The annual general meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild. was held at Portsmouth on Saturday, June 1st, at St. Mary’s Parish Institute, this being the jubilee year of the former Winchester Diocesan Guild, which was founded at Basingstoke on June 26th, 1879. The Vicar of St. Mary’s (Ven. G. C. L. Lunt, M.A., M.C.) presided, supported by the Master (Mr. G. Williams), general secretary (Mr. G. Pullinger), treasurer (Rev. N. C. Woods) and the peals recorder (Mr. F. W. Rogers).

The balance sheet presented to the members showed an income for the year amounting to £86 18s., and an expenditure of £30 7s. 6d., showing an increase on the general fund of £56 10s. 6d. The accounts were adopted unanimously.

In presenting the annual report, Mr. Williams remarked that the past year had been the first under the newly-formed Winchester and Portsmouth Guild, and had in many respects been an unqualified success. The smaller districts had been formed at the beginning of the year and had resulted in a great deal of activity in all parts of the diocese. In the Christchurch district only one tower was not affiliated, and only three had failed to join the Guild in the Portsmouth district. The completion of the memorial to the late Rev. C. E. Matthews had been the most important event of the year. A splendid response to this appeal had resulted in over £100 being collected, and the memorial had taken the form of two treble bells at Milford-on-Sea. He was happy to report that the majority of the towers and bells in the district were in good condition; but at Arreton, Avington, Hurstbourne Prior, Southampton (Holy Rood) and Warnford the bells needed rehanging, and great efforts to raise money for this purpose were being made. Three augmentations had been carried out during the year - at Milford (five to eight), Highclere (six to eight), and Sherborne St. John (five to six). In concluding, Mr. Williams observed that at the end of last year the total membership was 57 life members, 68 hon. members, and 590 ringing members, with 88 towers in union.

The Master gave a lengthy and interesting report of the proceedings of the Central Council meeting at Chelmsford, for which he was thanked.

The Rev. F. Sear (hon. secretary of the Andover District) presented to the members a draft copy of the Guild’s proposed new form of service, and it was unanimously decided, subject to the Bishop’s consent, to print copies of the same for subsequent use.

On the question of the suggested new Guild certificate, the Secretary said they had been fortunate to obtain the help of Mr. W. H. Fussell (Slough) in this direction, and as he was with them that day he would like to thank him (Mr. Fussell) for his kind help.

Mr. W. H. Fussell said that it would be a great pleasure if he could help the members in this way. He had had the honour to do similar service for the Swansea and Brecon Guild, and he suggested, as he did in that case, that the certificate should not be too much on the large size, but rather compact and neat.- The members thanked Mr. Fussell for his help, and it was left to him to draw up one or two suggested designs for approval at the next annual meeting.


The vice-presidents of the Guild were re-elected and Mr. G. Williams was re-elected Master. Mr. G. Pullinger was re-elected general secretary, and was heartily thanked for the untiring efforts he had given to the Guild during its first term of office, especially in the direction of spade work required in the new districts.

The Hon. Treasurer (Rev. N. C. Woods) asked to be relieved of his post owing to medical reasons, and it was with regret that the members consented. They thanked him for his splendid service to the Guild in the past.

The General Secretary mentioned that when he first heard of the treasurer’s desire to be relieved of office, he at once communicated with the Rev. Evan Jones (Vicar of Hedge End), a former secretary of the Basingstoke District, who replied saying how pleased he would be to accept the post, and remarked that he had been ‘like a fish out of water’ since he was compelled, owing to another appointment, to give up his former job.- It was unanimously resolved that the Rev. Evan Jones be asked to become hon. treasurer.

The Recorder of Peals (Mr. F. W. Rogers) asked that this office should be performed by another member of the Guild. He was opposed to any one member holding more than one job, and thought that a straightforward work like this could easily be performed by another. He could then devote his whole time as secretary of the Portsmouth District.- Mr. H. R. Aitken (Portsmouth) kindly consented to become recorder of peals, and hoped that he would perform this duty as efficiently as his predecessor.


At the last annual meeting it had been decided to hold the jubilee celebration of the formation of the Winchester Diocesan Guild in co-operation with the Guildford Diocesan Guild at Haslemere and Petersfield on July 6th. Since then, however, it has become doubtful if a joint gathering at two such widely separated towers could be made a success, and the general secretary (Mr. J. S. Goldsmith) wrote suggesting that the whole idea of a joint meeting at these towers should be scrapped, but mentioning that if it was decided to proceed with the idea, the Guildford Guild would co-operate to the best of their ability. He also suggested that greater success would attend a jubilee meeting at Winchester, and hoped a later date than July 5th, when the Guildford Guild would hold their festival, would be chosen.

In view of this letter and also that the places mentioned were on an extreme side of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild’s area Mr. W. Andrews (Winchester) proposed that the idea of the jubilee meeting be adhered to, but that it be held at Winchester on Saturday, July 6th, with a special service to be conducted by Minor Canon N. C. Woods during the afternoon in the Cathedral. This motion was seconded by Mr. R. J. Stone (Portsmouth) and carried.

It was decided to hold the next annual meeting at Southampton on Saturday, July 12th, 1930.

Afterwards the usual votes of thanks were accorded the Vicar of St. Mary’s and the Provost of the Cathedral for the use of the respective peals of bells, the business meeting terminated.

The members attended service at St. Mary’s, at which the Vicar officiated. The Provost (Ven. B. Williams) read the lesson, and an eloquent and inspiring address was given by the Vicar of Fareham (Rev. A. Cory).

An excellent tea was served in the Parish Institute, the clergy being present with the members. This concluded, some indulged in handbell ringing, whilst others visited St. Mary’s belfry and also the Cathedral.

During the day members were present from Alverstoke, Blackmoor, Carisbrooke, Fareham, Highclere, Newport, North Stoneham, Portsmouth (St. Thomas’ and St. Mary’s), Ryde, Swanmore, Southampton, St. Mary Bourne, Wickham and Winchester, also Messrs. E. C. Merritt, K. Hart, A. D. Stone (Brighton) and W. H. Fussell (Slough). The ringing practised during the day ranged from Grandsire Trip1es to Cambridge, London and Bristol Surprise Major.

The Ringing World No. 951, June 14th, 1929, page 380