The proposal to form an independent association of ringers for the diocese of Guildford, when this is carved out of the existing diocese of Winchester - an event which it is expected will take place about the middle of this year - was carried a step further on Saturday. The proposal was first put forward by the Guildford District of the Winchester Guild, and the Yorktown District, which includes an important part of the new diocese, has now decided to give its support to the scheme. At first, there was a feeling in this district against cutting up the existing Guild, and as long ago as 1923 resolutions were passed expressing a desire that the present Guild should remain, subject to various administrative changes and an altered title. Last December, however, representatives of the two districts met in conference, and at a special meeting at Bagshot on Saturday the Yorktown District again discussed the subject. The Vicar (Canon W. H. Stewart) presided, and members were present from Bagshot, Chertsey, Egham, Farnborough, Weybridge and Yorktown.

A memorandum setting out the Guildford District’s views had been circulated to the towers. Replies had been received from a number including the following: From the Rev. G. R. M. Ellwood, Hawley, who was strongly in favour of forming a new association on the grounds given in the memorandum; from the Rev. F. Tritton, Weybridge, who favoured a new association, but thought any decision should not be final until the new Bishop had been consulted; from the Rev. C. E. C. Lefroy (Hersham), who thought an independent association would be altogether desirable; and from Mr. A. Woodrow, on behalf of the Hersham band, who were unanimous that they should follow the new diocese to which they would be attached.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, at the request of the members of the conference, explained in some detail the steps which had led up to that meeting, and also the proposals upon which it was suggested the new association should be formed. These included a reciprocal arrangement between the old and the new Guilds, whereby members of one could, on payment of one shilling, become compounding members of the other, thereby enabling them to retain their connection between the ringing organisations of the two areas; a suggestion that 75 per cent. of district income should be available for district purposes, and a proposal that there should be a small affiliation fee for towers in order to give the church authorities a direct interest in the association, coupled, if found practicable, with representation on the Management Committee.

Mr. H. J. Chaffey, Mr. S. G. Armstrong, Mr. F. Nye, and Mr. Crocker (who represented the district at the conference) spoke in favour of supporting the scheme for a separate association, subject to its receiving the approval of the new Bishop.

Representatives of Egham and Yorktown towers reported that the members of these branches had decided in favour of supporting the new association.

A number of resolutions were then put to the meeting. The first rescinded the motion passed in 1923.

It was then proposed by Mr. F. Nye (Bagshot), seconded by Mr. Gasson (Farnborough), and carried nem. con., ‘that in the opinion of this meeting of the Yorktown District it is desirable that, on the formation of the diocese of Guildford, and subject to the approval of the Bishop, a separate and independent association of church bellringers be formed for the new diocese.’

Resolutions were next passed instructing the district’s representatives on the Winchester Guild Committee to support proposals recommending that the area of the existing Guild shall, as from January 1st, 1928, be confined to the parishes comprising the dioceses of Winchester and Portsmouth, and that reciprocal arrangements be made to enable present members residing in one area to become compounding members of the other Guild on payment of a nominal fee of 1s.

The following were then elected to represent the district on the Organising Committee: Messrs. F. Nye, S. G. Armstrong, J. Corbett, H. J. Chaffey and Crocker, and, subject to his being willing to serve, Mr. A. Woodrow (Hersham).

On the motion of the Chairman, Mr. Goldsmith was thanked for his lucid explanation of the whole scheme, and his assistance at the meeting.

Cordial thanks were passed to Mr. Corbett for having kindly entertained the ringers to tea, to the ladies who had served the meal, and to the chairman for presiding.

Before and after the meeting, ringing took place on the Parish Church bells, opportunity being taken to give practice to a number of beginners in the art.

The Ringing World No. 828, February 4th, 1927, page 75