The Administrative Committee meets twice a year and held its March meeting recently. Arrangements for the June Council meeting were finalised and a Ringing Roadshow for September 2014 was agreed. (Exact date to be confirmed in due course.) A draft paper for the June Council meeting on A Healthy Future of Ringing (following on from the Wellesbourne conference of November 2011) was discussed. An update on the work in this area will be published in The Ringing World shortly.
Council meeting in Chester
Council members will have received the brochures with details of the arrangements for the Council weekend. Please don't delay in booking up the events you want to join over the weekend - some will only happen if enough people want to take part. We are very much hoping that the new edition of Dove will be for sale over the weekend, so bring your money or chequebooks with you.
Can I remind Council members that nominations for election to Life Membership of the Council, in all cases signed by two Members of the Council, must reach the Secretary by 4 April. Nominations for Additional Members, accompanied by a supporting statement of not more than 250 words and signed by two Representative, Life or Ex-officio Members of the Council, must also reach the Secretary by 4 April. Notices of Motion, also signed by two Council Members, must reach the Secretary by 23 April. Society secretaries are reminded that subscriptions for 2012, at £25 per representative, if not already paid, are now due.
What do YOU do for the Council?
The meeting is the time for Council members to be elected onto a committee. There will be elections for members of all committees and all need enthusiastic Council members able to give just a little time to the Council's business. Speak to the Chairman of the committee that reflects your own interest or ability. I'm sure your society did not elect you as a CC rep without the expectation that you would be prepared to do some work to help the Exercise at large! If you are not sure which committee is best or how to get yourself elected please do contact me for advice, or speak to the other reps from your society or local area.
In particular, the Library Committee will be seeking members with enthusiasm for the history of ringing, ringing books and magazines etc and/or computer and web skills.
The results of the survey of Council members' views on printing meeting papers from the website showed an overwhelming majority in favour of doing this to help save on postage costs. We are therefore intending to try this system this year to see how members think it works. This will be something of an experiment that we will review afterwards to see if it can be improved or whether we should revert to paper mailings. We are still working on the finer details to ensure that no one is left out, particularly those very few Council members who aren't online and those few others who have problems with printing. Further details of this will be circulated in due course.
The Foundation have advised that they are intending to circulate their AGM papers directly to their members as well. Council members will need to have registered as Foundation members to receive these papers. If you are a Council member and you have not registered yet please do so as soon as possible, following the link provided by Brian Meads, Chairman of the Foundation, in an email on 14 February. Brian explained that they are keen to know who their members are and to simplify their administration. If you don't sign up soon you may not receive the meeting papers.
Ringing for the Diamond Jubilee
The Diamond Jubilee is the first major Ringing Event of the summer, and celebrations are already under way around the country and worldwide, with members of the Royal family visiting far and wide. The Queen is confining herself to UK visits so these are likely to create very many ringing opportunities. Do keep closely in touch with your local authority to ensure you are aware of local plans.
Ringing for the Olympics
Further details of the Olympic Torch Relay route have just been released, although the finer points of the routes within large cities may be held back until the very last minute. This of course is not helpful to ringers. Keep an eye on the Olympic part of the Council's website for the latest information we have.
I know plans are well-advanced for bells to ring at key event locations both within and outside London during the Games themselves. At Kingston we plan to ring while the men's and women's cycle road races come past the church on the first weekend and we have recently learned that there are also to be cycle time trials taking place in Kingston. We are currently considering whether enough of our ringers will be able to get to the church by train (as so many roads will be closed). We are keen to ensure that our Olympic ringing includes as many of our new and seasoned ringers as possible so we hope to be ringing a mixture of quarter peals and general ringing. I'm sure many other places will be doing something very similar.
And of course many towers are keen to ring at 8 am on the opening day of the Olympics - Friday 27 July. We have been involved in further discussion with the Cultural Olympiad section of LOCOG (the London Organising Committee) and I am delighted to be able to advise that they have now told us: "We would like to encourage your members to ring their bells in their usual style, and to ring a peal of their bell tower team's choosing. Bells can certainly be rung for longer than three minutes if teams so wish." So please bear this in mind when deciding what and when to ring, and if you are unable to ring at 8 am for any reason, ringing later that day would be great. As I have said before, we are really keen to encourage as much Olympic ringing as possible, including on 27 July and on other major dates - perhaps in celebration of Team GB winning Gold, or any local connection with any winners. Whenever there is outdoor broadcasting near a church with bells, we want ringing to be heard. Visiting sportsmen and women should go home with memories of Britain as a ringing isle.
There has been a small flurry of activity in 2012 and the total donated via the Council's fund so far is approaching £8,000. Have you made a donation yet?
Advance notice of Library Outreach Day to be held on Saturday 23 February 2013 at the Wellesbourne Church Centre for those interested in talks by John Eisel, Chris Pickford and Chris Ridley, displays and "bring and buy".
Did you see...
- the Diamond Jubilee Compositions on P 184 of The Ringing World? We are still working on compositions for some of the special Diamond Jubilee methods and these should be available shortly.
- the note about the National Youth contest taking place in Birmingham on 30 June on P 176? Are you encouraging your local young people to enter a team?
- the Child Protection/CRB Checks update on P 179?
- The exciting news from the Heritage Lottery Fund on P 232?
- Learning Together on P 236?
The Next Month or so
The Tower Stewardship Committee arranges regular meetings with the Ecclesiastical
Insurance Group to discuss matters of mutual interest and to ensure our communication
lines are kept open in case of any difficulties.
The next meeting is soon and we are pleased that there do not appear to be any major
difficulties at the moment.
For me it is good to keep my toe dipped in the insurance water (where I spent my
working life) and it is also good to remind insurers regularly how ringers take great
care about safety and how few claims we cause them compared to, for example, visitors
just walking around churches and cathedrals and having those slip and trip claims.
One of their major concerns currently is of course the huge rise in the theft of metal
Ringers mainly need to remember this when undertaking restoration work.
Keep your bells securely under lock and key!
I am also looking forward to attending a meeting of The Ringing World Board and my own tower's AGM. We always invite the Rector to chair this meeting and invite the churchwardens as well so that they are regularly reminded who we are and that we do a large amount of fund-raising so that we can always meet the costs of our own minor maintenance. They are easily impressed by this. We compare well in this way to our excellent choir, who have a paid leader and whose costs are met by the church.
I also have some dental treatment to look forward to, but the less said about that the better.
Easter will be here soon. Another great reason for lots of celebratory ringing! Enjoy it, and the warmer weather I hope is just about here too.
Comments or questions from Council members and others always welcome by email to: email@example.com