Category Archives: Guild Action Plan

Posts relating to the Guild Action Plan

2015-18 Action Plan Update – 17th June 2017 at A.G.M.

This review covers the period 2nd July 2016 to 16th June 2017

The plan was drawn up, taking into account areas of need identified by members, to enable ideas to develop, provide continuity and help move the Guild towards being a more relevant entity for its members, hopefully making it accountable and to demonstrate to members how their subscriptions are being used.

The initial 3-year plan included 7 areas of Ongoing Work:

  • Events
  • Districts
  • Resources
  • Central Liaison
  • Youth
  • Review of administration to improve effectiveness
  • Continual feedback from members


This past year has seen 3 main Guild events:

  • 2016 AGM Day in New Alresford that offered open towers, a service, the
      Inter-District Striking Contest, wonderful refreshments, a manned
      Association of Ringing Teachers stand and the business meeting. The event
      appeared to be enjoyed by all those attending
  • the inter-tower 8-bell contest in the Andover area; 3 teams entered all from the Winchester District. (Only 2 teams applied for the inter-tower 6-bell contest on the same day so it did not proceed.) The feedback is that the teams enjoyed the event but members are reminding us that to encourage well-attended and therefore more meaningful competitions, it would be ideal to have full and confirmed details of the contests issued well in advance
  • a pub quiz and informal supper social event in the C. and S. area was enjoyed by around two dozen members from several Districts. A bonus was that proceeds from the evening, including a raffle, went towards our young ringers. The Happy Cheese pub and its customers supported us well.

The feedback available from the 8 Districts is that generally positive activities continue to take place in many areas of ringing. It’s encouraging to see many Districts holding training events, outings including visits to special towers, ringing festivals,  quarter peal events, both general and dedicated practices and young ringers’ events.

Two very positive observations I’d like to highlight: the majority of Districts have held their own Striking Contests, at least one annually and in some cases more than one…so they’re still popular! One District reported that Teacher Training had taken place, so excellent news!

There is much evidence of continued mutual support between towers and cross-border participation generally. There are a number of informal, personal initiatives that are continuing or have started up such as special practices, quarter peal clubs, handbell groups and the like. These are much enjoyed, appreciated and to be encouraged.

It’s disappointing that the available Guild funds in this area were not taken up this year..please spread the word. It is easy to claim! The Officers will undertake to expand the channels of communication reminding of available funds and how to apply. The Guild is keen to support Districts in a number of ways. Please submit more feedback from your members and consider making specific requests for Guild support – what would help you the most?

The website is showing the Guild resources available to members. The Executive Committee has agreed to the hire of the Chamborough Ring for a P.R. event; no firm plans are in place as yet.

The work of the Communications Team and the election of a Public Relations Officer have helped focus and continue to develop the Central Liaison item in the Action Plan. Much useful information is circulated to members from Central Council, for example. Both the Communications Team and the P.R.O. have responded to enquiries from potential new ringers via our website and referred to us by Central Council and the A.R.T Administration. The P.R.O is working particularly with our main stakeholder, the Church, in both Dioceses and with local media and community. Feedback from the clergy, media and the public is generally good and encouraging.

Good teamwork between local leaders in two Districts, encouraged and supported by the Guild resulted in a team entering the Ringing World National Youth Contest in 2016. It’s great news that a W.and P. team will be entering on 1st July 2017!

We’re delighted to record that the Elizabeth College, Guernsey, band won the 2017  Sarah Beacham School Group Award presented during the A.R.T. Annual Conference hosted by us.

Our young ringers were once again invited to join the Salisbury Association youngsters on their outing. The feedback for young ringers events held has been positive.

As requested by many members – loud and clear – included in the ongoing review of Guild administration has been the matter of the Annual Report, thanks to the Report Editor and two willing volunteers. There is a specific proposal on today’s agenda accordingly. The Executive may wish to further consider the overall process of the Report, its content and method of distribution.

The date of our Annual General Meeting has been changed; again another item on today’s agenda. This is to try to avoid clashing with the RWNYC in particular. The further aim is send out a positive signal to our young members in this respect.

There are a number of Key Projects in the Action Plan: Communications, Education and Belfry Stewardship. Each of the committees have published reports in the latest report. All the committees’ work has been well received once again.

The Principal Officers and the Communications Team will be meeting again to discuss the Membership Database project in more depth, including human resources needed and costs, before referring back to the Executive Committee.

During the year, there has been a Training and Development Fund set up within the General Fund to offer financial support to members, especially those aged under 25 years, aimed to enhance and enable the development of a ringer or a group of ringers.

There is an item on today’s agenda proposing the formation of a Ringing Schools Committee with a view to the provision of centres for teaching new ringers. If approved, the new committee will work closely with the Education Committee but will be a separate entity.

Specific feedback from members for Belfry Stewardship is for a pro-active approach to be considered whereby churches, including those with no bands, might be reminded of the Committee’s work and encouraged to apply for Guild B.R.F. grant funding if appropriate, even for relatively small works. The matter of the amount of B.R F monies invested was a matter for discussion on social media.  Both the

Belfry Stewardship Committee and the B.R.F Trustees have been made aware of these items of specific feedback.

One event listed was our hosting of the 2017 Annual Conference of
The Association of Ringing Teachers held over two days in March in Old Basing. There was a great variety of interest on offer apart from the business meeting. Some of our own members were presenting training sessions, several local ringers worked very hard throughout, especially on catering duties, and some members took the great opportunity to enjoy the whole experience of meeting friends, learning new skills and having fun. The feedback was very positive indeed and a local newspaper ran an article on the event. 

The two remaining Future Event in the current Action Plan are:

  • Commemoration of the WW1 Centenary. Approximately 400 Guild ringing performances honouring the WW1 fallen have been recorded to date,
    using information harvested from 1914 on. The work of the small committee is ongoing. It’s anticipated that the proposed special services in Portsmouth and Winchester Cathedrals will take place in the Spring 2019 and that printed
    volumes of the records will be presented to both Cathedrals. All members will  be encouraged to join together in one of the services.
    A brief note reminding members of this very special project and encouraging their continued support, especially by ringing in a special performance of some kind before the end of the centenary, was issued to each tower via District Secretaries last month. Every single member could be involved – that would be wonderful! There will be further updates issued with more details, as appropriate.
  • Recruitment Drive and Retention of Ringers. The stated aim is to encourage Church Service ringing and the cultivation of change ringing by increasing the number of proficient ringers across The Guild. This is very much ongoing by us all. The Guild is being pro-active particularly by aiming to set up good-standard Ringing Schools for new ringers. It is promoting the available excellent resources in the way of training aids, training courses and offering financial support for ringers wishing to learn to teach new ringers and for Districts or towers who are keen to set up local training centres.

The Officers together with the Executive Committee will be working towards presenting a new Action Plan at the 2018 A.G.M. Meanwhile, District Officers and Executive Committee Members are asked to continue to promote the Action Plan benefits available to members. Individual members, towers and Districts are encouraged to consider applying for Guild support and to continue to feedback constructive comments using any of the available communication channels.

Viv Nobbs 

Immediate Past Master

Update from the Ringing Schools Committee (first presented to the Guild Exec, Nov 2016)

David Mattingley Writes:

Ringing hubs was, I believe, first mentioned in the Guild action plan in which the education, along with communications and belfry stewardship, were to be key projects over 2015-18.
I quote the relevant part of the action plan,
“Encourage districts to be more flexible in their ringing programmes – possibly encourage ringing hubs within a district but ensuring other towers are not forgotten or the help to them diminished”
And you will see that the minutes of the March 2016 Executive meeting show that the “setting up of a working group… to consider the provision of centre(s) for teaching new ringers”.
Wanting further clarification on what was being envisaged by our previous Master, I asked Viv what she wanted from the setup.
She said, “To encourage… ringing and the cultivation of change ringing by increasing the number of proficient ringers across the Guild”.

It was clear that the group had a broad remit. The initial purpose of the working group is to investigate (and introduce, if necessary) the possibility of teaching schools within the Guild.
The working group met on 15 June to discuss the aims, possible types of model, syllabus and hardware.
Further discussion by the group is needed, and I very much regret that more discussion has not taken place. That said, I believe the group is in agreement with the following.

  • The training will focus on teaching safe and consistent bell handling up to rounds standard, and further into elementary change ringing as students progress. The group acknowledged that various factors needed to be considered between where teaching was most needed, versus a supply of good teachers, and the potential availability of good training facilities.
  • Various types of models to be used were suggested, from intensive holiday courses, to weekly evening courses. It was felt that a Saturday morning (roughly 10-12 o’clock) would probably be the most popular for students and teachers.
  • A charge per student per session was considered appropriate, which would be used to cover tower donations and course material. Various “rewards” for learners at set stages should also be able to be supported by this charge.
  • In setting up a teaching centre, various costs will be incurred, and sought from the Guild. There could be initial costs in setting up a venue as a suitable venue and as such, a budget submission will be made to the Guild for its approval to cover certain envisaged costs, and the risk of any shortfall.
  • Further discussion is needed to be had on the syllabus, but it was
    considered that Learning the Ropes schemes (levels 1 and 2) provides students and teachers were clear goals and would provide a consistent, graded approach which can be easily adopted in different areas.
  • The group considered that good teaching venues would have (amongst other things):
     bells that can be regularly available
     space for teaching and/or whiteboard area
     refreshment facilities
     toilets

As mentioned earlier, there is much further discussion to be had before a submission is formally made to the Guild both for approval of any ringing centre(s), and any budget but hopefully this summary of discussion has been useful.

Guid Database and Communications System Progress Report for the Guild Exec

Status draft for Graham Hounslow to review

Exploratory work has been carried out towards the objective of a new Guild Membership database and communications system.  This has included:

Gathering minutes of previous discussions together

Please see the document on this site:

https://wpbells.org/2016/09/22/background-for-guild-database-project-extracts-from-existing-guild-documents/

Assessing packages to see if there is an off the shelf solution we could buy.

There are various packages on the market but the price puts them well outside the reach of a single Guild. Examples are detailed in an internal website document for further reference if needed:

https://wpbells.org/2016/09/22/possible-solutions/

 

Sussex Guild has a membership database but attempts to contact them to ask for their assistance have been unsuccessful.

Appraisal of Data Management Issues

Data Protection has been highlighted by members as a concern, but it is believed to be reasonable for the Guild to send emails to people who pay subscriptions, with news and events. However, collecting these emails (currently only held by Tower Secretaries) would be a major task and keeping them up to date is also a significant effort.

Whilst the current system contains a lot of duplicated effort and data duplication, the effort is at least spread between a number of people in Secretarial roles (Guild Secretary, District Secretaries and Tower Secretaries), plus a set of emails held within the website and a set in the Guild Report, and the outcome is that people generally receive emails from a known source (a local secretary) which is likely to increase engagement.

Winchester District has their own paper-based database of all members, as well.

Analysis of Information Flow

This has evolved over time and includes:

  • Top down cascade of emails from Guild Secretary to District Secretaries to Tower Secretaries then on (by email, word of mouth, and/or posters) to membership. This works well for many members. Problems are sometimes experienced when individuals are ill, or otherwise unable to forward information. Tower Secretaries know that emails from this system are for action not just to read, which is helpful.
  • Tower/Cluster email/social media usage; this could be an email group (Yahoo, Google, etc), Whatsapp, or Facebook. Often it is just emails with multiple copies sent by the tower secretary.
  • Open District email groups for members (known in A&P, and C&S; Winchester District use Win-Port)
  • News and events which are posted into any of these systems known to the website team are copied onto the website and made publicly available. Any member seeking information should (in theory!) find it, but some towers (and some districts) are not making especially good use of this service.
  • The website team sends out weekly news summaries to all the known systems, tailored to the geographical area concerned.

Gathering together requirements from members and stakeholders

This was done at the District Officers’ Forum and forms the last section of the writeup:

https://wpbells.org/2016/10/04/final-version-the-wp-district-officers-forum-24-september-2016-a-worms-eye-view-by-bruce-purvis/

 

Exploring Cheap/Free Systems which are small increments away from current practice

Initial work with Mailchimp has not been especially promising due to lack of technical expertise on the part of the experimentor! (RM).

C&S set up an open Google (email) group for members 3 years ago and the keen members have subscribed. Attempts to increase engagement have not been successful.

What works well is a tower-based system that people can just be added to by the local coordinator –  only relevant news is posted by the local members; downside is that District and Guild news may well be missing so it can result in insularity.

Two local systems are completely integrated with the Guild website – in one example there is strong engagement in the District and Guild; in the other case, much less. An information system on its own does not create participation. What is required is good information and a local belief that such events are worth attending, as well as friends to attend with to get over initial shyness. However one known strength of this setup is that sporadic attenders (often working age ringers) find it extremely useful to be in the loop even in periods when they cannot go ringing.

Any local bands/clusters which want to have a weekly news added to their system are most welcome – the setup effort of a bespoke news page for them is minimal, and the weekly copying and pasting effort is simple and quick. However the website team currently does 14 of these so is seeking to devolve the weekly task not take on more!!!)

It would be easy to set up a single email group for all members to receive just the weekly news, if they wish, and no other posts. (as opposed to Win-Port which can carry a lot of traffic). 

Next Steps for the Guild Database

Rosalind Martin has been working on this project to date, however lacks the IT skills to take it further. Graham Hounslow has offered to take over.

Master’s Message – Introducing the Guild Action Plan Review July 2016

The Guild’s Action Plan Review will be presented to the Annual General Meeting on Saturday. It’s hoped that many members will be present but not all will be able to join us.

I thank members for supporting Officers with the Action Plan  and thereby enabling us to take a more flexible approach. I have appreciated it very much and wish to keep my part of the bargain by presenting this review; I strongly believe in transparency and accountability to members. I do hope this will encourage even more engagement leading to positive outcomes.

The Review is linked here and included in full below for your information; I hope you find it helpful.

 Looking forward to the next twelve months, it would be my wish and suggestion to see the following items included in our actions:

  • A budget review by the Executive Committee in November, using part-year figures, to include consideration of a positive policy regarding payment of expenses for Officers, maybe Tutors, in order that we might be prepared and in a good position to encourage members to volunteer with confidence and, if they wished to do so, claim expenses.
  • Consideration being given to the setting up of a Young Ringers’ Fund.
  • A volunteer coming forward to act as a Young Ringers’ coordinator, hopefully resulting in an increased number of our young members meeting together frequently to give them more benefits from ringing and social activities.
  • A volunteer coming forward to serve on the Striking Competitions Committee with Greg Jordan and Peter Niblett and for all ringers to encourage increased enthusiasm and participation in the Striking Contests.

Viv Nobbs

Master

The Full Review:

  • Action Plan review agreed at the 2015 A.G.M – Period 5th July 2015 – 2nd July 2016

    Section 1 – Ongoing work

    1. a) Four events have taken place:
    • Linda Garton, R.W.N.Y.C. organiser, gave a presentation and personal insight into this very popular annual contest. She highlighted a number of benefits of the striking competitions including the fun and team-building leading up to the day itself.  ‘Though there was a low attendance, those present enjoyed the event and said it would prove helpful in inspiring young ringers. Linda kindly made a donation of  £50 (her expenses refunded effectively) and asked if The Guild would consider applying it to a
      Young Ringers fund.
    • Firsts Fortnight – ‘though it was not an actual coming-to-meet-together event, it proved very popular and was reported as being very successful. It certainly seemed to inspire many members of all experience levels. It was very evident that many ringers and other groups from across the country were watching the event’s progress and were commenting on its obvious success, especially on Social Media.
    • Two Inter-Tower Striking Contests (the competition rules were amended to encourage more entries) and, on the same day, two open towers and a skittles and lunch informal social occasion.  Basingstoke District was able to give its support at the competitions’ venues and The Master undertook the open towers and social event. All seemed to be enjoyed and appreciated by those attending indicated by a good number of entries from local towers – especially for the 6-bell contest – and, the social side, by those travelling the greatest distance.
    • Guild A.G.M Day 2nd July 2016. Open towers, Inter-District Striking Competition, Ploughman’s Lunch, Church Service, Association of Ringing Teachers information hub, informal showcase of Centenary of end of World War 1 project, Annual General Meeting and light refreshments.
    1. b) We have aimed to continue to encourage Districts to be independent of central control and to be Ringing hubs and cross border co-operation continues to be evident and encouraged. Guild support by way of the new website has been reported as working well.
    1. c) The inventory of Guild resources has not yet been completed. Some items are listed on the website.
      It is work in progress.
    1. d) The Secretary and Communications Team, in particular, have ensured that we are a real presence in the ringing and non-ringing communities. As a result there were three entrants in the
      Association of Ringing Teachers – “Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust” – awards; all did well and Brighstone won an award. The prize is likely to be a sum of money.

    The Master has continued to be pro-active in working with the two Dioceses building up some even  stronger and very meaningful links. With the Central Council Visit in May, it gave us an amazing opportunity to showcase ringing in the Portsmouth Diocese, in particular. The Diocesan P.R. resource was very much used for our benefit; it took responsibility for the drafting and issue of a Press Release, focusing very much on local ringing and ringers. In this context, Bishop Christopher, at the Central Council reception, made the informal comment to The Master  “It’s good we’re on the map!”

    1. e) The Guild has been encouraging Young Ringers and their local leaders, generally. Specifically, the Guild has made a financial contribution of £440 towards the costs of travel for two separate Striking Contests. The first ever South East England Young Ringers’ Competition in Epsom Common, Surrey – a joint team was entered from Guernsey and The Isle of Wight – and the  R.W.N.Y.C. being held on 2nd July will see a band comprising ringers from the Christchurch and Southampton area working with the Isle of Wight.

    It is hoped and anticipated that these two events will encourage even more young ringers and their supporters, from across our wide area, to enjoy more ringing and social events.
    Committees are seeing young ringers coming forward to serve, for example Belfry Stewardship and Striking Competitions.

    1. f) The Executive Committee and Officers have reviewed Administration taking into account members’  feedback and availability of resources. The amount of volunteer help being offered has an impact, so  prioritising tasks has been needed. Generally, we have been more successful in recruiting help for specific tasks rather than members being willing to stand for a specific period in formal posts.

    A focus group has been formed, to be chaired by the Guild Report Editor to consider the content, format and production costs of the Annual Report.
    Since it was announced that The Ringing World National Youth Contest was to be held on the first Saturday in July, for the foreseeable future, the decision was made to bring forward our  Annual General Meeting by two weeks; this was to send out a strong signal of commitment to our younger members and should avoid the National 12-bell contest. The general meeting will fall close to the anniversary date of the formation of our Guild.

    1. g) We have been sending out the message, at A.D.M.s and in written form, imploring members to engage further, especially by using the website.

    Section 2  – Key Projects for 2015-18

    1. a) Communications: The new website was developed and launched. Taking into account the technical experience and personnel available and listening to the advice of the Communications Team, it was  decided to make the development and launch of the new website the priority action.

    A data base of members is considered to be a priority still as is an overall review of how information is circulated to members, including more newsletters, in addition to the website.

    1. b) Education: an Action Plan budget of £1,200 was earmarked.

    No District came forward to apply for the £500 (maximum) “District initiative” element ‘though one District has made its intention known that it will very likely apply in the year 2016-17.

    The Education Committee has not applied this year for the financial benefit of £200. It will review in the Autumn as hall hire is increasing generally and the benefit of lower student numbers on some courses is apparent.

    Especially, in the light of the above, The Master has used discretion with The Teacher Training element of the £500 approximate budget. 3 out of 8 Districts have applied for this support this year.

    £180 has been allocated in the following way: 9 students have claimed and will be paid £20 each.

    1. c) Belfry Stewardship: the new committee has been formed and has begun to review items to be
      It has been considering the completion of the Bell Stock Survey, especially as the records had been found to be very useful at Ropley after the serious fire.

     

    1. d) Recruitment and Retention: we’ve aimed to promote the application of good publicity and striving for excellent training, hand in hand, to improve the prospects of recruitment and retention.   Financial incentives are available within the Action Plan for Training Tutor courses.

    In addition, a focus group has been established recently; the initial purpose has been to investigate and introduce if necessary, the possibility of teaching schools within our Guild. The group is financially and administratively separate from other Guild committees. It will act harmoniously with them, of course.  The group will report to the Executive Committee later in 2016 and might require some funding.

    Section 3 – Future Events

     

    1. a) Hosting of the Central Council Annual 2016 Conference and to provide the material for the Ringing World calendar. All of this went very well indeed. A number of members produced excellent photographs for the beautiful calendars. Christine Hill did a magnificent job – she’d accepted full and overall responsibility; she chaired the local organising committee, kept everyone motivated and on target. Extra volunteers (including a ringer from Sussex who knew “W and P” via Social Media) gave their time over the actual weekend of the conference and main events, including at many open towers. All volunteers were very committed, reliable and much appreciated.

    Bishop Christopher attended the formal dinner and wrote to thank The Master and included

    “I know that making all the arrangements for the weekend gathering would have involved substantial work. You and your colleagues deserve all the thanks you will have received from giving everyone such a good experience of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight along with many church towers. I add my thanks for all that you have done to enhance the profile and reputation of the Diocese of  Portsmouth.
    It has been a pleasure for us in the diocese to work alongside you and your team to our mutual benefit.”

    1. b) Hosting the Association of Ringing Teachers Annual Conference 2017.

    The venue has been booked for the two days in Basingstoke. It is anticipated that a small group of volunteers will carry out the necessary local organisation of this event, much less in size than the Central Council’s conference visit.

    1. c) Event to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1 and to record commemorative ringing.

    Two volunteers have taken on this project with much enthusiasm and commitment. An opportunity to include ringing in our towers from 1914, to honour and remember personnel killed during the conflict,  has been recognised and grasped. Third parties have recognised with us the potential benefit of this project to portray a positive image of our ringing community. It might well assist with our recruitment efforts.

    This project will report to the Executive Committee later in 2016 and is likely to require funding, some from the Guild and it’s anticipated that an application will be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    1. d) Recruitment Drive and Retention of Ringers.

        Together with the new focus group looking at the possibility of Ringing Schools and its liaison with local leaders, the use of good publicity and promotional material should dovetail well with a view to a recruitment drive.

A Brief Report on Our Executive Committee  Meeting

STARTING WITH THE REALLY IMPORTANT BIT:

At the Guild AGM in Alresford on 2nd of July The Guild Committee needs a whole new team of officers to be elected.

This incredible Committee has steered the Guild into a new era. The Plans are in place, the signposts show the way and the commitment to improve, educate and modernise this vibrant and active community is stronger now than ever before. SO, Please think seriously about helping us to keep the Guild and ringing moving forward. If you have been a secretary or treasurer for a school committee, if you can take minutes or type them up from a Dictaphone recording, if you like collecting data or think ringing needs to have a different voice in the Central Council, now is the time to say ‘do you know what? I could give it a try’. The posts becoming vacant are:

  • Master
  • Vice-Master
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Librarian
  • Peal recorder
  • Report Editor
  • Minutes Secretary
  • CC reps (five of them)
  • Child Protection Officer
  • Independent Examiner
  • BRF Trustees for the two dioceses

Other Noteworthy Items:

On a cold and sunny morning on 12th of March The Executive Committee Meeting was held in St Barnabas Church Hall in Southampton. 24 members were present with 8 apologies.

We all stood whilst the names of those who have passed away since November were read out.

  • Roy Grayson    (Purbrook)
  • Roy Howard    (Freshwater)
  • Tom Metcalfe    (Blackmoor)
  • Ramon A Stone (life member, West Meon)
  • David Yates    (Arreton)
  • Martin Routh    (Former Tower Captain at Amport)
  • Colin Nicholson     (Formerly of St Peter Port)

With no matters arising from the last minutes the reports and accounts were accepted.

Interesting and noteworthy was that;

  • Our Hon. Librarian and Archivist Bruce Purvis had asked for a budget increase to buy volumes of Order and Disorder which contain ringing extracts from 18th and 19th century newspapers.
  • The Belfry Stewardship Committee planned on visiting and inspecting Droxford.
  • The Bell Restoration Fund gave a report on the Trustees’ Meeting; David Mattingley said there were grants outstanding to All Saints’, Basingstoke augmented from 9 to 10 and awaiting sign-off by the Belfry Stewardship Committee, Houghton where work had started, and Ecchinswell where fundraising was continuing. At Wherwell higher priority work in the church had been identified and so the outstanding grant would be reduced to zero and the church asked to reapply when they were in a position to proceed with the bell restoration. A new grant application had been received from Northington where the plan was now to augment from 3 to 6 at a cost of £17,000 of which £13,500 had already been raised. The Trustees recommended a grant of £2,000. The Trustees agreed with Hugh Routh who pointed out that work on three clappers which was part of the original project specification had not been done and we should not pay grants towards the same work twice.
  • Greg Jordan was elected onto the Striking Competition Committee
  • These fine folks will be presented with Life Membership certificates at the AGM, after completing 50 years of membership!   Congratulations to you all: John Croft (Winchester District Chairman), Alan Hoar of Odiham, Maureen Routh of Steep and  Ronald Tipper of Buriton.

The Master reviewed The Guild Action Plan and  suggested the setting up of 3 working groups:

  • A small working group will be set up to consider the content, format and production costs of The Annual Guild Report. Discussions revolved around how many reports to print IE 1 per person or 1 per  tower, sending it out digitally and if it could be produced in a more cost effective way.
  • Interestingly, A working group to consider the compilation, presentation and costs of books, listing performances rung between 2014 and 2018 commemorating the WWI fallen, to be presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals, and that the working group be authorised to register interest with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Excitingly, A working group to consider the possibility of a centralised Ringing Training School for teaching new ringers.

The Committee were happy to support a funding request of £400 towards travel expenses of a joint team of young ringers from the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Districts to represent the Guild in the competition at Epsom on Sat 2nd April 2016. The rest of the money would be found by the youngsters and their families by fund-raising. We wish them well.

After much discussion a rethink was agreed on the ‘welcome pack’ for new ringers. Whilst people though it (The ART Discover Ringing booklet and a contacts list) was a good idea, just who to give it to e.g. not many probationary members become ringers and how to get it to them was of concern.

The Communications Exec member gave a presentation on Social Media extolling its virtues and its pitfalls.

Future Dates worth noting are;

In the ‘Any Other Business’ section issues discussed were;-

  • The arrangements for the Central Council (CCCBR) weekend at the end of May are well under way. There has been a good response to calls volunteers and Guild members are encouraged and welcome to attend the open meeting and Songs of Praise service both on Sunday afternoon.
  • If a volunteer can be found the requests for Guild sweatshirt production can continue.
  • If there was a form for making a bequest to the Guild. The answer was no it can be put into your Will.
  • Ropley Church was expected to be rebuilt between 2016-2018.
  • The Master promoted the Mid-Monthly Ringing Tours & the next one is on 13th April.

We were all done by 12:00  Then a long and very fast quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles ensued.

Master’s Update on the Guild Action Plan (Nov 2015)

This was shared at the Guild Exec meeting on Nov 21st 2015

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.

Education

  • 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.

Viv Nobbs writes about the ART awards

art-awards-348x196
Click image to visit the ART Awards Web Page

Very exciting update and reminder from “W&P Ex-Pat” Graham Nabb…please help to spread the word.
This is a great opportunity – you’ve seen it publicised before – ART can “Lead the horse to water” and encourage creative initiatives but it’s locally where the action can be driven!
If there’s financial help in this very important area of Teaching and Training – why not use it? PLEASE!!

I’ve often been advised “We just don’t have the time to do anything else.” Understood, BUT I believe that all of us can act positively in some small way – in this particular case, by encouraging and inspiring action locally.

Don’t forget the financial benefits available within our Own Guild’s Action Plan, as well…money’s sat there waiting to be used!!

What happened at the Exec meeting (UNOFFICIAL WRITEUP!)

image

 

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.

Education

  • 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

a)

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.

 

b)

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!!

CCCBR2016

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

AOB

Guild insurance cover was raised at a recent

PDF and WORD

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?

 

 

 

Master’s Message October 2015

queens birthdayDear All,

I hope you’ve all had a good summer break and are now settled back into enjoying your regular ringing once again.

There are many special occasions that we celebrate with our ringing and we’ve just seen H.M. Queen Elizabeth become our country’s longest reigning monarch. A good deal of ringing took place and it was an excellent opportunity to engage with our church congregations and communities.

high-quality-firstpeal2015-001An event from which ringing might well benefit from publicity is the First Peal 2015 initiative. Quite a challenge – aiming for 300 first pealers in a year – but well worth the effort. It’s good to have a target – it helps us focus on achievement. Not only that but, just as in striking contest mode, we can get a great deal of positive teamwork and fun out of the journey towards attaining a particular goal and a great sense of satisfaction when we get there.

The W & P has been helping to reach this particular goal – within our Guild area to date, we have had 14 (including one compounding member)   “2015 First Pealers”. There was also a peal by the Southampton University Guild with five first pealers  and a handbell peal for the “Page 3 Society” on Alderney with one first pealer. I’m keen to encourage more. Please get in touch with me, if you feel we could assist in any way.

guild action plan logoAt the A.G.M. in July, the Action Plan was accepted; thank you. This plan (a summary and full plan are displayed on the Guild website) is very much a work in progress document. We have pledged Guild funds in a genuine attempt to help support Districts and their officers when resources are generally stretched.  Please consider taking a look at a few sections that might well benefit you or members in your tower or District. One example is funding for one district initiative each year up to £500 to improve the accessibility of, or the provision of some sort of training scheme. More details on how to apply will be given at the Executive Committee meeting on 21st November.

We are pleased to advise that we have had a few more volunteers to serve as committee members since the A.G.M. – ideal as there is plenty for us all to do. So, welcome additions to the committees have been: on Belfry Stewardship -Mark Warner,  Lexi Skeldon and Kieran Downer and on Communications –
Rosalind Martin.

The Belfry Stewardship Committee has held its first meeting – a good deal was achieved and there is much enthusiasm evident there.

The new Communications Committee is busy building the new website and in the process of helping to plan for the development of an electronic database.

The Education Committee members continue to work hard in providing their splendid courses. The committee meetings are now using modern technology enabling Duncan in Guernsey to attend without travelling out of his front room!

We were sorry that the Inter-District 10-bell Striking Contest had to be cancelled. The new committee and the Principal Officers will be working hard to ensure that participation in future contests is encouraged and that plans are made well in advance to ensure that members have plenty of opportunity to reserve the date(s) and to get their practices well underway.

The Ringing World National Youth Contest power point presentation by Linda Garton in Bishopstoke was excellent. We are very grateful to Linda and her husband, John Loveless, for giving up their whole day to support our efforts in this way. We are hoping to receive the presentation slides from Linda so that we might be able to pass on the great information to those that were unable to get to meet her on the day.

RW Calendar 2016 iconDon’t forget Christmas! You might well have seen by now the 2016 Ringing World Calendars featuring W & P towers – some great photos. They’ll make great presents – see if we can get them sold out!

Happy Ringing!

Viv Nobbs

Master