The Guild’s Open Towers Day was held successfully on Easter Monday, 18th April 2022, raising £1,434 split equally between the Guild’s BRF and the fund-raising towards the costs of running the National 12-Bell Striking Contest to be held at Guildford Cathedral on 25 June 2022. Preparations were well in hand for the contest, with plenty of volunteers signed up to help with it.
The balances in the General Fund and the BRF are healthy, with most of the expected subscription income having been received. The Frensham refurbishment project has been completed, and the grant has been paid. The bells were re-dedicated by the Bishop of Dorking in March.
Discussions were continuing with the parish authorities in relation to the Holy Trinity project. The authorities now appear to accept that there are genuine concerns over the condition of the whole bell installation and that something needs to be done.
A greatly expanded schedule of Training Courses has been set out by Mike Bale, the Training Officer. This is based on specific training requests mentioned in the Ringing Recovery survey conducted in April 2021. The include a Handling Refresher course for those who feel ‘rusty’ in returning to ringing after the lockdowns, Practical Listening Skills, Running a practice/Tower Captain Skills, Recruitment, Train the Trainer and Belfry Maintenance. This wide range of courses has been commended by the CC President.
Complementary to the training courses, the committee discussed a provisional proposal for the Guild to offer financial support for training and development, to be funded from the Guild’s General Fund. This would be in the form of grants of up to £100 or 50 % of the course costs. These grants could also be made towards the cost of training equipment such as bell simulators or dumb-bells. There would be a formal application process. It was noted that District Committees already had powers to make similar grants where appropriate. It was agreed to make a grant of £100 to Crondall towards replacement of a computer used to operate their simulator.
In relation to Safeguarding, it was confirmed that all ringers aged 18 or over should undertake the basic on-line safeguarding courses. It was noted that the Guild’s statement of safeguarding policy had been checked with the Diocese, who agreed that it was correct and that the Diocesan website needed a small amendment.