The February meeting is always busy as new District Officers are welcomed to the Executive Committee and budgets are approved.
The Guild has lost members during the pandemic, and with the average age creeping upwards, the budget for 2022 assumes a reduction in subscription income, but there will hopefully be a gain from the Open Towers Day, mentioned below. Expenditure is not expected to be greatly different from the previous year and accordingly no change is proposed to subscriptions or the proportionate division between the District, General and Bell Restoration funds.
It is hoped that Holy Trinity Guildford will be in a position to submit a Part Two bid for Bridget Gordon funding during the year. A number of other Bell Restoration grants are anticipated.
The Safeguarding Policy was again updated to maintain its alignment with the Church of England and Diocesan guidelines. The main change is that all ringers should undertake individually the online training courses provided by the Diocese. This is a requirement of the Diocese, not of the Guild. The Guild’s position is to encourage and support ringers to do this training to meet Diocese and Parish requirements, but we cannot check or enforce compliance. It should be noted that tower captains now have rather more demanding training requirements and this is something they might like to discuss with their parish Safeguarding Officers.
It is hoped that the Young Ringers Group will re-start during the year, with Claire Allen as co-ordinator. Claire has asked for assistance in this role and anyone interested is asked to please contact Claire or the Guild Master.
The Open Towers Day has been re-arranged for Easter Monday, 18th April, running on a schedule similar to that arranged previously, although visitors will have to make their own arrangements for refreshments and lunch.
The other big event in the Guild this year will be the National 12-bell Striking Contest at Guildford Cathedral on 25th June. Although this is being hosted by the Cathedral Ringers, a large number of competitors and supporters, possibly as many as one thousand, are expected and a call has been made to all Guild ringers for volunteer helpers. A good number have already signed up, but more are needed.