Guild Rules

1. Name and Objects

The Guild shall be known as the Southwell and Nottingham Diocesan Guild of Church
Bell Ringers.

It shall aim to be of service to the Church and Bell Ringers in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham (‘The Diocese’) by:

  • Supporting local ringers and bands in order to maintain ringing for church services;
  • Providing training for ringers and assistance with recruiting;
  • Encouraging the art of change ringing by:
    • Providing rewarding and enjoyable activities for members; and
    • Raising the profile of ringing within the Church and the wider community;
  • Helping ringers improve their standard of ringing;
  • Promoting and supporting ringing for national and community events; and
  • Assisting in the care and restoration of bells and their fittings.

2. Name and Objects

Membership of the Guild shall be in one of the following categories:

a. Honorary President

The Diocesan Bishop shall be invited to accept the office of President. Should the
Diocesan Bishop decline the invitation, the President shall be elected at the Annual
General Meeting. The Honorary President shall not pay a subscription.

b. Honorary Vice-President(s)

The office of Honorary Vice-President may be conferred on any person who has given
significant support to the Guild’s Objects but is not eligible for membership under (c),
(d) or (e). Membership shall be on the recommendation of a District Committee and at
the discretion of the General Committee and be reviewed annually. An Honorary VicePresident shall not pay a subscription.

c. Honorary Life Members

Honorary Life Membership may be conferred on any ringing member in recognition of
outstanding service to the Guild or to ringing within the Diocese, and shall be on the
recommendation of a District Committee and at the discretion of the Guild General
Committee. An Honorary Life Member shall not pay a subscription.

d. Resident Ringing Members

Any ringer residing within the Diocese who can ring a bell competently in rounds or any
ringer residing outside the Diocese and rings regularly within the Diocese is eligible for
membership. Any new Resident Ringing Member shall be proposed by a resident
member and the nomination ratified by a District Officer. Resident Ringing Members
shall pay an annual subscription that is current at that time.

e. Non-resident Life Members

A Non-resident Life Member shall be elected from those ringers not eligible under
section (d), reside outside the Diocese and have attained the standard required of
resident ringing members. These members shall not have voting rights within the Guild
or be permitted to hold any office within the Guild. Non-resident Life Members may be
proposed, seconded and elected prior to a peal attempt providing the peal band
contains at least two resident ringing members. Non-resident Life Members shall, at
the time of their election, pay a single subscription that is current at that time.


First subscriptions are due on election and annual subscriptions are due on the first day of January each year for that calendar year. Membership shall lapse if a subscription is greater than 12 months in arrears.

The rate of subscription shall be set by the General Committee, with any changes taking effect from the start of the following calendar year.

Transfer between membership classes

Resident ringing members who leave the Diocese shall automatically be transferred to the list of Non-resident Life Members providing they have paid at least one year’s subscription.

Non-resident Life Members who move into the Diocese shall automatically be transferred to the list of Resident Ringing Members and become liable to the rules governing Resident Ringing Members.

3. Management

a. Guild – the management of the Guild shall be vested in the General Committee and
the Management Committee, formed in accordance with Rules 4a and 4b.

b. District – the management of each District shall be vested in the District
Committee formed in accordance with Rule 4c.

4. Committees

a. Management Committee – the Management Committee shall consist of the following:

  • Chairman;
  • General Secretary;
  • Treasurer;
  • Ringing Master;
  • Education Officer;
  • Fundraising Officer; and
  • Communications and Public Relations Officer.

b. General Committee – the General Committee shall consist of the members of the Management Committee plus the following:

  • Membership Secretary;
  • Peal Secretary;
  • Bell Advice Co-ordinator;
  • Safeguarding Officer;
  • Webmaster;
  • Librarian;
  • Central Council Representatives; and
  • One representative from each District.

The role and responsibilities of each officer of the Management and General
Committees, which may be amended from time-to-time by the General Committee,
shall be made available to the wider membership through the Guild’s website or from
the General Secretary.

c. District – the District Committees shall consist of the following:

  • Chairman;
  • Secretary;
  • Ringing Master(s);
  • Education Committee representative(s) (up to 2); and
  • Any other posts the District Committee wishes to create in order to meet the District’s needs.

A District Committee shall nominate a member to sit on the General Committee. In
the event of that member’s unavailability to attend a General Committee meeting,
the District Committee should provide a substitute.

d. Education Committee – The Education Committee shall consist of the Education
Officer, the Guild Ringing Master, up to two representatives nominated by each and
every District, and any others the Education Committee may choose to co-opt. The
remit of the committee shall be to make recommendations on and to organise
training, recruitment and other education events within the Guild.

5. Meetings

a. Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) – the AGM of the Guild shall be in the second
quarter of each year at a time and location determined by the Management

Members shall be elected to fill the following offices:
a. Chairman;
b. General Secretary;
c. Treasurer;
d. Ringing Master;
e. Education Officer;
f. Communications and Public Relations Officer;
g. Membership Secretary;
h. Fundraising Officer;
i. Peal Secretary;
j. Bell Advice Co-ordinator;
k. Librarian;
l. Webmaster; and
m. (if a vacancy exists) Central Council Representative(s).

Appointments for the Examiners and Safeguarding Officer made by the General
Committee shall be put to the meeting for ratification. Reports from Officers and
the Annual Accounts of the Guild shall be presented and discussed.

b. Special General Meeting (“SGM”) – an SGM may be called by the Guild
Committee or requested in writing to the General Secretary by at least 20 members,
in which case a meeting shall be held no later than 10 weeks after the receipt of the request at a time and venue determined by the Management Committee. Any
business that can be properly transacted at the Guild AGM may also be transacted
at an SGM.

c. Notice and Quorum. A Guild General Meeting is the final decision making forum
of the Guild. Notice of all Guild General Meetings must be provided to the
representative member of each tower, advertised in the Ringing World and
displayed on the Guild’s website at least 28 days prior to the meeting. Twenty
members shall form a quorum.

d. Management Committee – the Committee shall routinely meet four times
annually, though may meet on other occasions if required. The committee shall be
responsible for:

  • the co-ordination of the activities of the Guild, including the Annual General Meeting;
  • budgeting annually for Guild activities; and
  • recommending to the General Committee the level of annual subscription and peal fees.

Business may also be transacted using electronic means. Three members of the
committee shall form a quorum.

e. General Committee – the Committee shall routinely meet twice annually, though
may meet on other occasions if required. The Committee shall be responsible for:

  • reviewing and setting the activities of the Guild;
  • appointment of a Safeguarding Officer;
  • appointment of two Examiners;
  • appointment of Bell Consultants to work with the Bell Advice Co-ordinator;
  • preparation and publication of an Annual Report;
  • accepting the Annual Accounts, following examination by the Examiners;
  • convening sub-committees, as required;
  • setting the level of annual subscription and peal fees; and
  • reviewing the roles and responsibilities of the officers.

Business may also be transacted using electronic means. Five members of the
committee shall form a quorum.

Should a vacancy occur on the General Committee or the Management Committee
in the interim, the General Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy by
the appointment of a qualified member on an interim basis until an election is held.

f. Districts – there shall be six districts known as Bingham, Mansfield, Newark, North
Notts, Nottingham and South Notts.

Each District shall hold an Annual District Meeting in January of each year, for the
purpose of receiving a report of the District’s activities of the preceding year,
electing officers to the District Committee and recommending to the District
Committee the type of events that the District membership would like organised in
the forthcoming year. A member shall be entitled to hold office and to vote within
Districts in which they maintain an active interest and routinely ring at a tower.

The time and place of the Annual District Meeting must be provided to the
nominated correspondent of every tower within the District and displayed on the
Guild’s website at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting.

6. Guild officers

All elected Guild officers, other than the Central Council Representatives, shall retire
annually at the Annual General Meeting. Central Council Representatives shall retire at the earlier of: (a) the AGM following the third anniversary of their election; or (b) any date defined under the prevailing rules of the Central Council. All Officers shall be eligible for re-election for further terms.

All nominations, including those of retiring Officers seeking re-election, shall be made in writing to the General Secretary, proposed and seconded no less than six weeks prior to the General Meeting at which the election is being held.

In the event of no nomination being received for any Guild office, the General Committee may make nominations. If more than the required number of nominations is received for any Guild office, election shall be by secret ballot, the successful candidate(s) being the one(s) with the highest number of votes.

7. Expenses

Expenses shall be paid out of Guild funds. Payment will be subject to prior approval by the Management Committee, with the following exceptions:

a. Education expenses which are approved by the Education Committee from within its
budget set by the Management Committee;
b. The cost of printing the Annual Report and any other publications authorised by the
General or Management Committee; and
c. Reasonable stationery, postage, telephone, notice of meetings and any other
incidental expenses in the course of undertaking routine Guild or District activities.

8. Peals

All peals rung for the Guild shall be recorded in the Annual Report, providing that:

a. all those taking part were members of the Guild at the time of the peal;
b. the peal complied with the requirements laid down by the Central Council; and
c. the peal fee and any subscriptions for new non-resident life members have been
paid to and the composition forwarded to the Peal Secretary.

9. Central Council

The Guild shall be represented on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and shall
undertake to abide by the Rules and Decisions of the Council.

10. Bell Fund

The Guild will support The Southwell and Nottingham Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers Bell Fund (Registered Charity number 259703) and its work through the raising of funds and awareness.

11. Alteration of Rules

No alteration or addition shall be made to these rules, except at a Guild General Meeting. Alterations to the rules shall require a two thirds majority of those members present and eligible to vote.

Notice of any proposed alteration shall be provided to the membership of the Guild on the same basis as detailed in Rule 5c.

12. Assets

The income and property of the Guild shall be applied solely towards promoting the Guild’s Objects.

13. Dissolution of the Guild

A decision to dissolve the Guild may be taken only at a Guild General Meeting, under the same conditions for notice and voting as those prescribed in Rule 11.

The net assets of the Guild shall then be disposed of to either or between the following:

a. Any successor, body or bodies with similar objects, covering all or part of the same
geographical area; and
b. Such charitable Bell Funds as the Guild may select.

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