Recruitment, training and safeguarding – blog of October 2019 meeting

Recruitment of ringers is important to the health of the Exercise and this came up in the context of the Charmborough Ring mobile belfry being used at Surrey Scoutabout 2020.  The mobile belfry has been arranged by the Surrey Association, but due to the overlap of towers, its trustees are keen for the Guildford Guild to be fully engaged with this, to ensure it is being used to best advantage.  The Guild is exploring the possibility of our Young Ringers Group being involved.

Guildford Cathedral Ringers will be hosting the National 12-Bell Ringing Contest in 2021: the Guild has agreed to provide hosting for their website within its existing web space.  The actual web development will be done by a Cathedral ringer.

The Safeguarding page of our website has been updated to reflect changes in the requirements of the Diocese for training and vetting of ringers.  It contains useful guidance and all ringers are encouraged to read it, and where necessary to take the training required.  Some of this is an on-line course, and the Guild has already hosted a course run by the Diocesan authorities.  All ringers need to keep their Safeguarding training up to date.

Ringers are being asked to ring for many events, some with rather tenuous connections to Church or National events, such as the recent protests by ‘Extinction Rebellion’.  The Guild has decided that were appropriate, they will pass on the requests to towers, who can then respond as they see fit.

The PRO mentioned that the publicity stands were well-used again this year and it might be worth allocating a sum of money in next year’s budget for refreshing some of them, especially in the light of all the work done under the Bridget Gordon Legacy.  He urged anyone will good photos and/or written material about BGL projects to pass the material on to him, as he had received very little about this.

BGL projects were largely complete, apart from the ringing gallery at Chertsey, which is delayed by the decision of the parish to incorporate this into a larger project.  The Committee agreed to extend the deadline for completion, but if the work does not proceed, the funding would be transferred to another project.

The odd-struckness of Crondall’s bells has been considerably improved with the installation of adjustable crown staples.  It was agreed that we should put some information about this onto the web-site and to consider running a seminar on odd-struckness at suitable occasion.

The Training Officer had circulated draft guidance notes for trainers to members of the Committee and received positive responses, so he was in the process of finalising the notes.  The PRO mentioned the importance of the ‘people’ side of teaching, especially the trainer’s ability to put trainees at ease in often unfamiliar and challenging learning situations.

District training events are very effective in providing targeted training beyond basic bell handling since they are based on the District officers’ knowledge of local tower’s needs.  The Master encouraged Districts to promote this message to towers.  It was agreed that generally we should not charge for training, although it might be appropriate to request voluntary donations in some cases.

The annual Central Council meeting was held in east London at the beginning of September.  The changes were still settling down, but the new structure involves most of the work being contained within the new work-groups.  It is clear, however, that there is a push towards ringers becoming individual members of the CC, allowing more direct involvement of ringers with the CC. This would potentially circumvent the role of CC reps and reduce the involvement of local Guilds and Associations.

It was decided not to hold a Guild Dinner in 2020 – it is not easy to find a good venue at the right price.  Adding more attractions such as a dance would considerably increase the price.  The Secretary has kindly offered to research the options with a view to holding a Dinner in 2021.

With acknowledgements to Lynn Boniface for her excellent minutes.