President's Report

Trustees' Reports - President's Report 2017

My first priority when coming into Office in 2015 was to run a ‘Health Check’ on the state of the Guild – its current status, what was going well, what needed to be done to ensure at least a status quo, and what would help to ensure that after three years the Guild would be in as good a position as it was then, or even better. I would like to think that it’s improved – but do not take credit for that. The Guild is all about people and it is you, the Membership that has kept this Guild alive and very much kicking. I thank you all for your support and enthusiasm for initiatives put forward both through your local Districts and from the Guild Committee.

Health & Safety, Safeguarding, and Caring for Bells have featured prominently in matters discussed this last year and as much information as possible has been sent out to Incumbents and PCCs, not only to highlight their responsibilities to you and your band but also to ‘educate’ those PCCs and Incumbents where there are bells but no ringers. There are nominated Officers on the Committee for advice in any of these areas – see website, www.coventrydg.co.uk

The CRAG report was published too late for discussion at the Guild AGM but we hope we have circulated the details of the Central Council Meeting in May, so that you can judge for yourselves the metamorphosis that is taking place ‘at the top’. We wait with bated breath to see the proposals for ‘Individual Membership’ and the effect that will have on the Membership of the Territorial Guilds like ourselves.

Southam, Priors Marston, Bidford, Pillerton Hersey, and Bishop’s Itchington – to name but a few – have benefitted from Advice on their bells given by Guild Officers and some also, financially, through the BRF. The Draw Club continues to financially support the BRF and we thank all those who support the venture.

The Training Strategy has out-topped itself this year and a ‘fourth dimension’ to it added. The unstinting support of more experienced ringers is the key to the progress made by those taking part in the scheme and again we are very grateful to this merry band.

Attendance at District Practices, District Meetings, Guild Meetings, and Striking Competitions etc. still fluctuates, but on the whole there are pockets of very good work being done. The turnout for the ‘King Richard III’ tour was beyond expectations and showed the diversity of age and experience within the Guild. We now have a number of octogenarians ringing regularly in our Churches and a young 8 year old underpins the opposite end of the spectrum. It would be an interesting exercise for the incoming President to take a stock of ages across the Membership!

2018 Sees many significant ringing opportunities – Archbishop’s Visit, Diocese’s Centenary, Royal Wedding, End of WWI. Much planning needs to be undertaken Nationally, across the Guild and in your local towers. I hope you will give your usual support to all initiatives that are planned.

Finally, I could not have done what I have done over the three years without the wonderful help and encouragement I have had both from the Executive Committee and the General Committee.

Joy Pluckrose