In the past three months your committee has been busy debating the issues concerning an application to become affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Whether we realise it or not, our ringing is influenced by the decisions of the Council. The Council has just over 200 representatives of ringing societies, and a few Life and Honorary members. The recommendations to the Council are made by 16 committees, which investigate, discuss and report on all aspects of ringing bells. It has long been the opinion of some members of the Four Shires Guild that we should play our part in the deliberations of the Council. In view of the fact that the meeting of the Council's Administrative Committee was imminent, there was a decision taken by our committee to go ahead rather than waiting for a general meeting of the Guild. This decision was overwhelmingly in favour. The application was drawn up by the Guild Master, Peter Quinn, in a proficient manner that listed our history, membership numbers, the Guild aims and rules, and a promise to abide by the Rules and Decisions of the Council. Further documents and other information that could help our application were included. I hope that all of us will play our part in supporting this venture.