I am pleased to report that your Guild in the past year has been very active again, and your committee, elected at the last Annual General Meeting, has been working very hard on your behalf. The Guild Treasurer will also make his report at this AGM.
The weekly practices have generally been well attended. The Ringing Master has either run them or someone has deputised on her behalf I have reason to believe that any tower at which we have rung during the year is happy the Guild returns.
A Guild peal was rung to celebrate the marriage at Westminster Abbey of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on 2nd May at Moreton in Marsh. With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year in mind, let's hope the Guild can ring as many peals and quarters peals for this event in the churches in our operational area.
Another successful Annual Dinner was held on Saturday 5th February at The White Hart Royal Hotel, Moreton in Marsh, and I am sure all who attended enjoyed it. Our thanks go to Jackie Roberts, Chairman of The Ringing World, who was our guest speaker at the Dinner. The same venue has been booked for the 2012 Dinner, which will be held on Saturday 4th February.
The Committee again agreed to insuring the trophies and this was added to the existing Public Liability cover with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.
To resolve the confusion over the unintended false touch that occurred in the 2010 Newing Shield Striking Competition, and the lack of direction regarding this in the Rules that were current then, the Committee, under its delegated powers in those Rules, agreed an additional rule at its meeting on June 9th. That new rule had immediate effect and has become number 10 in the list of rules. The details of this rule were published in the Notices section of the July issue of the FSG Magazine.
The website under Roland Merrick is also projecting an active Guild to the web world, and the Guild Newsletter and other relevant details can now be read online. It also displays an advert for the Guild clothing.
After long deliberations at two committee meetings this year, proposals to update the existing Guild Rules (last amended 1992 and currently contained within a yellow booklet) were agreed. The need arises because of various changes that have occurred since 1992. Details of proposed changes were shown in the July FSG Newsletter. The parts that are to be superseded were shown struck through, with the proposed wording to replace it shown in blue. The reasons for each change were shown in italics*. We now require ratification of these amendments at this AGM. I shall therefore propose at the appropriate part of the agenda: "That the Four Shires Guild's Rules be amended, to reflect the changes that have taken place since they were last considered and amended in April 1992. The amendments and other changes proposed are outlined on pages 10 & 11 of the July 2011 Newsletter, no 129, a copy of which is distributed to all members."
The Guild is now affiliated to the CCCBR and the two representatives who were elected at the last AGM for a three-year period both attended the meeting held at Hereford in May this year. A summary of the minutes of that meeting was published in "The Ringing World" and an article entitled "Central Council Meeting 2011 - First Impressions" was written by Keith Murphy (one of our representatives) and published in the July Newsletter.
Chris Povey took on the job as Editor of the Guild Newsletter in October 2009 and as I said in my last report it has taken on a new dimension since then, both in editorial content and printing quality. The printing is still done "in house" via two home type printers purchased by the Guild specifically for this purpose, and a loyal band meet four times a year at Andrew Gunn's house to carry out the printing, collating and stapling. We can now do this in one day. Chris has given his notice and wishes to pass on the editorship of the Newsletter (which could be more than one person). He has said he will impart his expertise over a period of time, so handing can be a gradual process. If anyone can help with the Newsletter please let us know as soon as possible.
An abridged report of the Guild Committee meetings within in the past 3 months are now published in the Newsletter, so that all members are notified of any important business. They can inform the Secretary of any items they want discussing at forthcoming committee meetings, or if clarification is required.
A Guild Bell Restoration Fund was set up following the vote for this at the 2010 AGM. Its Rules were published in the FSG Newsletter. An application was received for the Temple Guiting augmentation to 6 and the first offer of a grant from this Fund was made to St Mary's Temple Guiting PCC.
The Guild has not had the need to increase the subscriptions for some years. This has been made possible through prudent housekeeping and keeping the printing of the FSG Newsletter "in house", and I am sure you will be able see this from the accounts prepared and presented by Mike Rees. However, the time has come when an increase is needed, and during his report Mike will make the proposal (published in the July Newsletter) to increase the subscription to £5/annum.
Finally thanks should go all members of the committee for their commitment and hard work, and for the time they have given to attending the committee meetings held this past year. Thanks also to Wendy Mace for organising the Annual Ringing Tour Walk, and to Isobel Murphy for the work she does in co-ordinating the FSG monthly Mid-Week Tours.
*Please note: one reference copy of the proposed rule changes will be available at this Annual General Meeting.