West Lindsey Branch AGM, 21st January 2017
I arrived just after ringing had started at St Peter's, Scotter. They were ringing some Bob Doubles as I walked up the path to the Church.
The stairs up to the ringing room are quite steep and I waited until they had finished ringing for the trapdoor to open so I could go up and join the ringers.
We rang lots of rounds and call changes interspersed with some methods. Shortly before the service I went down into the church to chat with some of the other ringers.
Eventually it was time for the service. The organist played the final few bars of the prelude as the Revd David Swannack walked down the Aisle and took his place at the lectern. We looked at him, he looked at us and then he broke into a huge grin and shouted "Hello!", so we all shouted "Hello!" back.
We used the "green" service book and the first reading was from Chapter 3 of Colossians ("clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.") and the second reading from Psalm 139 ("You have searched me,†Lord, and you know me") David preached a sermon on "Why do we ring bells?" To proclaim good news not necessarily new news. There is enough bad new about at the moment (David had already declared the day would be a "Trump free zone"). Based on Psalm 139 the bells proclaim our intimacy with God, that he keeps us safe, that God's presence is here with us and that God loves us.
Instead of hymns from the "green" book we had some different ones, these being "O Worship the King" and "Praise my Soul the King of Heaven". Roger Lord from the Northern Branch played the organ and finished the service with a rendition of the Air from Handel's Water Music.
After the service we made our way down to the Church Hall where the local "Ladies that do" (every Branch has them) which included some men had prepared the tea. This was baked potatoes with a chilli filling (or vegetarian option) plus crumble for dessert. The Revd Swannack joined us for a while and chatted to members, before wisely departing to join his wife for a meal.
Unfortunately I had to depart just before the meeting, but West Lindsey Branch secretary, Tracey Black, has written the remainder of this report.
Ian Till, our President (and chairman for the meeting) guided us swiftly, and efficiently, through the agenda. We remembered Steve Selby, of Epworth, who passed away in early 2016.
Ringing Master Janet Clarke gave her report on the year's activities before indicating she wished to retire as Ringing Master in Jan 2018. Mary followed with a concise report of the accounts and Tracey updated us on Guild activity.
All the various officers were re-elected for another 12 months before electing 12 new members. The list of officers is therefore as follows:
President: Ian Till
Secretary: Tracey Black
Ringing Master: Janet Clarke
Asst. Ringing Master: Alison Elwess
Treasurer: Mary Brown
Junior Member Rep: Ellie Sargeant
Fund Raising Rep: Susan Faull
Committee members: Edward Sellars, Mike Scarf, Melvyn Rose & Ted Steel
Auditor: Richard Hall
Discussions took place regarding all the events for 2017, and the meeting confirmed all the provisional arrangements the committee had proposed. The branch is hosting the Guild 6 bell striking contest in 2017 and all the arrangements are in place, with Scotter and Bottesford as the allocated towers.
And that was about that! Under AOB, Chris Turner asked everyone to undertake the recently issued CRAG (Council Review Action Group) survey, which will help the CRAG team come up with ways of updating and improving the Central Council. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks, given by Carolyn Turner.
Ringing continued in the evening at Scotter.
Jonathan Clark & Tracey Black