What happened at the Exec meeting (UNOFFICIAL WRITEUP!)



New members of the exec were welcomed:
– Deb Baker (convener of Communications Committee)
– Martin Barnes (Convener of the Belfry Stewardship Committee)

The meeting discussed and approved budgets for the various committees, which were in the order of tens or a few hundred pounds.

Viv Nobbs MasterViv Nobbs spoke:

The Action Plan was drawn up after much discussion with many District and Guild Officers and members across the Guild over a considerable time. Many views have been taken into account. We are still very aware that, to get the maximum benefit from the focus that this working document provides, we need to work hand-in-hand with Districts and to actively seek more volunteers.

We do realise that many members are working very hard indeed already – thank you to all. We do believe it’s essential we understand that potential volunteers need to know where we’re heading as a Guild, that any further input they might offer is appreciated and effective. None of us wish to invest our personal and precious time if it is to be wasted or not appreciated. If volunteers enjoy what they do, hopefully that will be rewarding and will result in their continuing to help us.

Since the Action Plan was agreed at the July 2015 A.G.M., we are well underway with the work of the newly formed committees. There has been a great leap forward in Communications..we will hear more about the new website from Ros Martin later on in this meeting.

I’ve asked Deb Baker, Convenor, to prepare a presentation for the Executive  Committee Meeting next March, regarding the potential benefits to us all with the use of Social Media in ringing. When Christine Hill and I had an initial meeting with Bishop Tim of Winchester, in the summer, he was suggesting that we actively consider using “Apps.” more, for example, and to consider how our Guild website might reach out to a wider community. He is likely to consider my request, favourably, to have our new website linked to the Winchester Diocesan website, in due course. He suggested an idea for recruitment leaflets as well. The Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral, when we met, said he was actively considering including video footage of ringing in the rolling “Welcome” video presentation in Portsmouth Cathedral. This is all very positive indeed.

Before leaving Communications here, I would like to formally record our immense thanks and gratitude to all three Communications Committee members that retired in July – David Forder, Rosemary Oakeshott and Ian McCallion. They not only worked extremely hard for the Guild over many years but they continue to offer their help, expertise and advice to the new Communications Committee and the Principal Officers to effect a smooth transition; it’s all very much appreciated. Thank you.


Two other key projects then are in the areas of Education and Belfry Stewardship.


  • the specific item “..to support educational initiatives, especially those improving the quality and sustainability of ringing and ringing teaching in the Guild area.”

In the October 2015 Master’s Message, Section 2b of the Action Plan was highlighted, reminding of the potential financial benefits to Districts and members.

We have aimed to keep the whole application process simple and based on common sense here:

So, for two individual members annually from each District who are supported by their District in considering teaching new ringers, if they wish to apply for up to the maximum funding of £30 for each ringer on an ART Training Sceme place:

  • The starting point is the application to the Education Committee for the relevant course in the normal way
  • The Education Committee will deal with the subsidy; the Education Committee will be reimbursed from central funds.

Regarding any alternative course, the ringers will be able to apply to the Guild Secretary. The four Principal Officers and the Education Committee Chairman will review and use their discretion to make a decision.

The maximum funding of £500 for one District each year, specifically “..to improve the accessibility of, or the provision of, some sort of training scheme.”

We ask that the District Secretary writes to the Guild Secretary, by 28th February, with a basic outline of the project with estimated timescale and costs, listing the anticipated results and benefits and explaining how the project would improve the access or provision of a training scheme.

The four Principal Officers will review applications and make a recommendation  to the Executive Committee in March for a final decision to be made. Subsequently, the Principal Officers would be permitted to use their discretion in when to make payment, including a payment on account, if it was deemed necessary, rather than waiting for the whole project to be completed.

Belfry Stewardship:

the new committee has drawn members from several Districts. It is busy already! New members have needed to take on board all that has gone before, all that might be  required and what tasks need to be undertaken and prioritised. Once again, we’d wish to record our sincere thanks to Roger Barber who has worked so hard leading the committee for so many years and continues to help by guiding and supporting the new committee informally but very effectively.

There is a great deal of content in the Action Plan and in trying to execute the various items listed, aims and work are likely to overlap to some extent. A few more items here but as time is limited today, we will follow up with emails and website postings for further information.


2016 “Firsts Fortnight” for the Guild. 1st March – 15th March 2016. Please ask your District to consider choosing appropriate categories e.g. first quarter peal, first visit to another tower, first touch called. This gives a specific aim for a ringer and offers the District and Guild an opportunity to recognise individual achievements. The results can be posted on the website, of course.


2016 Guild Peal Festival. June 2016. A natural follow on to the 2015 First Peal initiative that is going so well. There is a good deal happening that month, so we’re anticipating a variety of footnotes! Let’s see if we can see a significant increase in
“W & P” peals next year!


Young Ringers’ Events


South East Region Young Ringers Striking Contest. We’ve been invited by The Guildford Diocesan Guild Young Ringers to enter a team on Saturday 2nd April at Epsom. Details to follow. We will be discussing with a number of ringers who are actively helping young ringers’ groups already with a view to a team entering from our Guild. We have registered an interest.



We’ve been asked by The Salisbury Guild to consider a jointly organised ringing and social event, possibly in the summertime of 2016. Again this will be considered and discussed – more details will be made available, as soon as possible.


The Guild’s two main events:


  1. a) Inter-tower 6 and 8 bell striking contests

21st May A.M. -. Details to follow.

We need active help if these contests are to survive and thrive. We are sure there are many benefits to be had apart from the competition element. The building of teams  can be motivating and great fun, encourages team spirit and can help with retention of ringers. We will endeavour to work with a District and hope to make a good day out for ringers.


  1. b) G.M Ringing Day 2nd July 2016

Hosted by the Winchester District, the day will include the Inter-District 8 bell striking contest. Again, efforts are being made to make the day enjoyable and arrangements are being made now. We will be asking for some feedback later in the meeting about the possibility of a social event taking place in the evening.


So, in rounding up here, we would ask for your support on these matters, please.


Please get to know the Action Plan well yourself and encourage your members to really engage with it, too. Consider what benefits might be had to help  the local leaders who are trying so hard to sustain and improve ringing for Sunday worship across the Guild. Thank you.


Social Media

… is here to stay and we need to use it well. All the references will lead back to the website so that’s why we’re working on it so hard.

On Facebook

  • Groups are supportive and Inward Looking…. it’s a discussion group. It needs content. It’s another way of sharing information.
  • Pages are outward looking
  • Pictures of Children need permission but otherwise it’s a more open society and photos taken on a phone will end up of social media….

We need to push news items out into the normal media (TV, radio, newspapers, other website)

Apps – another way of learning. Smartphones are fantastic tools. All the kids in the tower are hunkered down on their phones learning the methods they will then ring. FACT people look at their phones all the time.

Viv responded by saying towers can have a nominated person to “do social media” – it will help that person to become part of the team and feel useful.

Tony Smith URGED all present to encourage ALL people present to encourage EVERYONE to join the list. It’s a fantastic communications tool with several hundred members.

Viv passed on a request from a tower – could we streamline comms please? Lots of different email lists, facebook groups, can be too much

John Davey requested that information shouldn’t be limited to one medium (eg Twitter) but available across all of them.

Website Presentation

… much food for thought and feedback was sought from those present.

CCCBR – initiative following Wellesbourne

At the AGM of the Central Council of Church Bellringers (CC) on 29 May, there was something a little bit different on the Agenda. Members were given the opportunity to participate more than usual, by taking part in group discussions with others from their regions. These discussions were wide ranging, covering the challenges they face and identifying opportunities for further cooperation with each other and the CC. The flipcharts have all been written up, the post-it notes have all been collated and this summarises the key points, ideas and recommendations. During the session, one member wrote on a post-it note “We are limping” and this seems to be a reasonable summary! The good news is that some Guilds/Associations are in good shape, having done new things to modernise, so others who are struggling more have ideas they can learn from. The most common challenges were recruitment and retention, particularly youngsters. The most common opportunities identified were a need for leadership training, plus working together more on recruiting and retaining. Overall, there are significant areas of concern and a need for urgent action.

The regional groups idea has folded and now change is likely to be piloted locally (that’s us folks!)  and then shared through the CCCBR

Channel Islands Proposal was agreed

/\ /\  /\

Alan from Alton and Petersfield have collated a report of quarter peals. His physical archive of reports will join the Librarian’s archive in the Hampshire Records Office and Rosalind will talk to him about formats and media suitable for the website.

Striking Competitions committee needing new people – really great opportunity to organise events that make a difference – people enjoy them, they focus on their striking, one is pencilled in to take place Basigstoke Dsitrict

Future AGMs are going to clash with the RW National Youth Championships, so we will shift to accommodate.

The AGM (July 2nd) will be based at New Arlesford (using Cheriton, Titchbourne, Easton as well in the Itchen Valley) to have a range of towers within easy reach. These are mostly 6 bell towers.

  • ringing
  • striking competition
  • lunch
  • service
  • AGM
  • tea

The service has been discussed and the decision taken to maintain it and definitely hold it(and lunch)  between the striking competition and the AGM. A proposal to put the stirking competition and AGM sections together with nothing in between, was rejected.

John  Davey proposed that Districts can be consulted about whether the running order for the day needs to change. This was accepted.

Ringing World Calendar is US this year!!


Plans are coming on, going to print with the brochure by the end of the year. HELP will be needed from Stewards, and help manning the open towers and the Help Desk for the weekend, greet our guests, etc. Viv commented that the organising committee (chaired by Christine Hill) is working VERY hard and thanks!

Welcome Pack

  • Discover Bell Ringing


Guild insurance cover was raised at a recent


Tony Smith clarified that pdf is excellent for sending a document out for printing or reading on a large screen.

Printing from the web Madelaine has real problems making this work neatly!!! Rosalind will contact and help!

Heritage Open Days

These look like a good mechanism to use an existing publicity machine to promote ringing and find recruits. Good to have a Ride and Stride that day too perhaps?




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