DRAFT Minutes of the Christchurch Priory Bellringers AGM Jan 30th 2017

Status: Feedback received and corrections made Feb 10th 2017. Now ready for approval at 2018 AGM.


James Morton (Chair),Tim Martin, Rosemary Rogers, Ian Penny, Richard Woodward, Rosalind Martin, John Bolt, Aila Peacock, Helen Penny, Lester Ruckley, Bert Cruchfield, Lorna Bacchus, Robert Skerton, Luke Brooke.


Janice and David Poulton, Rev Charles Stewart (chair), Graham Greene, Ruth Roberts, Nicola Penny, Rob Bury, Janey McCoy

Our thanks to James Morton (churchwarden) for chairing the meeting at short notice.

Minutes of the last meeting:

2 amendments:

  • The accounts were audited by Jenny Ruckley
  • Wedding fees were increased to £215

Proposed by Tim Martin, Seconded by Lester Ruckley,  Passed by vote. Final version is here christchurch-priory-bell-ringers-minutes-of-the-annual-tower-meeting-8th-feb-2016-final-agreed-version

Tower Captain’s Report:

  • This can be seen here.
  • Robert Skerton queried what “Arrive on time on Sunday morning” meant in practice. Tim suggested arrive at 8:40 to allow 5 minutes to climb the stairs and start at 8:45
  • John Bolt noted that from now on, the staff door (from the carpark at the back) will be locked at this time and we will have to enter via the main door or the tower security door.

Tower Accounts:

  • Thanks to Jenny Ruckley for auditing the 2016 accounts.
  • The accounts were accepted unchanged. They can be seen:
  • priory-accounts_2016
  • christchurch_priory_bellringers_income-2016
  • expnditure-priory-2016
  • Signatories for the bank account have been changed
  • Tim proposed that we support the Young Ringers’ Competition travel financially. There was no objection. It was also noted that funds are being made available at District level and fundraising is ongoing.
  • The accounts and additional remarks were proposed by John Bolt seconded by Aila Peacock, and unanimously passed by the meeting.

Tower Bell Restoration Account

  • This is administered by Rosemary Rogers. We now have £12879.02 in the account including the £1050 added in 2016. We earned £56 interest (0.35%). We spent money on maintenance (safety rails. VAT was reclaimed). Over the year this left a profit of £763.
  • The acceptance of the restoration account was proposed by Rosalind Martin, seconded by Lester Ruckley and passed by vote.

Steeple Keeper’s Report


  • John Bolt wished to stand down as Steeple Keeper, to be replaced by Richard Woodward.
  • Mention was made of the combined age of the team (200+) and a call for younger blood. Graham was suggested as a potential recruit and Robert offered to help as well. Richard will follow up and let us know.
  • The new team is confirmed as Richard in charge with John Bolt and Rob Bury and Robert assisting, plus any new members.

These changes plus the report were proposed by Rosalind, seconded by Lester, and approved by the meeting.

Bell Restoration Plans

  • John presented the latest version of the plans as suggested by Matthew Higby bell-restoration-report-christchurch-priory-jan-2016
  • Members of the band have until February 28th to comment on these proposals.
  • John Bolt is keen to take it forward and get 3 estimates.
  • Tim recommended that we spend the money in such a way as to make the bells easier to strike and easier to ring well.
  • We will need to raise money and the amounts involved imply applying for grants (eg from English Heritage) rather than small-scale fund raising.
  • This will be a major project which will require proper project planning and the formation of a fundraising committee etc if it is to move forward.
  • There will be a complex process of approval through the DAC and we are fortunate to have Ian already up to speed on this (due to his work in the church office) so it should go as smoothly as can be expected with such things.
  • Robert asked what if a wheel breaks meanwhile? John Bolt replied that short term, firms such as Matthew Higby’s can attend emergencies and act fast to put them right.
  • It was noted that worn wheels usually mean shorter rope life, rather than emergency breakages.
  • Richard as Steeple Keeper and Tim as Captain to move this work forwards during 2017.

Public Relations Officer’s Report

  • This can be read here: pro-report-of-2016-for-agm-christchurch-priory-bellringers
  • The draft of the A4 recruitment leaflet is online here and a printed version was circulated for those present.
  • Re the youth recruitment, Rosemary commented that the creation of the girls’ choir ended a tradition of “boys join the choir, girls join the ringers” which had been a source of recruits for the band.
  • Tim commented that Wimborne Minster created a lighter ring within their ring by adding a sharp 2nd – and that we could without huge cost, do the same. This would create a more young-learner-friendly light ring than the current light 6.

Election of Officers

Post Officer for 2017 proposed by seconded by result of vote
Tower Captain and Ringing Master Tim Martin Aila Peacock Lester Ruckley carried unanimously
Vice Captain Rosemary Rogers Tim Martin Robert Skerton carried unanimously
Vice Captain Ian Penny Tim Martin Robert Skerton carried unanimously
Treasurer Richard Woodward John Bolt Ian Penny carried unanimously
Secretary Rosalind Martin Lorna Bacchus Richard Woodward carried unanimously
Steeple Keeper Richard Woodward** Tim Martin Ian Penny carried unanimously
Assistant Steeple Keeper Rob Bury** Tim Martin Ian Penny carried unanimously
Assistant Steeple Keeper Tim Martin Ian Penny carried unanimously
Public Relations Officer Rosalind Martin Tim Martin Aila Peacock carried unanimously
Church Liaison Officer leave unfilled

** Richard Woodward suggested that he should be joint Steeple Keeper with Rob but after some discussion it was agreed that there should be a single focal point (ie Richard)

Wedding Fees for 2017

  • Raise the fees to £225 (already agreed by PCC). Ringers to receive £20 per rope, the remainder to be divided between the Tower Account and the Earmarked Fund as in previous years.
  • Proposed by Rosemary, seconded by Bert and agreed by vote.

2017 Dinner

  • Rosemary is going to organise the dinner. Thanks expressed to Rosemary for organising in past years.
  • Date will be November the 3rd. Venue same as last year.

Any Other Business

  • Muffles (raised by John Bolt). The finance committee has approved a spend of up to £750. Rosalind agreed to dig up the quotes we have already obtained and pass them on to Richard Woodward.
  • The protocol for the death of a Monarch is fully muffled 1-11 with Tenor open at backstroke. We can use the existing muffles within the new ones to achieve the double muffling.
  • We need some ear defenders to allow occasional visual checks of bells to be safely carried out during ringing. Steeple Keepers to purchase locally.

Thanks from the Church

James Morton (on behalf of the church) thanked all the ringers for their great efforts in ringing, and thanked all the Officers for the extra work.

Next Annual General Meeting – 29th Janury 2018.

The meeting closed with the Grace.











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