Matters concerning the suggested splitting up of the Winchester Diocesan Guild, when the new diocese of Guildford is formed, occupied the attention of the Guildford District at the quarterly meeting held at Cranleigh on Saturday [Feb. 5th]. There was an attendance of between forty and fifty members from a number of the towers in the district. After ringing touches in the ancient tower, the members attended service, the Guild’s form being conducted by the Rector (the Rev. P. Cunningham), who is a life member of the Guild. The organist was kindly in attendance.
The Rector addressed the members, and spoke of the coming division of the diocese. He referred to what had been accomplished in the raising of funds and preparing for the creation of the two new bishoprics. The project, which had occupied their attention for 15 years, had now reached the point where the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had been asked to obtain from the Privy Council an Order in Council for the creation of the dioceses of Guildford and Portsmouth. In faith and prayer they had accomplished great things, but there were, of course, many difficult and perplexing matters to be dealt with. He had heard that the ringers in that area were proposing to take certain steps to create a new diocesan organisation. He did not know how far they had proceeded, but he did not doubt they would have their own difficulties and perplexities in this matter. He urged them to face them with faith and courage, and he was sure they would be surmounted. The Bishop of Winchester had expressed the hope that even after the division of the diocese the daughter dioceses would sometimes meet the mother diocese in the great Cathedral at Winchester in acts of praise and worship, and would feel that they were still one with her, like grown-up children returning to their old home. He (the Rector) hoped this spirit would also prevail among the ringers, and that, although they would probably be separating from the parent organisation, they would from time to time be able to return and join the Winchester Guild in united services in the old Cathedral.
At the business meeting after tea, at which the Rector presided, the committee appointed at the annual district meeting presented a report detailing the work which they had at present done, and recording with satisfaction that the Yorktown District (as reported in our last issue) had resolved to unite with them in the formation of the new association.
Two resolutions were passed, requesting the district representatives to bring before the Winchester Guild Committee motions to recommend the annual meeting to resolve that as from January 1st, 1928, the area of the present diocesan guild should be restricted to the parishes comprising the dioceses of Winchester and Portsmouth, and that a reciprocal arrangement be made between Winchester and Guildford areas enabling a resident member of one society to become a compounding member of the other upon payment of 1s.
It was also resolved to request the Winchester Guild to permit the form of service now in use to be adapted to the requirements of the new association.
The other business included a report by the Ringing Master (Mr. C. Hazelden), who stated that it was proposed to hold a series of combined ten-bell practices at Epsom, Leatherhead and Guildford.
Two new members were elected, and votes of thanks were accorded to the Rector for the use of the bells, conducting the service and presiding at the meeting, to the organist and to the ladies who superintended the serving of the tea.
In the evening, further ringing took place.
The Ringing World No. 829, February 11th, 1927, page 86