What the CRAG Report Means for the Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.

Last year the Central Council established a group to look at radical reform, the Council Reform Action Group, or CRAG. This group issued an 87 page report, a summary of which was published in the Ringing World and links to the full report and the summary were put on the Guild website. As this was only published the week of our AGM, there had been no opportunity to discuss this at our meeting.

The Central Council is perceived as being a far from perfect organisation and reform is needed. There was a vote for change in the meeting which covers the following points:-

  • The Council needs to change its name to be the Central Ringing Organisation (CRO) where it will become a direct communication channel to all ringers. The day to day running of the CRO will be entrusted to a small executive group, empowered to make decisions.
  • There will be a representative group, the Council of Representatives to hold the Executive to account. This may be smaller in number to the current council.
  • There will be fewer committees which will be called working parties.
  • A shadow organisation will be established to run alongside the current arrangements by the end of the year.
  • It aims to become a direct membership organisation in addition to providing services to affiliated societies with its own income stream.
  • It will continue to work closely with the community, the Church and bell owners.
  • It must offer professional quality services which may include employing a small professional support staff.

The implications for the Guild may be that people will affiliate directly and not wish to join the Guild. We will certainly have fewer members sitting on the Council of Representatives.

However, there may be no implications for the Guild. The new President, Chris O’Mahony, asked for nominations to take up some of the key positions and has received only 19 applications.

The topic will be on the agenda at the next Guild meeting in October so come along and have your say.