1. Opening Prayer and Master's Welcome

    The Master, Rev Barry Fry, supported by the Honorary General Secretary, Robert Cater, the Honorary General Treasurer, Michael Bubb, and the Minute Secretary, Andrew Case, opened the meeting at 10.17 with a prayer, and welcomed the 19 other members present:- Kim Matthews, Gilian Davis, Wendy Ling, Barbara Townsend, Ruth Jackson, and June Mitchell; Roy LeMarechal, Mark Esbester, Derek Jackson, Tony Smith, John Colliss, David Whiting, Keith Williamson, Brian Oakes, Alan Hoar, David Savill, Barry Downer, Francis Mitchell, and Phil Watts.

  2. Apologies for Absence

    Apologies were received from:-
    Rita Carton, Faith & Tony Webster, Gail Cater, Julian Atkins, and Andrew Craddock.

  3. Loss of Members through death

    The meeting stood in silence to remember Hilda Carter of Binsted.

  4. Minutes of the last meeting (5 March 1994)

    Minutes of the last meeting had been circulated by the Minute Secretary in March. The minutes were approved by the meeting and signed.

  5. Matters Arising (not elsewhere on the Agenda)

    1. Essex Shield Striking Competition. Martin Hough had arranged for the Southampton City Centre band to represent the Guild. Eight bands entered the competition and the Guild team came fourth.

    2. CC Survey of 3 & 4 bell towers. The Secretary hoped soon to be in a position to forward returns to the Central Council. Only a few towers remained unanswered from the Winchester District to which Phil Watts had had difficulty gaining access.

  6. Secretary's Communications

    1. The Bishop of Basingstoke had written to say that he was delighted to become a Vice President of the Guild.

    2. The Secretary had been advised that the Portsmouth Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) had appointed Neil Skelton of Salisbury as its bell advisor. The Secretary had written to Neil Skelton and Phil Watts agreed to contact him to let him know more of the work of the Belfry Stewardship Committee with a view to developing better links.

    3. A total of £158 had been donated to the Guild BRF in memory of F E (Ted) Collins.

    4. The Committee noted that there was a Central Council Video competition, a bell restoration video was available from the Central Council, and Funder Finder was available to assist in identifying possible sources of funds for bell restoration projects.

    5. Historic Peal Boards. There was some discussion regarding this item, the Central Council having given some consideration to the establishment of a database to record details of certain peal boards. It was felt that the Guild should itself give consideration to the matter, and Derek Jackson agreed to contact interested Guild members with a view to producing a short report making practical recommendations for the General Secretary by 1 February, for circulation prior to the next meeting.

  7. Life Membership Proposals

    It was reported that Esme Weaver and Margaret Taylor of the Basingstoke District, and George Evenden of the Christchurch and Southampton District would complete 50 years membership of the Guild during 1995.

  8. Striking Competitions Committee

    The Committee's report had been circulated with the Agenda and the accounts were circulated at the meeting. These were adopted nem con and the Master expressed thanks to John Colliss and the Committee for the successful competitions held in 1994.

  9. Social Committee

    The Committee's report and accounts had been circulated with the Agenda. These were adopted nem con. It was reported that Rita Carton had resigned from the Social Committee, but that she would be attending the January meeting to hand over to the new convenor. The Master expressed thanks to Rita Carton for her work on behalf of the Guild.

  10. Education Committee

    The Committee's report had been circulated with the Agenda. The report was adopted and the Master expressed thanks to the Committee for their work.

  11. Progress Report from the Guild Belfry Stewardship Committee

    Phil Watts spoke to a report which had been circulated with the Agenda. Michael Bubb had obtained information from the Guild's insurance brokers regarding queries raised in the report, and this was passed to Phil Watts. The Master advised that the BRF Trustees had considered the report at their earlier meeting and agreed that they would be happy to work with the Committee and would welcome its advice on the relative merits of proposed works, as occasion demands, before the Trustees considered a request for a grant from the BRF for the works. The Trustees agreed their intention to request the Committee to inspect works on their completion, to ensure they were satisfactory, as detailed in BRF Rule 8 Disbursements. It was agreed that the final sentence of Paragraph 4.2 of the report should be removed, but otherwise the report was accepted. The Master proposed that the Committee should receive a grant of £100 towards its expenses, and this was agreed nem con. Derek Jackson reminded the meeting that at the AGM, John David of the Channel Islands had expressed a willingness to be involved in the Committee's work. Phil Watts would contact John David with a view to co-opting him to the Committee. The Master expressed thanks to Phil Watts and the Committee for all their work. The Secretary asked if he could have the Committee's formal report for 1994 by 1 February.

  12. Progress Report from the Guild BRF Fund Raising Committee

    June Mitchell spoke to a report which had been circulated with the Agenda. The Committee felt that one of their main functions was to collect ideas for fund-raising and distribute these throughout the Guild. An easy way to raise funds was felt to be to encourage each tower to donate the equivalent of a minimum of one tower wedding fee to the BRF each year. The report was accepted, the Master proposing that a grant of £50 be made towards expenses. This was agreed nem con. The Secretary asked if he could have the Committee's formal report for 1994 by 1 February.

  13. Preparation of Guild Report for 1994

    Ruth Jackson had not yet been able to obtain quotations as it was not clear how many pages the Report would contain - it might need to be increased to 60 pages. It was agreed that quotes be obtained from Papyrus and Sotherans as a minimum, but that there was no point in obtaining quotes from "non-ringing" publishers.

  14. Public Relations Officer's Budget for 1995

    On a proposition from the Master, it was agreed that £150 be allocated for Ian McCallion to call on up to March 1995.

  15. Revised Guild Order of Service

    A revised Order of Service had been circulated with the Agenda and the Master circulated some copies of additional prayers to be included. There was some discussion as to whether this booklet was intended to be a replacement for the existing order of service, or for use in addition to it. The Master explained as set out in the foreword to the booklet, that it was intended to be used to supplement whatever service the local church wished to use. There was also some discussion as to whether the ASB order for Evensong should be included as an Appendix. The Master felt that it should as some churches might not have books available. Others felt that it shouldn't be included as this might suggest that preference was being given to the ASB order. It was agreed that District Secretaries be asked to consider, in conjunction with local clergy, using the booklet at ADM services and to report back to the General Secretary by the end of February with comments on the contents of the Order of Service, including whether they felt the ASB should be included as an Appendix. These comments could then be considered by the sub-committee who would make recommendations to the Executive Committee.

  16. Reduced Subscriptions for Higher Education Students.

    The General Secretary raised this matter because at present there was an anomaly in the way students' subscriptions were treated in different Districts. There was some discussion as to whether students should pay a reduced subscription, but others felt that since resident student members of the Guild received all the benefits of membership, they should not be treated any differently from other members. A proposition from the Master that students be treated in the same way as all other Guild members was agreed.

  17. Communication in the Guild

    The Secretary had circulated, with the Agenda, a paper expressing his concerns at the lack of effectiveness of the means of communication which exist in the Guild. It was disappointing that not all District Secretaries either attended or sent a representative to Executive Committee meetings. There was no synchronization of mailings by sub-committees and District Secretaries were having difficulty in disseminating the increasingly large amounts of information to towers. It was agreed that the Secretary would invite District Secretaries and Convenors of sub-committees to a meeting to discuss what might be done to improve communication within the Guild and prepare a report for the next meeting.

  18. Future Guild Events

    1. Annual District Meetings were as follows:

      14 JanuaryAlton & Petersfield, and Andover
      28 JanuaryChristchurch & Southampton, and Basingstoke
      4 FebruaryPortsmouth
      11 FebruaryWinchester
      18 FebruaryIsle of Wight

    2. Other dates mentioned at the meeting were as follows:-

      25 MarchBelfry Maintenance Course (date to be confirmed)
      29 AprilEducation Day
      19 May6 Bell striking competition - Swanmore
      20 May8 Bell and Inter-District striking competition - Andover District (to be confirmed).

    3. There followed a discussion regarding the Channel Islands Festival to be held 1-4 June 1995. Brochures had been despatched from the organising company to tower Secretaries, but members were reminded that Guild Members had priority booking only until 31 December. Derek Jackson passed on some comments from Michael Hilson who was co-ordinating the Festival. Various comments were made about the prices of the package, although most agreed that these were reasonable. There was disappointment that the Festival was not solely a Guild event and that no formal Guild Dinner was to be held as part of the Festival. There was also concern that not all Channel Island ringers appeared to have been consulted or kept fully informed of the arrangements. Many members expressed disappointment that it did not seem acceptable for people to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements and still join in the Festival events. Roy LeMarechal advised that the travel company had agreed to reduce the cost (to him) of the three night stay at the two star hotel from £205 to £175 and a further discount was available to those paying the whole cost of the package in advance.

    4. The 1995 AGM was to be held on the Isle of Wight on 1 July 1995. Barry Downer advised that it was intended that there would be two ringing tours of the Island and that a social event was to be arranged for the evening.

    5. Members were reminded that 1995 would see the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War with Victory in Europe (VE) Day on 8 May and Victory in Japan (VJ) Day on 15 August. District Secretaries were asked to mention these dates at ADMs with a view to encouraging towers to ring possibly on both of these dates.

  19. Date and Place of Next Meetings.

    It was agreed that the 1995 Executive Committee meetings would be held on Saturday 4 March at 10.15 at St Barnabas, Church Hall, and on Saturday 11 November at 10.15 with the venue to be confirmed later.

  20. Any Other Business

    Kim Matthews requested a grant of £50 for Library Funds. This was agreed on the Masters proposition.

    There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting with prayers at 12.48.