Writing this just before the Central Council meeting in Edinburgh, I am aware that those involved will be considering the business in hand. The proposals to restructure the Council and the future membership are all contained in the report of the CRAG review group and if you haven’t read it, it can be accessed via the Council website. There have already been diverse views expressed in the Ringing World and via social media and it is not too late for ringers to make their views known to their own CC representatives. I am sure that all will strive to achieve an improved service for ringers and work to secure a healthy future for our art.
Since my last blog, I have attended the Founders’ Company where I sat with no less than three bell founding families, Gillett, Warner and Hughes with some interesting anecdotes received. At the end of March I met with the Chief executive of Church Buildings Council, Sir Tony Baldry, to discuss how the report on Church Buildings is shaping thoughts on future church use. Sir Tony will be addressing Council members in Edinburgh on 28th May which promises to give fresh perspective on bell ringing futures.
On a personal basis, with relatives from Switzerland, Easter and my home Coventry guild AGM, time seemed to slip by very quickly, hence no April blog. A short trip to Holland for bulb fields and art galleries was most enjoyable, town carillons giving a good background sound.
May started with a pleasant duty making a presentation to the oldest active ringers in the Coventry Guild. Leslie Lunn of Berkswell is still ringing each Sunday at age 94. The obverse side in the same week was the well- attended funeral of former Guild President, Michael Gray, one of nature’s gentlemen. Last week I met with the Bishop of Bath and Wells, Rev Peter Hancock, regarding safeguarding matters. This was most useful and I shall be giving an update through the Ringing World shortly. Just today I have been helping with our Guild youth team practise for Birmingham.
This is the last of my blogs as President of the Council and I hope that they have given a little insight into the work and play over the last 3 years. It has been a privilege to work on behalf of ringers and I shall continue to contribute behind the scenes for a while longer. Thank you all for your support which I hope you will extend to those who will be working on your behalf in the future.
Chris Mew, May 2017