Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers
The Guild Rules: Details of Proposal to Amend
This article gives the details of the proposal that is advertised in the Notices regarding amendments to the Guild Rules.
The existing Guild Rules (as last amended 1992 and currently contained within a yellow booklet) are shown below in black. The part that is to be amended is shown struck through, with the proposed wording to replace it shown in blue. The reasons for the proposed change are shown in italics. The proposed amendments generally arise because of various changes that have occurred since 1992.
FOUR SHIRES GUILD OF
(Reason for change: there were two variations of the name in use. The Committee decided this version should be used)
- The Guild shall be called THE FOUR SHIRES GUILD OF
BELLRINGERS . (Reason: as above)
- To encourage the regular ringing of Church Bells for Church Services and as otherwise directed, requested or approved of by the incumbent of the Parish;
- To concentrate the activities of the Guild within the boundaries of an area agreed from time to time by its Members*;
- To encourage the training of ringers, instructors and conductors, and generally cultivate the art of change ringing;
- To promote fellowship amongst ringers.
- Membership shall be divided into the following classes:-
- Ringing Members: a Ringing Member shall be an active church bell ringer, shall normally reside and ring in the area covered by the Guild, and shall be elected on the proposition of a Ringing Member seconded by an Officer of the Guild. Such election shall be formally noted to the next Annual General Meeting of the Guild;
Associate Members: persons other than active members who wish to support the work of the Guild may be so elected at an Annual General Meeting;
(Reason: has become redundant.)
- Honorary Life Members: ringers who
have reached the age of 65 years and have (a) taken part in the activities of the Guild prior to 1940, or (b) have been a paid-up member of the Guild under (1) or (iv) for the previous five years, are entitled to become Honorary Life members without payment of subscription, upon application to the Secretary
(Reasons: the Guild would be bankrupt in a short time if this clause remains, as a large proportion of members are now eligible to pay nothing! Additionally, the Guild wishes to recognise exceptional service through the amendment.)
Extra-Territorial Members: ringers normally residing and ringing outside the area covered by the Guild shall be elected upon the proposition of a Ringing Member and seconded by an Officer of the Guild. Such election shall be formally be noted to the next Annual General Meeting. The number of members elected in this class shall not exceed one quarter of the current members in class (i) and shall be elected annually.
(Reason: this category is now considered unnecessary.)
- shall be due and payable on the first day of January in each year. A new member joining in November or December shall be deemed to have paid for the following year also.
Membership shall cease if subscription is more than one year in arrears, but may recommence upon payment of all arrears. The amount of the annual subscription shall be approved at an AGM.
- President & Vice-President:
Persons elected annually at an Annual General Meeting
(Reasons: need to recognise the validity of two VPs as at present; also, the extended duration of office provides more stability and reflects Central Council practice.)
- The Officers of the Guild shall be:
- a Guild Master — whose duties shall be to control the activities of the Guild at meetings and other occasions as may be provided for in these Rules, or as directed by the Committee;
- a Ringing Master mdash; whose duties shall be to co-ordinate ringing activities by members of the Guild at meetings and other occasions as may be provided for in the Rules, or as directed by the Committee.
(Reason: to reflect the recent agreements by the Committee for managing Saturday and other ringing meetings.)
General Secretary — who shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Guild, maintain a complete register of all members, issue notices of all meetings, and carry out other such duties as may be required for the advancement of the Guild;
(Reasons: name change to reflect more common usage. Excludes ringing practice meetings.)
- a Treasurer — who shall receive all monies on behalf of the Guild, paying them into the Guild's banking account. He shall keep such accounts as the Guild desires, and pay all official expenses connected with the Guild's activities. He shall invest Guild funds on instructions from the Committee. At the AGM of the Committee He shall present an audited statement of accounts made up to the previous 31st December. All cheques shall be signed by the Treasurer and the
General Secretary, or other such persons as shall be authorised by the Committee.
(Reason: name change to reflect more common usage; no male exclusivity.)
- There shall be two
Auditors , elected annually at the AGM on the recommendation of the Committee. They shall examine and audit all accounts of the Guild and report on the same to the Committee.
(Reason: Independent Examiners more relevant; to comply with the decision made at the 2010 AGM.)
- The affairs of the Guild shall be managed by a Committee
. Such Committee, which shall consist of the Officers of the Guild together with six other elected members , not more than two of which shall be Associate Members.
The Committee shall meet annually in advance of the AGM to consider reports submitted by the Officers, and the accounts , together with other relevant business.
Other meetings of the Committee shall be called by the General Secretary after consultation with the Guild Master and the Treasurer.
The Chairman at such meetings shall be the Guild Master, or, if he shall not be present, the members attending shall elect a chairman for that meeting.
(Reasons: simpler wording, no male exclusivity, inclusion of CCCBR reps.)
(Reason: to include these new positions.)
(Reason: to formalise the election process.)
(Reason: to allow the committee to fill midterm vacancies without an election and to allow flexibility.)
- Annual General Meeting:
- The AGM of the Guild shall be held in
April each year.
The business to be transacted at such AGM shall consist of the election of the President, Vice-President, Officers of the Guild, Auditors , Committee , Ringing Members and Associate Members, and other such business appropriate to an AGM.
All nominations for Officers, shall be received by the General Secretary in writing and signed by the nominee not later than two weeks before the date of the AGM.
Fully paid-up members only shall be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Guild.
The Chairman of the Annual or other General Meeting of the Guild shall be the President, or in his absence a Vice-President; or if there is no Vice-President who is prepared to take the Chair, the Guild Master.
Should none of the foregoing be present then the members attending shall elect one of their number to act as Chairman for that meeting.
(Reason: need to correct AGM date; clearer wording; also need to ensure a substitute chairman is fully eligible.)
- Alteration to the Rules:
- No alteration, deletion or addition to the Rules shall be made except at an AGM or Special Meeting of the Guild, of which not less than four weeks shall have been given.
* Currently agreed as the
four counties, viz. Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire
(Reason: the area as previously defined is too widespread and greater definition is required. This map is shown below:-)