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12th Management Group Meeting

12th Management Group Meeting, 21st January 2021 (from notes by JEB)

Present: Don Jones (DJ), Rev Clive Thrower (CT), Lynne Newton (LN), Martin Whiteley (MW), John Thorpe (JT), Sue Peach (SP), Glen Fiddy (GF) and Jane Boden (JEB).

  1. DJ welcomed everybody to the meeting, held via Zoom. Apologies for absence were received from Neil Westman and Alison Barnett.
  2. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th December 2020, having been previously circulated, were accepted. A summary had also been added to the website.
  3. Matters Arising
    a) Proposed clergy reduction
    CT reported that the review of churches in the Diocese is still not public, although it is anticipated that some may become Heritage Centres.
    Action: An ongoing issue to be monitored.

b) Rope Bank
Neil Westman had emailed DJ and JEB, saying that due to family commitments he no longer had the time for this project.
Action: DJ will speak with John Booth to carry this item forward.

c) Insurance
Quotes had been obtained on the Association’s behalf by Luke Heaton and the premiums had been paid by LN.
Action: JT had a query regarding Third Party insurance that he will discuss with Luke Heaton.
d) Review of Officer role descriptions
JEB had circulated role descriptions to the Peal Secretary, Bell Consultants, CC Reps, and PRO for comment and update. JEB had also reviewed the District Secretary’s role, whilst the President, BRF and Safeguarding roles were still in the process of being described. Action: JEB to lodge the role description on the website when they are complete.
e) Trustee and Officer appointments
The Trustees had previously presented a briefing note to the Management Group outlining some options for the appointment of Trustees (see Appendix 1). The matter had been discussed and the majority felt that no action was needed. Furthermore, JT did not feel there was a conflict between his roles as BRF Treasurer and Trustee; had he done so he would not have stood for the role.

LN expressed the view that proposals for Officer posts made by the Management Group could disadvantage others not proposed by the Management Group, because the Management Group proposals may be deemed by the voting members to be more worthy. This was also discussed, but was not felt to merit any change by the majority of the meeting. LN did accept that the Management Group are also Members. She further suggested that when there was more than one candidate being proposed for a role, that each should be given the opportunity to speak on their ‘candidature’.

  1. 75th Anniversary celebrations
    Sue Hall had sourced some customised products, such as mugs, T-shirts, hoodies, etc. from RedBubble. It was felt that we should publicise this and let members buy for themselves.

The Leicester Guild’s 75th Anniversary Dinner, to which all DDA members are invited, will be held via Zoom on Saturday 27th February. Action: Details about RedBubble merchandise and joining the LDG Dinner are available on our website under ‘News’.

  1. To receive Officers’ Reports for the Annual Report

Reports from the President, GHRC and the General Secretary had been circulated and were accepted. The Treasurer had circulated the Association’s General Fund accounts, but they need to be independently examined. The Quarter Peal Secretary subsequently forwarded his report on 23rd January 2021.

  1. Discussion – the future of ringing
    DJ said that there is an increased public awareness of bells not being rung. In view of the positive comments received, when we can ring for Sunday services again, we should use this to promote ringing and recruitment. ART have contacted the GHRC with a view to setting up a group focused on the recovery of ringing.

For the DDA, there is a Tower Captain’s Zoom meeting on Saturday 6th February (see website) and Mike Banks, one of our Bell Consultants, will talk on safety when returning to ringing after the ‘lockdown’. There seems to be an appetite for this type of advice, especially amongst the less experienced returning ringers. As soon as ‘social’ ringing is permitted, DJ wants to open Eckington/GHRC widely to enable ringers to regain their familiarity and ringing fitness.

LN stated that Ringing Room was a valuable resource for all, it may satisfy diversity as it is a non-religious, stand-alone tool.

DJ also reflected on what might happen to ‘ringing hardware’ threatened by future church closures. Perhaps ringers should be charged a fee for using the church, and this may give them more of a say over the future of the bells in the tower. He accepted that ringing was not necessarily a church activity, but most of our hardware is in church buildings.

SP stated that we should not assume everyone has money to spare. JT suggested that perhaps the Association could assist with funds where there is hardship. GF pointed out that the current membership fee is not high and could be increased to cover these costs. CT noted that money given to the tower does belong to the church, but local ringers may be ‘in control’ of their belfry funds. DJ stated that we do not actually have a right of access to the building and the GHRC pays a sum annually to Eckington church to help with the cost of heating and lighting. GF stated that if money is received and passed on to the PCC, we need to argue for the release of funds for, say, the cost of ropes. JEB suggested that we need to publicise what we do with the clergy at Diocesan level, as had been done at CT’s initiative at a recent Clergy Conference.

  1. AOB

An Association Quiz will be held for members and friends on Saturday 20th February 2021 by Zoom. Email for the joining details or see the website.

  1. Date of next meeting

Scheduled for end-February. Action: DJ to send out a Doodle poll.

Appendix 1