President’s Blog – November 2016

It seems a long time since my last note, time having been dominated by events in York.  The Heritage Open days over the weekend of 10th/11th September resulted in quite a lot of ringing demonstrations and interest and certainly local towers in my area gained several new recruits.

The Council’s Administrative Committee met in October with quite a deal of time looking at arrangements for next year’s meeting in Edinburgh and ideas for the format and timing of meetings from 2018 onward.  It was agreed that an ART award should be sponsored for work with young people by a University Society. There was also a presentation on the progress with improvements to the CC website. A short note on the meeting was contained in The Ringing World.

An important grant was given by the SUEZ communities trust (formerly SITA) with £50,000 going to Black Bourton bells project. The bell theme is continued with two important appeals, the first being at Cheltenham Minster where a project linked to commemoration of Cyril Wratten has been launched website: http://www.cheltminsterbells.org.uk/.   More famous in people’s consciousness are the bells of St Paul’s London where a sum of £360,000 is required to rehang and carry out other improvements to the tower. I would not normally give favour to any one of the many projects which ringers support but as a “national treasure” St Paul’s must stand out.  Donations contact: (email)

The suspension of the entire band of York Minster hit the headlines and was initially the subject of much media interest and social media speculation. The Council has been closely involved in trying to resolve the situation which, because of sensitive issues involved, cannot be subject of comment at present.

That safeguarding was an issue in York is no secret and consequently the Church of England’s consultation document “Promoting a Safer Church” warranted a formal response from the Council incorporating comments received from societies for which thanks. Another important response was given to the CRAG review group regarding future of CCCBR. I hope that everyone with an interest took time to make their own views known.

The first of Regional Seminars with society officers was held at Southwark on 1st October and proved a useful exchange of experience and ideas.  The next gathering will be in Derby on 17th December with invitations already sent, if officers haven’t yet responded please do so soon. The series will continue with a seminar in Bristol on 28th January, 2017.

With minds turning to Christmas, we have our own Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary’s Warwick from 24th November to 4th December, launched with ringing on tower and hand bells and with yours truly in Victorian dress. Do come and see the display!

Chris Mew  November , 2016

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