Running a Tower

Do you check your tower admin regularly!

An efficiently run tower will attract and keep more ringers (download the article here). Check out these jobs in your tower – how many can you tick?

  • Notices: Do you have an up-to-date notice board in the tower? Do all the posters about forthcoming events appear on it? At the end of practice are people reminded of anything coming up and encouraged to go?
  • Weddings: Do you have someone who liaises with the Parish Office to get dates and money, ensuring that you have a band for each with someone in charge?
  • Visitors: Does someone deal with requests from visitors, check with the Parish office before confirming, and ensure that they are let in?
  • Records & Communication: Do you have an up-to-date list of members, with contact details? Does someone communicate regularly by email or phone, eg when there are special services, quarter peals or cancellations? Do you all know what’s going on?
  • Liaising with the church: Do the tower representatives have good communication with the church? Are the ringers always kept informed of special services and events?
  • Publicity: Does anyone write articles for church notices or magazines about the bells and the ringers?
  • Treasurer: Some towers keep an amount of money for minor expenses which is looked after by the ringers. Income may come from a proportion of wedding fees, visiting band donations, peal fees etc. Large monies should be kept in a bank account and petty cash in a cash box. All income and expenditure needs to be recorded and formal accounts produced annually and separately audited. Does your tower have a Treasurer who does this?
  • AGM: Does your tower hold an annual meeting of all tower members and produce minutes for circulation? Items should include reports from the Captain, Steeple keeper and Treasurer, discussion about outings, open days, or social events and who should be taking action.
  • Reports: Is someone responsible for producing tower reports when requested, eg for the Guild, Surrey Association, PCC?
  • Ringing World: Does your tower have a copy of the Ringing World available? This can be paid for from the ‘tower fund’ if you have one.

The above is a pretty good job description for your Tower Secretary.

The Tower Captain has overall responsibility for:

  • all the ringing of the bells, ensuring that they are rung whenever required by the church;
  • running the ringing at practices and for services; delegating this role when necessary during absence; appointing a deputy.
  • organising the recruitment and training of new ringers.
  • ensuring safety in the tower, and compliance with Child Protection requirements.

A separate Ringing Master may be appointed to run the actual ringing, including conducting methods and calling changes.

The Steeple Keeper is responsible for:

  • the maintenance of the bells, the ropes and all working parts; replacing stays as required.
  • keeping the belfry and ringing chamber adequately clean.
  • liaising with Tower Captain and Vicar over any work necessary.

A well-run tower will have people undertaking all three of these roles, plus a Deputy Tower Captain.

Margaret Bale
Guildford Diocesan Guild Secretary
April 2015