By Stu Aitken, Guild Master
We welcomed Oliver Hall from Frensham to the Executive Committee, the new Ringing Master of the Farnham District. Mike Bale, the Guild Training Officer has decided to step down after 16 years and we thank him for undertaking this role for so long.
The Young Ringers group are hoping to enter a team in next year’s Ringing World National Youth Contest in London. The next few practices have been planned, and David Pearson is liaising with the young ringers to ascertain the most convenient time for their practices.
The Treasurer reported an increase of 22 members paying the full rate compared to last year. Also encouraging was an increase in donations to the BRF from PCC’s. A grant to Ockley from the BRF was approved for 50% of the cost of repairs to the treble headstock and other work. The plans at Guildford Holy Trinity and Old Woking are still progressing slowly.
The annual review of the Safeguarding policy was undertaken and was approved. This has now been distributed via District Secretaries
Jackie Roberts had attended the 2023 Central Council annual meeting and Ringing World AGM held in Ipswich in September, and give a report on proceedings:
- A change to the subscription model – the amount we contribute to the running of the CC, which is now based on the number of members in each guild. This has only a minor effect on us
- The CC library has found a new home in Loughborough.
- A motion to reduce the number of members on the council was defeated.
- Plans for “Ringing 2030” are being developed.
- Work is on-going on a new marketing and branding strategy via a third-party agency.
- Two new films have been produced.
The sub-committee looking into the introduction of a membership system reported back. Useful Information and guidance had been received from the Surrey Association, the Lincoln Guild, and the Essex Association. The decision was made to pilot the new system with a trial involving the members of the executive committee. More information will be published in due course
A request from a Guild member for the work of the executive committee to be more transparent was discussed, and It was agreed to ensure a comprehensive blog was posted on the website after each meeting.
The Guild’s Facebook page is currently a private group. This is to be changed to be an open public group, and this will necessitate the closure of the current private group and to set-up from new. This will be scheduled in due course.
A review of Guild branded clothing is being undertaken, with a view of relaunching this service with a potential new supplier.
The AGM of the Guild will take place on Saturday 9th March in Godalming. The 8-bell and 10-bell competitions have yet to be scheduled. The Essex Trophy is a 10-bell competition between Guilds and Associations in the South East of England, and in 2024 we are hosting the competition.
The organisers of the London Bellringers’ Advent Carol Service have been in contact to publicise their event on 27th November at St Vedast, Foster Lane.
Stu Aitken, Guild Master