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Southern Branch AGM, 26th January 2013

The Southern Branch AGM was held at Market Deeping on Sat. 26 January 2013. Ringing commenced on the 8 bells in Market Deeping Tower at 3.30pm with a good mixture of methods and call changes. This part of the day was led by Alistair Cherry, a Deputy Ringing Master, in what was his last official duty as he did not stand for re-election owing to a pending move to University.

The service was taken by the Revd Philp Brent who, owing to a last minute absence of the organist, confidently sung the first note of the first hymn which the members then joined in and sung with gusto. The planned second and third hymns were, however, omitted from the service! In the sermon Philip spoke about the 26th of January being the day of commemoration of Timothy and Titus who were companions of St Paul and who helped him achieve his remarkable and significant missionary work. This could be likened to the service given by bellringers in supporting the work of the church today by ringing bells and reminding all who hear them of the church's presence and its work in the community. Philip thanked all the ringers for their continued support to the church.

Tea in the Church Hall (the old Green School) was enjoyed by about 50 members and friends for which grateful thanks was given to Roger Stokoe and his team of helpers.

The meeting was opened by the President Alan Payne who welcomed the many visitors from other Guilds and Branches. The meeting stood in silence to remember two members who had died in the past year, John Savage from Baston and Chistopher Carpenter from Silk Willoughby. Minutes and Accounts were duly approved with the Treasurer Alistair Donaldson pointing out the need to improve the low balance in the Bell Repair Fund. Membership in total for 2012 had increased by 5 on the previous year to 140, but juniors had reduced by 3.

Officers elected were:

President: Alan Payne
Ringing Master: Barry Jones
Deputy Ringing Master: Shelagh Dunning
Secretary: Melissa Blanchard
Treasurer: Alistair Donaldson
Guild Committee Rep: Alistair Donaldson

Appointed Officers Ratified:

Hon. Accounts Examiner: James Benner
Child Safeguarding Representative: Nigel Travis
Branch Website Administrator: Nick Faux

The Ringing Master Barry Jones reviewed the Ringing Programme for 2013 and said that he would add more detail, including any special methods, to the notice that will be sent out each month. To see the Southern Branch Programme, click here.

With his Guild Master's hat on, Alan Payne spoke about the Review taking place on the Guild's Objectives and Operations and urged members to read the recent report and let the working groups know their views on how the Guild should develop by completing the questionnaire attached. A feedback of all views and concerns is important and will be welcomed even if only part of the questionnaire can be completed.

In AOB Tim Wylie announced the arrangements for an open ringing day on Easter Monday on the to be augmented 12 at Grantham.

Grand Draw tickets were distributed by Joan Payne to all the towers with a request to go out and sell them in aid of the Guild BRF.

A vote of thanks was given to the Rev Philip Brent, Roger Stokoe and all who had helped with the tea and arrangements for the day and to Terry and Anne Maddison for running the raffle in aid of the Branch BRF.

Barry Jones, the Ringing Master, led the ringing in the evening until 8.30pm, again with a good mixture of methods and call changes.

Alan Payne