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Guild AGM - 30th April 2016

I got up to the Cathedral for about 9:30 and after checking in at the Ringer's Chapel I made my way up to the vestry to get changed to serve for the Communion Service at 10:00.

The Cathedral Nave

It was a little bit different this year. Firstly, the Girls Choir have vacated the Ringer's Chapel and so it is available once again for services. Secondly we have no Dean, Philip Buckler having retired earlier in the year. The service was led by The Reverend Canon John Patrick, Subdean and currently Acting Dean. John had been reliably informed that he was expected to preach a one hour sermon. Unfortunately he was only able to preach for a few minutes. Ah Well. Better luck next time! There were about 32 members present.

Ringers assemble in the Chapel

By 10:30 we were all at Bailgate Methodist Church. After the apologies for absence, we stood as the names of those who has passed away in the previous year were read out by the Master, followed by a short silence.

The minutes of the last meeting were accepted and the Non-Resident Life Members (as detailed in the report) were ratified.

Roger Lord took the podium and detailed the state of the accounts for the last year. Membership numbers are down again. However despite this the books are looking reasonably healthy. Roger also covered the subscriptions for 2017 which basically remain unchanged. The quota is split 4 ways, this being 50% to the General Fund, 25% to the Bell Repair Fund, 10% to the Training Fund and 15% being retained by the branches.

Roger Lord, Alan Payne and Sandra Underwood

John Nicholson presented the Guild Report to the members. There were one or two inaccuracies that were pointed out, but this is largely down to not being presented with accurate information prior to the publication. There was some critism of some of the adverts. One in particular was printed very small on half a page and would have been better on a whole page. However companies pay by the page or half page to have adverts put into the Guild Report and they are sent a draft copy for approval. If they don't want to change it (i.e. pay more) then there is not a lot we can do about that. Also the manufacturing quality of the report was questioned. Again we could have it done to a much higher quality but are the members willing to pay for it? The report was nonetheless accepted by the members.

The Election of Officers proceeded with most being re-elected. The notable exceptions were that we were without a President, this usually being the Dean. The members approved the Guild Committee approaching the new Dean when he is appointed to request he take up the position of President. Also the Guild Secretary (Sandra Underwood) has stood down and also Robin Heppenstall has stood down as one of the 4 Central Council Reps. This leaves us without a secretary (hopefully a temporary situation) and only 3 CC reps. The Guild Master (Alan Payne) gave notice of his intention to stand down next year. The role of Secretary will temporarily be administered by the committee, overseen by the Guild Master. Sandra was presented with some flowers from the Guild to say thank you for her work as Secretary. Similarly Robin Heppenstall was presented with a bottle of something nice for his work as a Central Council rep.

Presentation to Sandra

Presentation to Robin

Next the positions open for nomination by the Committee were put forward for ratification by the members. These were done on block, with everyone being re-elected to their existing positions. There are some notable vacancies that have existed for some time, these being the BRF administrator, an Education Officer and a Public Relations Officer.

Melvyn Rose was entered into the Roll of Honour for his tireless support of the West Lindsey Branch and Isle of Axholme churches, especially Epworth.

Future Guild activities include the Central Council meeting at the end of May, the Ridgman Trophy at Daventry on 4th June, the National Youth Contest in London on 2nd July, and the Guild 6 and 8 bell striking competitions.

Any Other Business included a reminder from Alan Payne about the importance of recruitment. Numbers are dwindling. The average age of bellringers is in the region of 55. Ringing will not just gradually tail off! There will come a point where the option is to ring on only 3 or 4 bells and at that point people will simply quit and ringing will come to an abrupt halt. Recruitment happens largely at the tower level so in some respects it is down to the towers, but it is also down to us to support them.

The Vote of Thanks was given by the Webmaster, Jonathan Clark, who thanked Bailgate Methodist Church for the use of the church. He also thanked in his absence Canon John Patrick for taking the service. In fact Jonathan has seen the Subdean in the vestry just after the service and made a point of thanking him on behalf of the Guild then. He thanked the local tower captains and PCCs / Dean and Chapter for the use of the bells at Nettleham, St. Giles and the Cathedral and finally thanked the members for their support.

The 100 club draw was made. Click here to see 100 club results.

There was a bring a share lunch in the Methodist Church Hall, but I had to bow out at that point to ring for a wedding. However I returned later for some ringing at Nettleham, St. Giles and the Cathedral.

The webmaster would like to apologise for the lack of pictures from the towers. This is due to him having accidently re-formatted the wrong SD card from his camera.

Jonathan Clark (Webmaster)