Traditions of CI District

The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers 

Channel Islands District

TRADITIONS OF THE DISTRICT

Introduction

  • The Channel Islands is one of the eight districts within the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. The District was inaugurated on 13th September 1980.  Prior to this, the Channel Island towers were loosely affiliated to the Christchurch and Southampton District of the Guild.
  • Any tower or structure located in the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey is within the territory of the District and any resident ringers are eligible to be members of the Guild.

District Executive Committee

  • The District Executive Committee will comprise a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Ringing Master, all of whom must be full members of the Guild
  • Each of the islands (Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney) must be represented among the four officers on the District Executive Committee. Other members may be co-opted onto the Committee at any time.
  • Guidelines outlining the main responsibilities of the District Officers are attached to this document as Appendix 1.
  • Committee Members will be elected at the District Annual General Meeting and the normal term of office will be for three years. This tenure of office is, however, flexible and merely serves as a guideline.
  • District Executive Committee members are eligible to claim for travel expenses for meetings they have to attend away from their resident island. It is expected that such expenses will be as reasonable as possible.
  • The District Chairman should call meetings of the Executive Committee as and when required. It is preferable that meetings should be arranged when one or more of the members is visiting another island.  A meeting should generally be held at the commencement of each calendar year, in order to plan the forthcoming year’s events.  Such meetings must be the subject of formal minutes which do not have to be circulated amongst the membership but must be available for viewing if required.
  • The District Executive Committee is empowered to make decisions regarding District expenditure in exceptional cases, although as a general rule, expenditure should be sanctioned by the membership
  • District Annual General Meeting
  • An Annual General Meeting will be held in strict rotation around the Islands. Furthermore, this meeting will be rotated around the towers in Jersey and Guernsey.  The District Annual General Meeting is normally held on the third Saturday in September and the committee has a collective responsibility to arrange this meeting.
  • The agenda for this meeting should be circulated to members prior to the event. It is preferable that it is included in the summer edition of the District newsletter.
  • The meeting will take the standard form and will be chaired by the District Chairman. It should include the following :-

Apologies for Absence,

Minutes of Previous Year’s AGM,

Matters Arising From ,Previous Year’s AGM

Ringing Master’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Subscriptions

Election of New Members

Election of Officers

Dates and Locations for the following year’s meetings

Any Other Business

 

  • Apologies for absence may be notified to the Secretary prior to the meeting and items of business not included in the agenda and which it is intended to raise at the meeting should be notified to the Secretary at least one week in advance.
  • The meeting will be the subject of formal minutes, which may be recorded by a Minutes Secretary
  • The minutes of any General Meeting will be circulated to all district towers as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the meeting
  • It is usual practice to invite one of the Guild Officers to attend the District Annual General Meeting, although there is no obligation to do so. Should a Guild Officer attend, the expenses of his/her visit will not be the responsibility of the District.  Attempts will always be made to offer accommodation to such guests, if required.
  • Names of members attending the meeting will be recorded by the Secretary in the attendance register.
  • It is desirable to hold a District dinner on the evening prior to the meeting, at which there is no requirement for formal speeches.

Subscriptions

  • It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to recommend rates of subscriptions to the District Executive Committee prior to the District Annual General Meeting, at which the rates will be ratified.
  • The subscription includes a contribution to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, as laid down by Guild rules, to which the District’s towers are eligible to apply for grants for urgent repairs, maintenance work, augmentations etc. The subscription  also includes a Channel Islands District levy, which is used primarily for travel expenses for District Officers and Striking Competition Judges and for the compilation and circulation of a district newsletter.
  • Members’ subscriptions are paid to individual tower treasurers, who will forward them to the District Treasurer.

District Striking Competition

 5.1       A District Six-Bell Striking Competition will be held on an annual basis and will normally be held on the same day as the Annual General Meeting.  The District Ringing Master has overall responsibility for this event.

5.2       The competition is subject to a set of rules, which are attached to this document as Appendix 2.

5.3       It is the District Ringing Master’s responsibility to arrange a judge for this competition, which will preferably be an experienced judge from the mainland.  Judges expenses will be paid, with a maximum figure of £150.00 as a general guideline.

The results of the competition will be published in the District Newsletter.

  • The winning band will be presented with the Paul Taylor Shield by the judge/s, which they will hold for one year.
  • In the absence of a Striking Competition, the holders of the Paul Taylor Shield will return it to Alderney in accordance with the terms laid down when the shield was first presented to the District by Mr Tony Wolstenholme in memory of his late wife Dorothy.

District Service

6.1       It is desirable to hold an Act of Worship on the same day as the Annual General Meeting and Striking Competition.

6.2       The general format of such a service is flexible, although it is preferable to involve as many ringers as possible, for example, in lesson and prayer reading and organ playing.  The service should be preceded with a service touch rung on the bells by a band chosen by the Ringing Master

Practice Meetings

7.1       As a general rule, a practice meeting will be held on a Saturday in the Spring of each year.  Additional meetings may be arranged at the discretion of the District Executive Committee.  It is the Committee’s responsibility to suggest dates and locations for the following year’s meetings at the District Annual General Meeting, for ratification by the membership.  It is desirable that these meetings will not be held in the same island as the District Annual General Meeting and that preference will be given to 8 and 10 bell ringing.

7.2       The District Ringing Master (or in his absence his nominated substitute) is the only District Officer eligible to claim travel expenses for this meeting

District Newsletter

8.1       Every effort will be made to produce a district newsletter on a bi-annual basis (twice a year).  This newsletter should include reports from all the district’s towers for the preceding six months and details of all peals and quarter peals rung since the publication of the previous edition.

8.2       The newsletter may be edited by any member of the District who volunteers his/her services.

8.3       Any expenses incurred in the publication and distribution of this newsletter will be reimbursed from the District Treasurer.

8.4       The newsletter should be circulated to each Guild member in the district and to other ringers as considered appropriate by the editor.

8.5       The district newsletter is currently titled “Les Cloches des Iles” 

Guild Annual General Meeting

  • The Guild Annual General Meeting is normally held on the first Saturday in July and rotates around the Guild’s eight districts. The Channel Islands District is due to host this meeting in 2013 and 2021.  The 2005 meeting was held in Guernsey and at the same time as a Ringing Festival.  Consideration should be given to the next Guild Annual General Meeting in the district being held in Jersey or Alderney.  There is no requirement for a ringing festival to be held at the same time, although this may encourage greater attendance.
  • It is desirable that the district should have representation at the Guild Annual General Meeting. Reasonable travelling expenses may be claimed by an authorised member of the District who attends and this representative is expected to compile a report of the meeting for the next issue of ‘Les Cloches des Iles’.
  • The District Executive Committee has previously persuaded the Guild Executive Committee to run the Inter-District Eight -Bell Striking Competition on the same day as the Guild Annual General Meeting. The District will, therefore, make every effort to enter a team on a yearly basis.  No expenses can be claimed from the District.  It is the District Ringing Master’s responsibility to co-ordinate the arrangements and to select the team, which will not necessarily contain pro-rata representation of ringers from each of the Channel Islands.

APPENDIX 1 – DUTIES OF DISTRICT OFFICERS

 These notes are compiled as a guideline to the rôles and responsibilities of holders of the various District posts.  They are by no means exhaustive, but are written mainly to give newly elected officers a general guide to their jobs.

Chairman 

1          To further the aims and objectives of the Guild by encouraging increased and improved ringing, good bell and tower maintenance, and safe practice.

  • To maintain close contact with officers of the District executive committee, and to co-ordinate their work, ensuring that their respective responsibilities are fulfilled.
  • To attend and chair the District Annual General Meeting, normally held in September.
  • To attend and chair any special District meetings called throughout the year,particularly those at which new members are elected.
  • To call and chair any meetings of the District Executive Committee as considered necessary throughout the year.  As a general rule, it is recommended that the committee meets formally at the beginning of every calendar year to plan theyear’s events and at District meetings.
  • To ensure that a District ringer compiles and circulates a bi-annual District newsletter.  The responsibility of editing this newsletter does not necessarily have to fall upon a District officer.  The chairman should compile a short report for each edition.
  • To arrange for another District officer to chair any meetings that the chairman is unable to attend.
  • To advise District members, wherever possible, on such matters as insurance,complaints, training, belfry maintenance, child protection, media issues, etc.  This list is not exhaustive, and the chairman should be aware of avenues of experience within the District and Guild from which s/he can obtain guidance and assistance in these matters.
  • To ensure that if a District officer is unable to carry out his/her responsibilities for any reason, a replacement is co-opted on to the District executive committee to fill the vacant rôle on a temporary basis.

Secretary

  • To further the aims and objectives of the Guild by encouraging increased and improved ringing, good bell and tower maintenance, and safe practice.
  • To maintain close contact with the officers of the Guild Executive Committee,primarily by attending regular Guild Executive Committee meetings.  To ensure the District is represented, preferably by another District officer, in the event of being unable to attend.
  • To be the focus for communication between the District towers and the Guild officers by letter, e-mail and telephone.  To receive and disseminate relevant information to the appropriate persons as quickly and effectively as is possible.
  • To prepare an agenda for the District Annual General Meeting (normally held in September). To attend this meeting, announce any apologies received, and record minutes (this last responsibility may be delegated to a minutes secretary by agreement of the District Executive Committee).  To ensure that the agreed minutes of this meeting are circulated to district members and the Guild Secretary as soon as possible.
  • To prepare a written agenda for any formal meeting of the District Executive Committee called by the Chairman.  To attend such meetings, record minutes and to ensure that the agreed minutes are made available to District ringers and the Guild Secretary as soon as possible.
  • To maintain overall responsibility for the arrangements for all District meetings. To ensure that written confirmation is obtained of the availability of towers required for ringing at least six months in advance of any meeting.  To agree itineraries with other District officers and circulate to all District towers at least two months in advance of any meeting.  To ensure that transport is arranged within the Island in which the meeting is to be held.  It is recognised that due to the unique geographical situation of the Channel Islands District, such duties may have to be delegated to a person or persons domiciled in the relevant Island. The Secretary, however, maintains overall responsibility for the planning of the meeting.
  • To ensure that the attendance book is completed at all District meetings.
  • To prepare a report for the Guild annual report on the District’s activities when required to do so.
  • To ensure that all members elected at District meetings are issued with a Guild membership certificate at the earliest opportunity. 

Ringing Master

 To further the aims and objectives of the Guild by encouraging increased and improved ringing, good bell and tower maintenance, and safe practice.

To maintain close contact with the officers of the District Executive Committee and to attend District Executive Committee meetings whenever possible.

To organise the ringing at District meetings and practices, bearing in mind the skills and aspirations of all District members and bands.

To arrange training events, quarter peals, etc, according to the needs of ringers in the District.

To specify special methods, as required, for any of the District events, taking a lead in promoting the development of ringing within the District.

To promote District participation in Guild events, such as the various striking competitions and training events.

To be responsible for engaging judges for the District striking competition and making the general arrangements for this event.

Treasurer 

To further the Aims and Objectives of the Guild by encouraging increased and improved ringing, good bell and tower maintenance, and safe practice.

To maintain close contact with officers from the District Executive Committee and to attend District Executive Committee meetings whenever possible.

To maintain a record of the Guild members at each tower in the District and submit an annually updated list to the Guild report editor.

To collect Guild membership subscriptions from all towers in the District on an annual basis, after they have been set at the District Annual General Meeting.

To issue receipts for subscriptions and any other payments made to the District.

To maintain accurate records of all receipts and payments made on behalf of the District.

To maintain both a current and a savings account on behalf of the District and wherever possible, ensure that funds are lodged in a savings account which pays a competitive rate of interest.

To produce annual accounts of income and expenditure, and ensure that they are audited by an approved and independent person prior to presentation and circulation at the District Annual General Meeting.

APPENDIX 2 – STRIKING COMPETITION RULES

 Now see Page called : District Meetings and Striking Competitions

 

APPENDIX 3 – CATEGORIES OF GUILD MEMBERSHIP

 

Fuller information is contained in the Guild rules, which are published every three years n the Guild report and can also be found on the World Wide Web.

wpbells.org

 Ringing Members 

These either reside, or normally ring at a tower, within the territory of the Guild (there are reduced subscriptions for those over sixty or in full time education).

Life Members

These have either completed fifty years of Guild membership, or have made an outstanding contribution of service to the Guild (no subscription is required).

Associate Members

These are not ringers, but wish to be associated with support the objects and activities of the Guild (there is a reduced subscription for those over sixty).

Probationary Members 

These are learning to ring at a Guild tower and are covered by the Guild’s public liability insurance (the subscription covers the cost of the insurance).

Compounding Members

These reside outside the territory of the Guild, and do not normally ring at a tower within the Guild (a ringing member leaving the territory of the Guild pays no subscription on being transferred to this category