Trustees' Reports - Treasurer's Report 2018

Guild membership, as measured by those paying subscriptions during the year, decreased slightly again in 2018, although this could be partly explained by the fact that some towers appeared to be reluctant to part with their subs during the year. A certain amount of chasing up might have to be considered. The total paying their subscriptions last year was 475, against a revised 2017 figure of 515, the drop in numbers being fairly well spread throughout the Guild. At the time of preparing the accounts the Guild’s paying membership in 2018 was split thus:-

District Senior Junior Total Towers
Coventry District 118 3 121 21
Rugby Deanery 95 5 100 12
Warwick Archdeaconry 235 11 246 37
Unattached 8   8  
Totals 456 19 485 69

There are also 5 active life members resident within the Guild taking the resident membership to 480. My grateful thanks go again to George Wrycroft, Gerald Trevor and Sally Idle for their invaluable help in the collecting and recording of your subscriptions over the last 12 months. If you have not paid your subscription for 2019 by the time you read this (adults £10; juniors £2) I would urge you to send the money to one of these three as soon as possible.

This year the General Fund, despite increased expenditure on training and the youth team, and also the production of Guild handbooks, ended up with a surplus of nearly £200. This was a considerably lower surplus than 2017 mainly due to the loss of income from subscriptions as mentioned above. The Guild has reserves of £11,782 which is roughly equivalent to 3 years income which the Trustees regard as acceptable. This amount covers for any unexpected falls to income or years in which expenditure is above the norm.

The Bell Repair Fund (BRF) brought in almost £9,500 during the year, an increase of some £5,500, largely due to the income which we will continue to get from the Philip Faulks Memorial Bell Fund. Phil was a Warwick ringer until ill health prevented him from doing so and he died in 2016 leaving a large sum to be invested by the Coventry Diocesan Trustees with our Bell Repair Fund receiving the income earned. This is likely to increase our resources considerably hence the offer this year of the BRF paying for maintenance reports on many of the Guild’s towers. I would also encourage any towers thinking about work on their bells and fittings to apply to the BRF for a donation as with more cash available the donation could be a lot larger than those from the previous years. Just £100 was donated in 2018 – to Bidford-on-Avon.

The Bell Repair Fund has reserves of £37,195. These have benefitted from the allocation of part of the Guild subscription to be paid into the BRF and also from the Philip Faulks Memorial Bell Fund as outlined above. The very nature of the Fund means that the donations it makes to churches vary from year to year according to repairs, maintenance issues, and enhancementsthat occur and qualify for support. The donations made from the Fund vary from a few hundred pounds to several thousand according to the work needed. In simple terms with over 100 towers with bells in the Guild the Fund is equivalent to less than £400 per tower. The Trustees regard the current level of reserves as adequate. They are being proactive in using the money effectively by donating to churches having bell maintenance reports whilst still being receptive to funding any maintenance needed on bells/fittings; and augmentations to existing rings.

Thanks must go to David Leafe for examining this year’s accounts and for his advice to the Guild trustees. Finally if anyone else is interested in looking after the Guild’s finances please say so as it really is time that someone else took over – after all I’ve been doing this for 40 years now!

Simon Rogers – Hon Treasurer