(As revised 18 May 2019)
1. The Society shall be called The Truro Diocesan Guild of Ringers and its object shall be to serve the Church in the Diocese of Truro.
2. The Guild shall fulfil its object by:
(a) Encouraging members to ring for services and on other appropriate occasions;
(b) Promoting good fellowship amongst ringers of all traditions;
(c) Supporting bands in the recruitment, retention and training of ringers;
(d) Helping members to achieve a high standard of ringing;
(e) Promoting the installation, care and restoration of rings of bells and their fittings; and
(f) Furthering an appreciation of bells and bell ringing amongst the general public.
3.1. The Guild shall consist of a Patron and Vice Patrons, President, Life Vice Presidents, Guild Secretary, Guild Treasurer, other duly elected Officers of the Guild and Members. The Lord Bishop of the Diocese shall be invited to be Patron and the Bishop of St Germans, the Dean of Truro and the Archdeacons of the Diocese shall be invited to be Vice Patrons. Life Vice Presidents shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting from members who have given notable service to the Guild and are worthy of such election. The President, Guild Secretary and Guild Treasurer are hereinafter referred to as “the Executive Officers”.
3.2. The Executive Officers shall be the Trustees of the Guild.
3.3. The Guild shall maintain separate accounts for the general administration of the Guild, the restoration and preservation of bells and their fittings within the diocese, the provision of education by the Guild within the diocese and the establishment and running of ringing centres, together with such other accounts as the Standing Committee shall from time to time direct. Statements of Account shall be prepared in respect of the finances of the Guild for the twelve-month period terminating on the thirty first day of December in each year.
3.4. The Guild shall maintain a library at a location appropriate both for the preservation of the items it contains and for access by members by prior arrangement for the purpose of research or the borrowing or inspection of books and papers.
3.5. The Guild shall set a subscription for resident membership at its Annual General Meeting and such subscription shall be payable by the Guild membership from the first day of Jan following. Membership shall be open to all those resident in the Diocese who are interested in the art of bell ringing.
3.6. The Guild shall abide by the rules and decisions of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
4. The Guild shall be divided as decided by the Standing Committee into convenient districts under the management of a District Chairman, District Ringing Master, District Secretary and District Treasurer.
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
5.1. Notice of proposals to be made at any General Meeting shall be approved by the Standing Committee, or be signed by two members of the Guild and given to the Guild Secretary at least eight weeks before the date of any such meeting. The Chairman of the meeting shall have discretion to accept other proposals from the meeting in respect of all matters relating to the day to day running of the Guild and the election of Officers for which vacancies exist.
5.2. The appropriate Secretary shall give notice of meetings of the Guild and of meetings of the Districts to the membership by way of tower captains or tower secretaries at least twenty-eight days prior to the meeting. Notice of meetings of the Standing Committee shall be given at least fourteen days prior to such meeting.
5.3. The President shall chair all meetings of the Guild and the District Chairman shall chair all meetings of the District. In the event that the Chairman for the meeting is unavailable, a member of the meeting duly elected for such purpose shall chair the meeting and the Secretary present at the meeting shall conduct such election.
5.4. All resident members entitled to be present at any meeting shall be entitled to speak and vote at such meeting.
5.5. Voting at meetings on matters relating to the election of officers and resolutions involving the amendment or rescission of rules shall be by secret ballot of the members then present. Voting on all other matters shall be on a show of hands unless a resolution is passed by the meeting requiring a secret ballot to be taken. Subject to rules 6(f) and 15 below all decisions shall be on a simple majority only of the members voting. In the event of a tie the Chairman shall have an additional casting vote.
5.6. The quorum for General Meetings shall be thirty members, for District Annual Meetings shall be fifteen members and for meetings of the Standing Committee shall be one third of the total number of charity trustees plus one (as recommended by the Charity Commission).
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
6. The Annual General Meeting shall be held on the Saturday nine days before the Late Spring Bank Holiday or on such other date as agreed by the previous Annual General Meeting.
At the Annual General Meeting:
(a) The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting shall be presented and any matters which arise there from shall be considered.
(b) The accounts of the Guild for the preceding accounting period, duly examined by the Independent Examiner of Accounts, shall be presented together with the Guild Treasurer’s report thereon which shall include a recommendation as to the level of the subscriptions to be paid by resident members.
(c) Reports shall be presented by the President as to the state of ringing within the Diocese, the Education Officer, Membership Secretary, Bell Restoration Officer, Public Relations Officer, Librarian, Ringing Performance Secretary, a Central Council Representative and the Guild Secretary.
(d) There shall be elected the Executive Officers.
(e) There shall be elected such Life Vice Presidents as the membership shall decide, the Independent Examiner of Accounts, Education Officer, Membership Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Librarian, Ringing Performance Secretary, Report Editor and, triennially, representatives to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
(f) Nominations for the office of Life Vice President shall not be valid unless submitted to the Guild Secretary in writing at least eight weeks before the date of the meeting. Election shall be by secret ballot, and no person shall be declared elected unless at least three-quarters of those members present have cast votes in favour of such election.
(g) The date and place of the next Annual General Meeting shall be arranged.
(h) Such other business as the Standing Committee shall decide shall be conducted
(i) Such other business properly to be transacted at the Annual General Meeting shall be conducted.
SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS
7. A Special General Meeting of the Guild shall be called by the Standing Committee or on notice being given to the Guild Secretary signed by 30 resident members of the Guild specifying any matter to be discussed and the resolution on which any vote is to be taken. The Guild Secretary shall fix a date and place for the meeting to be held within eight weeks of receipt of such notice. The Special General Meeting shall not deal with any business other than that for which notice in due form has been given.
8.1. The Executive Officers, Education Officer, Bell Restoration Officer, Public Relations Officer, two elected representatives from each district and the representatives of the Guild to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers shall form the Standing Committee. They shall have the power to co-opt to the committee a maximum of two further members of the Guild each for a maximum of two consecutive periods of up to 14 months. The Standing Committee shall meet as it decides but at least twice in each calendar year and subject to the decisions of the Guild membership shall set and review the Non Resident Life Membership fee and all fees charged by the Guild other than the resident membership subscription. It shall have the power to transact all business of the Guild including the right to delegate to Guild Officers the ability to transact business in the Guild’s name between meetings. The Standing Committee shall have power to appoint such other officers and sub-committees as it decides to facilitate the furtherance of the Guild’s objects. Such officers shall include a Bell Restoration Officer, a Health and Safety Officer and a Safeguarding Officer.
8.2. The Standing Committee shall administer the Bell Restoration Fund of the Guild and shall determine the rules for the application and distribution of grants and loans. It shall determine the amount to be retained by each district out of Guild subscriptions for use within each district. It shall formulate such rules and regulations as are appropriate for the administration of the Guild funds and for the running of the Guild library. Copies of all decisions of the Standing Committee in such matters shall be available to all resident members from the Guild Secretary on request.
MEMBERSHIP AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
9.1. Resident membership shall be by payment of the current annual subscription and shall be for the period from the date of payment until the thirty first day of March in the following year. Subscriptions are due on the first day of January in each year and shall be collected by the tower captain or secretary and forwarded together with individual details as required no later than the twenty first day of February in each year to the District Treasurer. New members who wish to join the Guild after the first day of February in each year shall supply details and make payment of the subscription direct to the District Treasurer. Any member who first joins the Guild on or after the first day of July in any year shall not be required to pay a subscription until the following first day of Jan.
9.2. Ringers residing outside the Diocese, on payment to the Guild Treasurer of the current fee for Non Resident Life Membership, shall become Non Resident Life Members of the Guild. Ringers who pay the Non Resident Life Membership fee upon the successful completion of a peal, quarter peal or other performance to be credited to the Guild shall be deemed to have commenced their membership before beginning the peal, quarter peal or other performance in question. Resident members of three or more years’ standing shall, on leaving the Diocese and on giving notice to the Guild Secretary, be entitled to be Non Resident Life Members without further payment. The names of all those who have assumed Non Resident Life Membership since the previous Annual General Meeting shall be reported by the Guild Secretary to the next Annual General Meeting.
DISTRICT ANNUAL MEETING
10. Each District shall hold an Annual Meeting at which a Chairman, Ringing Master, Secretary, Treasurer, Independent Examiner of Accounts and such other district officers and committees as are required shall be elected by the membership of the district. The statement of accounts of all monies administered by the district during the preceding accounting period shall be presented with the District Treasurer’s report thereon.
The membership shall consider and make recommendations as may be appropriate on reports received in respect of the Guild management, put forward for election as Guild officers such of the Guild membership as it feels appropriate, elect two of its number to serve on the Standing Committee, pass resolutions to be placed before a General Meeting, fix such other meetings as it requires and transact all appropriate business for the furtherance of the Guild’s objects within the District. Each District may make rules for the conduct of business and other matters within its own area provided that such rules do not conflict with the spirit of the Guild rules.
11. A Guild Report shall be published in each year including a list of towers and members, statement of accounts, reports from officers and, subject to the receipt of the current booking fee, the performances of the Guild. A copy of the Report shall be sent each year to the Patron and Vice Patrons and to each tower with members. A copy of the Report shall also be given to every resident member of the Guild on request subject to payment of postage and packing. A charge (determined by the Standing Committee) shall be made for every additional copy issued.
12.1. The President shall be a respected member of the Guild with knowledge concerning the state of ringing within the Diocese. The President shall maintain contact with the Committees of the Guild, with the Districts and with the membership and shall promote the Guild and its objects on all appropriate occasions. No member shall be elected as President on four consecutive occasions.
12.2. The Guild Secretary shall keep minutes of all General and Standing Committee meetings and conduct all secretarial work of the Guild as required or as directed by the Standing Committee and shall report to the Standing Committee and the Annual General Meeting.
12.3 The Guild Treasurer shall maintain such accounts and in such form as the Standing Committee shall direct and to conform with the requirements of the Charity Commission and shall report to the Annual General Meeting and to the Standing Committee on the finances of the Guild.
12.4. The Education Officer shall arrange courses and events aimed to improve the standard of ringing and understanding of all matters regarding the care and maintenance of bells and their fittings and shall have responsibility for such Ringing Centres as the Guild may from time to time maintain.
12.5. The Bell Restoration Officer shall give advice on all aspects of bell restoration and maintenance, process all Bell Restoration Fund grant applications and liaise with the appropriate diocesan officials in order to encourage the preservation, restoration and maintenance of all bells in the diocese.
12.6. The Public Relations Officer shall promote the image of the Guild and ringing generally amongst the public, the church and all ringers.
12.7. The Librarian shall maintain the library, archives and other records of the Guild, acquire such books and publications as are agreed, and control lending from and access to the library in accordance with the recommendations of the Standing Committee. A report shall be given to the Annual General Meeting of the state and condition of the library and of any acquisitions and losses.
12.8. The Peal Recorder shall record all peals rung for the Guild in a format agreed by the Standing Committee and report to the Annual General Meeting on the peals rung for the Guild during the previous year.
12.9. The Report Editor shall, subject to the general directions of the Guild, be responsible for the publication of the Annual Report of the Guild and for its distribution.
12.10. The Independent Examiners of Accounts shall examine, as appropriate, the accounts of the Guild or of the District and shall report thereon to the Standing Committee and the Annual General Meeting or to the District Annual Meeting as appropriate. The postholders shall not be Officers of the Guild or District nor members of the Standing Committee.
12.11. The District Chairman shall work with the District Ringing Master and District Secretary to ensure the proper running of the district in accordance with the rules of the Guild.
12.12. The District Ringing Master shall arrange practices, competitions, courses and such other events as required to further the objects of the Guild within the district, report to the District Annual Meeting on the activities of the district since the last District Annual Meeting and make proposals for the period up to the next District Annual Meeting.
12.13. The District Secretary shall organise and keep all minutes of the District Annual Meeting and of all other meetings of the district, generally conduct the secretarial work of the district and maintain contact with the district membership and towers within the district as appropriate.
12.14. The District Treasurer shall report on and present to the District Annual Meeting a statement of account in respect of all monies received and paid during the previous accounting period and shall report and account to the Guild Treasurer for all monies as the Guild Treasurer requires. The District Treasurer shall, for the furtherance of the Guild’s objects within the district, retain such money as is due to the district out of monies received and shall administer it in accordance with the rules of the Guild and the wishes of the District members.
PEALS, QUARTER PEALS AND OTHER PERFORMANCES
13. Particulars of Peals, Quarter Peals and other performances rung for the Guild shall be forwarded, together with all appropriate fees, to the Guild Treasurer for publication in the Guild report. No Peal, Quarter Peal or other performance shall be rung for the Guild outside the Diocese unless at the time at which it is rung the majority of those taking part are resident members of the Guild.
LONG SERVICE CERTIFICATES
14. All ringers within the Diocese shall be entitled to receive a long service certificate after 25 years or more service as a ringer. Such certificates shall be awarded on application to the Guild Secretary who should be given full details of the name and service of the ringer concerned.
ALTERATION OF RULES
15. These rules may be altered or rescinded at a General Meeting of the Guild provided that the alteration does not have the effect of causing the Guild to cease to be a charity at law. No rule shall be altered or rescinded unless two-thirds of those members present and voting shall vote in favour of such alteration or rescission.
16. In the event of the dissolution of the Guild the assets shall not be distributed among the members but shall be given to some other charitable body having objects similar to those of the Guild.