unable to use email please send any letters addressed to CRAG Mission, Piltdown House, Maidstone Road, Platt, Sevenoaks TN15 8JE. Please ensure all comments are received by CRAG by 5pm on Monday October 31st.
  2. We would also like to invite more general written submissions about the Central Council review. These might be about particular strengths or weaknesses of the CC, ideas for improvement, ideas for services that you feel the CC should provide (or cease providing), views on how the CC can best serve you and with what other organisations the CC should engage. This is not however an exhaustive list. These written submissions should be sent by email to or else addressed to “CRAG Submissions” at the address above. We should like to receive any of these general submissions as soon as possible but in any case no later than 5pm on Monday October 31st.

In both cases we would ask for your name and where you ring. If you wish you may also outline your experience within ringing or in other areas to provide us with a little context for your comments.

The members of CRAG have been sharing and debating ideas by email over the last two months. We are meeting again face to face in mid-October to consider the feedback we have received so far and to continue our work developing ideas on how to improve the services we need for ringing to have the vibrant, healthy future we all want.

Phillip Barnes Chairman, CRAG
7 October 2016 

Review of the Central Council 
Part 1: Developing a Clear Vision

By Phillip Barnes
Chairman, CRAG

Background to the Review At the meeting of the Central Council (CC) in Portsmouth last May, the Council passed a motion which set up an independent working group to undertake a detailed review of its rules and activities, and to make recommendations for modernisation. The motion was proposed against a backdrop of criticism of the CC and the way in which it had handled certain issues and questions being raised about its continuing relevance.

The group was to consist of a mixture of current CC representatives, those former representatives who had left the CC during the recent past and some other members of guilds and associations who had never been on the CC. This diverse team – the Council Review Action Group, or CRAG for short – will report to the 2017 CC meeting with our recommendations for change.

CRAG met as a group in Birmingham on August 13th and it was immediately clear that, while there were many different ideas for change, every member felt that a strong relevant central body within ringing was worthwhile. Most were agreed that a lot needed to be changed within the CC if it were to be that body. Speaking personally, I believe there could be an exciting future for ringing if we had a radically different central body that engaged better with ringers of all types and provided the services they want and need.

What’s our approach?

We feel that our remit must be about modernisation, rather than merely the technical efficiency of the CC. The Council has done and continues to do many valuable things but it is not always clear what it is seeking to achieve, or for whom. As a group we felt that the primary role of the CC must be to provide a service to ringers and to ringing – but which services?

We are going to structure our work by asking ourselves a number of questions:

  • What should the Vision of the Central Council be for the future of ringing? That means what is a mental picture of what “good” (or “great”) looks like?
  • What things need to be done in order for that Vision to actually happen? In other words what should the outline Mission of the Council be?
  • What specific services will the Council need either to provide itself or to make sure are provided by other organisations, in order for those things to be done?
  • Finally. How will the Council or other central body organise itself to do all of this?

This last question will involve a number of more detailed questions including, but not limited to: What should its relationship be to individual ringers, to Guilds and Associations and to other organisations active within ringing? How can it ensure it is effective and inclusive in serving the whole global family of ringers of all levels of skill and experience who have different interests and differing local circumstances? How big should the central team that runs it be, how should it be structured and run and how should it be accountable to individual ringers and individual societies? The key part of what we will be doing is to listen to others before we come up with suggested recommendations. We need a lot of input from the whole range of ringers. That means those who are just learning; those who have recently learnt and who are trying to improve their ringing; those who are happy with their ringing activity just as it is; those who have made great strides in ringing and may even be at the cutting edge; even those who are feeling frustrated for some reason and may even be about to or already have given up ringing.

We are also conscious that our timescales for this very important work are very tight, but also that delay would be a bad thing for ringing and for the Council. We will therefore have relatively short periods for you to give feedback at each stage and we will receive, consider and digest all of the feedback we receive. Rather than ourselves engage in any debate that might occur, either in the pages of the Ringing World or elsewhere, we will consider everything that is said there as well so that we can get the roundest view.

The Proposed Vision.

The phrase “Vision Statement” usually makes peoples eyes glaze over or gets them grumbling about management speak. As I said above, all it is meant to do is to give everyone a simple vision of what the ideal future looks like. For ringing, and thus for the CC, we propose that the Vision should be:

“A vibrant community of ringers; with bell-ringing valued as an enjoyable performing art that is open to all, a beneficial mental & physical exercise, and a unique musical and cultural pursuit which provides service to both community and church.”

As Vision statements go, it is at the long end of the range but we think it encompasses what a healthy future state for ringing would look like. It would then follow that the aim of the Central Council should be:

“To foster a vibrant community of ringers; with bell-ringing valued as an enjoyable performing art that is open to all, a beneficial mental & physical exercise, and a unique musical and cultural pursuit which provides service to both community and church.”

Have your say!

We would like your feedback in one, or both, of two ways.

  1. Please send all feedback about the proposed Vision statement above preferably by email to . For those unable to use email please send any letters addressed to CRAG Vision, Piltdown House, Maidstone Road, Platt, Sevenoaks TN15 8JE. Please ensure all comments are received by CRAG by 5pm on Friday September 30th.
  2. We would also like to invite more general written submissions about the Central Council review. These might be about particular strengths or weaknesses of the CC, ideas for improvement, ideas for services that you feel the CC should provide (or cease providing), views on how the CC can best serve you and with what other organisations the CC should engage. This is not however an exhaustive list. These written submissions should be sent by email to or else addressed to “CRAG Submissions” at the address above. We should like to receive any of these general submissions as soon as possible but in any case no later than 5pm on Monday October 31st. If your comments include any related to the Vision statement we will need these by September 30th.

In both cases we would ask for your name and where in the country you ring. If you wish you may also outline your experience within ringing or within other areas to provide us with a little context for your comments.

Once we have the initial feedback on the Vision statement we will publish our first thoughts on the Mission statement. This should be in early October but in the meantime the CRAG team are also putting our minds to the various services that might need to be supplied to ringers and how a central body could ensure they are delivered.  

Coventry DG Brokerage Scheme

The Guild is hoping to be able to give a helping hand to ringers and towers in the area by arranging for ringing support for what YOU want to be able to do next.

Do you need some ringers to provide a steady band around a learner in a given method?  Do you just need the odd ringer extra so you can make the next step with your, or your tower's, ringing?  Do you need a conductor for a quarter or a peal?  Do you want to ring a quarter peal or a peal and don't know the next step?

Help is at hand!  Simply download the CDG Brokerage file that you can find from

, in both pdf and Word format, complete it and then send it off.

Simples!