24th August 2017

Central Council Reform

Taking forward CCCBR reform

September 2017 Update

Will YOU help?

CCCBR reform – Phase II – CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS FOR WORKGROUPS

I last wrote in late August, reporting on progress with reform and renewal of our central ringing organisation. I am now writing to give a further progress report, and to call for volunteers as Workgroup Leaders or helpers. All ringers are invited to volunteer, which can be either self-nominations or the nomination of someone else (in which case it requires their consent). Full details, and a link to the online form, are given below.

By way of a brief reminder, the Council Review and Action Group (CRAG) was set up following a vote at the Central Council’s meeting in 2016.  Its recommendations were brought to the Council’s annual meeting in May 2017.  The full CRAG report, including its scope, methodology and proposals, can be found here:

http://cc-crag.weebly.com/

The story so far

In the CRAG final report, Appendix Q proposed an indicative timeline for activities surrounding the reorganisation of CCCBR.  Here is a taste of key actions from that timeline:

 

CRAG

reference

Element Indicative timeline Status
A ii Develop and publish draft 5-year strategy for consultation September – November 2017 Commenced
B vi Make appointments to Executive June – November 2017 Completed
C Confirm workgroup configurations and responsible Executives June – August 2017 Commenced
C i Recruit Workgroup Leaders September – December 2017 NOW OPEN!
E i Develop service offering for direct membership June 2017 – May 2018 Commenced
F ii Scope out creation of employed professional support group June 2017 – May 2018 To start
G Appoint neutral ringer to undertake Decisions replacement June – August 2017 Completed
H Recruit Rules redesign group June – August 2017 Completed

 

Having reported on appointments to the Executive (in my message of August 2017), I am now inviting expressions of interest for leadership and helper roles on “workgroups”.

What are Workgroups?

Recommendation C of CRAG’s final report is introduced as follows – “The new Executive will, by November 2017, realign the current committees into a significantly reduced number (single figures) of Workgroups, each led by an individual Workgroup Leader.” The CRAG report describes this concept at length.  Although it may appear that this realignment is merely an aggregation of CCCBR’s existing Committees, the concept is much bolder than that. Workgroups are the way that the CCCBR will deliver its plans. While they will of course continue some of the work of the former committees their priorities will be determined by the overall strategy of the CCCBR and what is necessary to strengthen and refresh ringing. Workgroups and their leaders will work closely with the executive, other workgroups and people from outside the CCCBR for a healthy future for ringing.

The CRAG report proposed a set of workgroups that require skilled, charismatic and hands-on leaders and helpers.  These are as follows:

  • Volunteer and Leadership Development (working with David Smith and Alison Everett)
  • Tower Stewardship and Management (working with David Kirkcaldy and Ernie de Legh-Runciman)
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Historical and Archive
  • Direct membership channel (helpers working with Phillip Barnes)

There is one other workgroup for which a leader has already been identified, and this will be announced in due course.

How to get involved

Using the same mechanisms as in Phase I, I invite all interested ringers to visit the “reform” page on the CCCBR website and complete the nomination form:

https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reform/nomination-form

The online form will be open until Friday 29th September.

I should clarify that those who responded in Phase I are still very much in the mix, and don’t need to re-submit.  Furthermore, existing Central Council Representatives are particularly encouraged to put their names forward to assist with these new structures.

Do please think carefully about what you can do for ringing, and volunteer for one (or more) of these roles.  This is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference.  To give something back to ringing.  To build and secure a bright future for ringing.

Yours in ringing,

President
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

PDF copy of note attached for ease of printing – download here.

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August 2017 Update

I last wrote in late June, reporting on the intended direction of travel since the Central Council meeting in Edinburgh, and I want to take this opportunity to share an update on recent progress.

By way of a brief reminder, the Council Review and Action Group (CRAG) was set up following a vote at the Central Council’s meeting in 2016.  Its recommendations were brought to the Council’s annual meeting in May 2017.  The full CRAG report, including its scope, methodology and proposals, can be found here:

http://cc-crag.weebly.com/

Using the CRAG final report and its various appendices as our starting point, these are the items for action in the first few months following the votes in May:

  1. Agree the Vision / Mission / Strategy (Recommendation A)
  2. Appoint the “Executive” (Recommendation B)
  3. Re-align Committees into Workgroups (Recommendation C)
  4. Set up a team to develop and deliver the direct communications channel (Recommendation E)
  5. Set up a rule-change group (the constitution piece) – with a high-calibre leader and multi-skilled team (Recommendation F)
  6. Appoint a neutral and respected ringer to develop a “simple and permissive descriptive framework for ringing” (Recommendation H)

With reference to Recommendation B, I am now pleased to advise the following as members of the inaugural Executive Team.

As a number of these names may not be familiar to the wider ringing community, we will shortly be putting together some brief profiles to circulate through the usual channels.  The Executive team brings together an impressive range of skills, qualifications and experience, and is drawn from a broad geographical area.

Two of the early tasks of the Executive Team will be to work on Recommendation A (devise and agree a five-year strategic plan) and Recommendation C (re-alignment of Committees to Workgroups).

Although responses to my call for expressions of interest in late June were fewer than I had hoped, we have been able to move forward with other key items.

Recommendation F aims to the simplify the rules of the Council, replacing them with a short statutory set of rules supported by a set of operating principles and procedures.  I have invited Clyde Whittaker to coordinate this work, with a team comprising David Bleby, Dan Meyer, Pat Wheeler and Andrew Wilby.

Recommendation H relates to the development of a “simple and permissive descriptive framework” to ultimately replace the current “Decisions” on methods – a topic that has consumed more than its fair share of airtime in recent years.  I have invited Tim Barnes to lead on this framework, and he is now forming a team to assist him with the task.

Over the next couple of months more information will be forthcoming with regard to these and other elements of our reform and renewal efforts.

The underlying motivation of the reform agenda, and the reason we’re implementing these changes, is to secure a bright future for ringing.  Key areas of focus for me over these three years include:

  • The need to recruit and develop new learners and new leaders
  • The need to engage maturely with church and community leaders
  • The need to raise positive public awareness of our art

I look forward to working with these teams to take forward the work of our central ringing organisation.

Yours in ringing,

Christopher O’Mahony
President
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

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June 2017 Update

Much has been happening in the background since the Central Council meeting in Edinburgh, and I want to take this opportunity to share an update on recent progress. Thank you to those who have provided feedback, comments and advice.

There is so much to be done following the momentous votes (and I don’t mean the national election). The main CRAG report and its various appendices go a long way to setting the agenda, and many people are working hard to follow through on the motions passed so emphatically in May.

http://cc-crag.weebly.com/

At the moment, our main focus is on Recommendations A to I (pp 16 – 19 in the main report), and also the following appendices:

  • Appendix K – Governance
  • Appendix M – Proposed workgroup mapping
  • Appendix Q – Timelines

Specifically, these are items for speedy action:

  1. Agree the Vision / Mission / Strategy (Recommendation A)
  2. Think about / agree the “Executive” (Recommendation B)
  3. Think about / agree the realignment of Committees into Workgroups (Recommendation C)
  4. Set up a team to develop and deliver the direct communications channel (Recommendation E)
  5. Set up a rule-change group (the constitution piece) – with a high-calibre leader and multi-skilled team (Recommendation F)
  6. Set up a decision revision group (“…permissive descriptive framework for ringing”) – with a high-calibre leader and top notch team (Recommendation H)

It is now time for me to invite expressions of interest for various roles (Executive, Workgroup leads, rule-change group, decision-revision group). Please note these can be any ringer at all – not just members of Council. Key attributes for nominees include:

  • A passion for ringing
  • Relevant skill set for the nominated role (qualifications, knowledge, experience)
  • Sufficient time available to give to the nominated role
  • Excellent communication skills (written, verbal, tact, active listening)
  • Tenacity and perseverance

To nominate, please complete this online form:

cccbr.org.uk/role-nomination

The form will ask you to provide some basic contact and demographic information, some information regarding qualifications, skills and experience, and a supporting statement.

Closing date for nominations is Friday 14th July.

Remember – the reason we’re implementing these changes is to secure a bright future for ringing. Key areas of focus for me over these three years include:

  • The need to recruit and develop new learners and new leaders
  • The need to engage maturely with church and community leaders
  • The need to raise positive public awareness of our art

The votes in Edinburgh have thrown down a great challenge for us, but also a great opportunity. I look forward to working with you as we reform and renew – for the future of ringing.

Every best wish,

Christopher O’Mahony
President
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

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