Rules of the Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers

Registered Charity No. 517977

1. Name
The Society shall be called “The Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers”, hereafter referred to as “The Guild”, and shall be registered as a Charity.

2. Objects
The object of the Guild shall be to serve the Church in the Diocese of Coventry by:

a) Encouraging members to ring for services and on other appropriate occasions
b) Supporting bands in the recruitment, retention and training of ringers
c) Helping members to achieve a high standard of ringing
d) Supporting the installation, care and restoration of rings of bells and their fittings, and operating a bell repair fund administered as a separate registered charity No 502576.
e) Furthering an appreciation of bells and bellringing amongst the general public

3. The Central Council of Church Bellringers
The Guild shall be affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bellringers, and shall loyally abide by the Council´s rules and decisions.

4. Patron
The position of Patron of the Guild shall be reserved for the Bishop of the Diocese.

5. Membership
5.1  The membership of the Guild shall be as follows:
a.    Ringing Members
i) Aged 18 years and over.
ii) Junior members aged under 18 years.
b) Honorary Life Members.
c) Non-resident Members.

The General Secretary will maintain a list of each class of member.

5.2 Ringing membership
a) Ringing membership is open to ringers who are resident within the Diocese of Coventry,
who are members of a tower within the Diocese, or who regularly support Guild activities.
b) A Ringing Member may be elected at any Guild or District meeting or prior to a Guild peal.
c) Ringing Members must be proposed and seconded by two Ringing or Honorary Life
members who can verify that the candidate can control a bell and strike it adequately in
d) A completed application form must be presented prior to election.
e) Election is only complete upon payment of the annual subscription. Members elected in
the last quarter of the year will be deemed to have paid a subscription for the following
year, without further payment.
f) Application forms received at a District Meeting must be forwarded to the General
Secretary, who will announce and record the election at the next Guild Meeting.
g) Ringing Members will usually be attached to one Guild tower but may choose to be
Unattached Ringing Members.
h) For Ringing Members elected prior to a peal, the conductor is responsible for passing the
completed application form and subscription to the General Secretary
5.3 Honorary Life Membership may be awarded to Ringing Members who have given outstanding service to the Guild. Honorary Life Members shall enjoy all the privileges of Ringing Membership and be exempt from the annual subscription. Election of Honorary Life Members may only take place at a Guild Meeting. The General Secretary must be given 28 days notice in writing by the proposer and seconder, and at least one of these two must be present at the election meeting.
5.4 Non Resident Membership:-
a. Non Resident Membership is open to ringers permanently resident outside the Diocese. It terminates upon residence in the Diocese
b. Non Resident Members must be proposed and seconded by Ringing or Honorary Life members, and pay a life subscription. When elected prior to a Guild peal, the proposer is answerable for the subscription, and for notifying the election to the General Secretary, who will announce and record it at the next Guild Meeting.
c. Any Ringing Member who has become non-resident may, on application to the General Secretary, become a Non Resident Member without any further subscription.
d. Non Resident Members may not vote or hold office in the Guild.

6. Subscriptions and Fees
a. All subscriptions are due on the first day of January each year. Any person not paying the due subscription during the calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from membership at the end of the last paid-up year.
b. Any person one year in arrears may be re-admitted to membership on payment of that year´s arrears together with the subscription for the current year. A person two years or more in arrears must apply to be re-elected.
c. The amount of any subscription or fee may be changed at a Guild Meeting, notice having first been given to the General Committee. The new subscription or fee becomes effective at the start of the next calendar year.

7. Guild Meetings
7.1 There shall be at least two Guild Meetings each year, rotating through the districts in turn
a) An Annual General Meeting held, if possible and convenient, on the fourth Saturday in April, and a Half-Yearly Meeting in October.
b) The General Committee will make the final choice of dates for these meetings.
c) The business to be discussed shall be published on the Guild Website and notified to District Secretaries who shall communicate it to tower correspondents at least three weeks in advance of a Guild Meeting.
7.2 The General Secretary will call additional meetings at the request of the General Committee, and also at the written request of ten Ringing or Honorary Life Members, giving one month’s notice to District Secretaries who will notify Tower correspondents.7.3 Conduct of meetings:-
a. All members of the Guild are entitled to attend any meeting.
b. Approval of a proposition requires a simple majority of those present and voting.
c. A quorum for the conduct of business shall be fifteen members, representing five or more towers.

8. Districts
a. Each tower within the Guild shall be allotted a District. The towers comprising each District shall be listed in an Annual Report of the Guild.
b. The number and composition of Districts within the Guild may be permanently altered only by the Annual General Meeting of the Guild, upon one year´s notice being given.
c. Members in each District shall hold an Annual District Meeting to elect a Secretary, one Representative to the General Committee, and any other officers they shall require
d. Each District may hold other meetings as its members shall determine from time to time.

9. Officers and Committees
9.1 Executive Officers
a) The Guild shall have Executive Officers who shall be the Trustees of the Guild, and shall carry out such business of the Guild as Guild Meetings and the General Committee may direct.
b) The Executive Officers shall be:
i) President
ii) Ringing Master
iii) General Secretary
iv) Treasurer
c) The Executive Officers shall be elected by the Guild AGM. All may hold office for one year and be eligible for re-election, except that the President shall not hold office for more than three years in succession. If a vacancy occurs among these officers during the year, the Executive Committee may co-opt an acting Executive Officer who will exercise all the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled by election at a Guild Meeting.
d) The Executive Officers shall meet as an Executive Committee as often as necessary and at least two weeks prior to each General Committee meeting.
e) Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be by consensus.9.2 Other Officers
a) The Guild may appoint any number of other Officers. These officers may include:
i) Peal Secretary
ii) Public Relations Officer
iii) Child Protection Officer
iv) Webmaster
v) Newsletter Editor
b) These Officers shall be elected by the Guild AGM. All may hold office for one year and be eligible for re-election. If a vacancy occurs among these officers during the year, the Executive Committee may co-opt an acting Officer who will exercise all the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled by election at a Guild Meeting.9.3 General Committee
a) There shall be a General Committee which shall ensure the proper conduct of the Guild’s activities. It shall determine the business to be presented to Guild Meetings, it shall propose a budget for the approval of the Guild AGM, it shall consider reports from Guild Officers and others on the business of the Guild, and it shall carry out other duties as the Guild may require to promote the achievement of the Guild’s Objects.
b) The members of the General Committee shall be:
i) The Executive Officers of the Guild
ii) District Secretaries
iii) Chairmen of Committees (or their nominated representatives)
iv) One representative from each District (or an appointed deputy)
v) Central Council Representatives
vi) Child Protection Officer
vii) Not more than two co-opted Ringing or Honorary Life Members
c) The General Committee shall meet at least four weeks prior to each Guild Meeting, and at the written request of any three of its members.
d) A quorum shall be five. At least two Executive Officers of the Guild shall always be present at a General Committee meeting.
e) Decisions shall be by consensus or by simple majority of those voting. In the event of an equal division, the Meeting Chairman shall have a casting vote.
f) The minutes of General Committee meetings shall be made accessible to Guild members.9.4 Committees
a) The Guild may form committees as listed below. The duties of committees shall be determined by Guild Meetings as occasion requires.
i) Fund Raising Committee
ii) Towers and Belfries Committee
iii) Education Committee
iv) Publicity and Recruitment Committee
v) Other committees may be elected or dissolved at any Guild Meeting, notice having first been given to the General Committee.
Committees shall be elected annually at the AGM, except that membership of the Towers and Belfries Committee shall be by invitation of the General Committee on the recommendation of the Towers and Belfries Committee Chairman or the Guild President.
b) The General Secretary and Treasurer are members of all committees ex officio. Committees will elect their own chairmen and may co-opt additional members at any time. Committees will meet as often as they consider necessary, and within fourteen days of receipt of a request from the General Secretary by the committee chairman.9.5 Central Council Representatives
Central Council Representatives may be elected at any General meeting of the Guild and be confirmed annually at the following AGM.9.6 Independent Examiner
The Guild AGM shall appoint an Independent Examiner to examine the annual accounts of the Guild. The Independent Examiner may be a Member of the Guild, but may not be an Executive or other Officer of the Guild nor a member of the General Committee.

10. Funds
a) The Guild may raise funds and spend them in pursuance of its Objects.
b) The Guild has no power to borrow money upon interest.
c) The Guild may hold bank or building society accounts. The signatories of these accounts shall be the Treasurer and such other Officers of the Guild as the AGM may from time to time require.
d) Guild Members intending to propose a call upon the funds of the Guild shall first give notice to the General Committee.
e) The Treasurer shall prepare accounts consisting of a Balance Sheet as at December 31st in each year, and an Income and Expenditure account for the year ending on that date.
f) The Independent Examiner shall examine the annual accounts of the Guild for approval by the Trustees prior to being presented to the AGM.

11. Peals
a. Every member of a band attempting a peal for the Guild must be a Guild member.
b. At least half the members of any band ringing a peal for the Guild outside the Diocese must be Ringing or Honorary Life Members.
c. All peals truly rung by bona-fide paid-up members of the Guild shall be recorded in the Guild Peal Book, providing that the current peal fee per bell is paid, the collection of which is the responsibility of the conductor.

12. Changes to Guild Rules
a) These rules may only be altered by a two thirds majority of members present and voting at the AGM, notice of the proposed changes having first been given to the General Committee.
b. No change shall be made to these rules which shall have the effect of the Guild ceasing to be a Charity at law.

13. Dissolution
13.1 Dissolution by Vote of a Special General Meeting
a. A decision to dissolve the Guild may only be taken by a Special General Meeting of the Guild, called for the purpose, one month´s notice having been given by the General Secretary to Tower Correspondents and a notice placed in “The Ringing World”. A two thirds majority of members present and voting is required to approve the dissolution. A quorum shall be thirty members.
b. On being dissolved, the assets of the Guild, subject to the approval of the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales, shall be disposed of to either or both of the following:-
i) Other charitable associations of change ringers as the Guild shall select.
ii) The Cathedral Church of St Michael, Coventry for the religious and charitable purposes of the Cathedral.
13.2 Dissolution by Default
In the event of the Guild becoming defunct, it shall be allowed for the Patron or other principal Guild Officer after five years non-working of the Guild to cause it to be dissolved and its assets applied under clause 13.1 b) above.

These rules were adopted by the Guild AGM held at Dunchurch, 27th April, 2013.
Rules listed above:- E. & O.E.