The Council is the representative body for all who ring bells in the English tradition with rope and wheel, the majority of whom practise the art of change ringing. Founded in 1891, the Council today represents 65 affiliated societies, which cover all parts of the British Isles as well as centres of ringing in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Italy. These societies in turn comprise the members of the local companies of ringers in their areas.
The Object of the Central Council is, in summary: to promote and foster the ringing of bells for Christian prayer, worship and celebration; to promote awareness of the ringing of church bells and the art of change ringing; to make available advice, assistance and information to interested parties and to promote good practice on all matters concerned with bell ringing; to encourage development of the art of ringing through innovation; to bring together ringers to discuss matters of common interest and to represent ringers both nationally and internationally; to encourage high standards of performance in ringing; to recommend and maintain technical standards in change ringing; to assist in the provision, restoration, maintenance and transfer of church bells.
Currently the Council is undergoing a review to revisit its purpose, structure and function. Once complete the website will be updated accordingly, and in the meantime there will be regular updates on the review page.
Composition and Governance of Council
The Council’s members comprise: Representative Members elected by the affiliated Societies for a three year period; Additional Members elected by the Council for a three year period; and Life Members elected by the Council by reason of their services to the art of change ringing.
The Object of the Council and its governance structure are included in the Governance section of the website, mainly under Rules. Motions passed by the Council are recorded in the Decisions and cover: the installation and preservation of bells; recommendations to associations; Rolls of Honour; peal ringing; methods and calls; compositions; and method extension.
The Council meets each year on Spring Bank Holiday Monday.
The Minutes of all meetings from 1891 through 2016 are viewable in Tony Smith’s archives, as are the Annual Reports (including those of the Committees) from 1996 through 2015.
An invitations has been accepted from the following societies to host the 2017 meeting: