Central Council meeting with The Council for the Care of Churches

The Council for the Care of Churches has prepared the following notes of a meeting with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, held on 8th July 2003 at Church House, Westminster.


CCC: Paula Griffiths (Head of Division and Secretary, CCC); Stephen Bowler (Deputy Secretary, CCC); Andrew Argyrakis (Conservation Officer); David Knight (Conservation Assistant).

CCCBR: Michael Henshaw (President); Kate Flavell (Bell Restoration Committee); Alan Frost (Towers and Belfries Committee); Ian Oram (Secretary); Derek Sibson (Vice-President).


Paula Griffiths introduced the remit of the CCC, the relationship between the CCC and the Synod and the Archbishops' Council, the CCC's role in Faculty Jurisdiction and the role of the CCC's Conservation Committees and their grant giving activities. She introduced the document "A future for church buildings" and the role of the CCC, as part of the Church Heritage Forum, in taking the initiative (and seeking the support of Synod) to develop a strategy for the preservation and use of church buildings and a stronger partnership with government and others.

Andrew Argyrakis explained that the CCC gave grants for conservation work and acted as advisers to various grant givers (principally Pilgrim Trust, Esmée Fairbairn, Leche Trust and Radcliffe Trust). The specialist conservation committees of the CCC give advice over grant giving. The remit of the CCC in giving advice (particularly in matters relating to faculty jurisdiction) is to balance care and conservation with worship and mission.

Michael Henshaw then outlined the work of the CCCBR.

Your Heritage

The criteria to be satisfied for a grant from this Heritage Lottery Fund scheme were set out in the letter from Paula Griffiths in The Ringing World issue of 2nd May on page 427.


It had been noted that some parishes had difficulties preparing Statements of Significance and Need. CCC had prepared Guidance for Parishes and would send a copy to Ian Oram.

(Post-meeting Note:- Ian Oram has now received this: copies can be forwarded by e-mail or on receipt of a C4 stamped addressed envelope).

Guideines on substitute bells/
Code of Practice

The meeting had a useful discussion about guidelines for substitute bells and made points about the reprinted Code of Practice. While there was not complete agreement, both sides appreciated the others' concerns. In particular, the CCC appreciated the disappointment of the CCCBR that the personal contribution of its members in producing the original Code had not been explicitly recognised in the reprint and regretted any offence that had inadvertently been caused.

Augmentation and historic bellframes/
Tuning Listed Bells and Criteria for Listing

The CCC said that it was working on policy guides for augmentation and listing criteria. The CCCBR pointed out its concerns that the criteria might lose sight of the progress made in ringing with more larger rings. The CCCBR will be consulted in due course by CCC over the new guidelines.

Mobile phone aerials

Michael Henshaw raised the items outstanding from the March meeting, as reported in The Ringing World on 16th May. These were discussed in some detail. Stephen Bowler confirmed that many of these points had already been agreed by Quintel, and would be included in the documentation as it became available.

The CCCBR was still concerned about operators that are outside the National Agreement. The CCC pointed out that guidance had been given to DACs encouraging best practice and the use of the National Agreement but that it was for parishes to decide whether they wished to use it.

Future Meetings

The meeting agreed that a 6-monthly programme of meetings would be sensible. A date in January 2004 will be arranged. (Now fixed for 16th January 2004).

The Ringing World, November 14, 2003, page 1104