Rules of the Ely Diocesan Association
of Church Bell Ringers
These rules were adopted at a special general meeting of the Association on Saturday 29th October 2011, and updated at the AGM on Saturday 2nd May 2015.
1. TITLE
The Association shall be known as
"THE ELY DIOCESAN ASSOCIATION OF CHURCH BELL RINGERS".
2. OBJECTS
a) Ringing for Divine Service, teaching of ringing proficiency, promotion of change ringing and the maintenance of Church bells and bell installations within the Diocese of Ely.
b) The Association shall be affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and will abide by its Rules and Decisions.
c) The Association shall maintain a record of ringing activities and events within the Diocese.
3. MEMBERSHIP
Membership of the Association shall consist of The Patron, Vice-Patrons, Ringing Members, Non-Resident Life Members, Honorary Members and Clerical Members.
a) Patron
The Lord Bishop of Ely shall be the Patron of the Association.
b) Vice-Patrons
The Bishop Suffragan of Huntingdon and Archdeacons of the Diocese of Ely, shall be invited to be Vice-Patrons of the Association.
c) Honorary Members
Any Ringing Member or other person who has given exceptional service and furthered the objectives of the Association may also be elected to the office of Honorary Member. The nomination of a Honorary Member will be recommended by the Diocesan Committee after due notice has been given as defined by rule 14. The election will take place at an Annual General Meeting of the Association and must be agreed by two thirds of the Ringing Members present.
Honorary Members shall be entitled to vote at meetings of the Association.
Honorary Members shall not be obliged to pay an annual subscription.
d) Ringing Members
Ringing Members shall normally be resident or be regular ringers at a tower within the Diocese of Ely and pay an annual subscription.
Ringing Members shall be elected by the Ringing Members, at a meeting within the district of their tower.
Senior Ringing Members shall be Ringing Members of the Association, having reached the age of seventy, when they shall have no further obligation to pay an annual subscription providing they have been ringing members for the previous ten years.
Junior Ringing Members under the age of eighteen and in full time education may pay a reduced subscription.
Ringing Members shall be entitled to vote at meetings of the Association.
e) Non-Resident Life Members
Non-Resident Life Members shall reside outside the Diocese and pay a single subscription.
Nomination of a Non-Resident Life Member may take place prior to a peal attempt by two Ringing Members. All elections of Non-Resident Life Members shall be ratified at the next Annual General Meeting of the Association.
A Ringing Member of at least two years' membership who leaves the Diocese may become a Non-Resident Life Member without further payment.
A Non-Resident Life Member who becomes resident in the Diocese shall become a Ringing Member and shall pay an annual subscription commencing 1st January after such a member becomes resident.
Non-Resident Life Members are not entitled to vote at any meeting of the Association nor to receive a free copy of the Annual Report.
4. SUBSCRIPTIONS
a) The amount of each type of subscription and the proportion paid to the Bell Restoration Fund shall be decided at a General Meeting of the Association after due notice has been given as defined by rule 14.
b) Subscriptions are due on 1st January. Members whose subscriptions are more than twelve months in arrears shall be deemed to have resigned their membership.
5. OFFICERS
The Officers of the Association shall be:
  1. Chairman
  2. Vice-Chairman
  3. General Secretary
  4. Treasurer
  5. Peal Secretary
  6. Central Council Representative(s)
  7. Education Officer
  8. Bell Adviser
  9. Public Relations Officer
  10. Webmaster
  11. Safeguarding Officer
  12. Quarter Peal Secretary
6. DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS
a) Chairman
The Chairman shall take the chair and preside over the business meetings of the Association, Bell Restoration Fund and Diocesan Committee.
b) Vice-Chairman
The Vice-Chairman shall deputise for the Chairman in his absence.
c) General Secretary
The General Secretary shall liaise with the Chairman to arrange, prepare agendas and publicise the Annual and any Extra-ordinary General Meetings and the Diocesan committee meetings of the Association. The General Secretary shall also deal with correspondence and be responsible for recording and reading the minutes of such meetings, expediting matters outstanding and executing the decisions thereof.
d) Treasurer
The Treasurer shall receive all monies on behalf of the Association, be responsible for the finances of the Association and Bell Restoration Fund and shall prepare annually an Income and Expenditure account and a Balance sheet.
e) Peal Secretary
The Peal Secretary shall receive and record the Peals rung for the Association, forward the peal fees to the Treasurer and ensure the truth of the compositions of the peals rung.
f) Central Council Representative(s)
The Central Council Representative(s) shall attend and represent the Association at meetings of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and will take motions to it, and report on the proceedings of it, to the Association in an appropriate manner.
g) Education Officer
The Education Officer shall identify the educational needs and training resources, facilitate and co-ordinate teaching of ringing in the Association. The Education Officer shall monitor the requirements and effectiveness of the training.
h) Bell Adviser
The Bell Adviser shall be available for support and consultation by Incumbents and tower captains, to liaise with the Diocesan Advisory Council on bell projects and to advise the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund about proposed schemes.
i) Public Relations Officer
The Public Relations Officer shall speak for the Association on matters of ringing to non-ringing church members and the public at large, and will liaise with the media and press to ensure correct coverage of ringing activities.
j) Webmaster
The webmaster shall maintain the website for the Association to provide accessible and up-to-date information to ringers and others within and outside the Association. District Secretaries and Association Officers shall supply current information to the Webmaster so that the website may include: ringing programmes for the Association and Districts, the names and contact details of Association and District Officers, the subscription rates and peal fees of the Association, rules of the Association and the Bell Restoration Fund, a list of towers within the Diocese of Ely with their ringing times and contact details for the tower correspondents and any other information agreed upon by the Diocesan Committee.
k) Safeguarding Officer
The Safeguarding Officer shall be familiar with legislation regarding safeguarding, and understand the procedures for registration and issues around safeguarding and abuse; act as a resource to Association and District Officers to aid compliance to the Safeguarding Policy; Provide a copy of the policy and any relevant procedures and guidelines to District Secretaries for dissemination to District Officers and Tower Captains; ensure that any concerns of inappropriate behaviour are reported to the relevant authorities, including the Bishop’s Advisor for Safeguarding in the Diocese of Ely; review the Policy annually to ensure compliance with relevant legislation; maintain appropriate records where necessary; act with discretion and confidentiality if handling personal information and data.
  l)
Quarter Peal Secretary
The Quarter Peal Secretary shall collate details of quarter peals rung within the geographical area of the Association and produce a Report annually.
7. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
a) The Annual General Meeting shall elect a Chairman, General Secretary, Treasurer, Peal Secretary, Education Officer, Bell Adviser, Public Relations Officer and any other officers deemed necessary by the meeting. The Officers shall take office upon election.
b) Triennially, each District shall normally nominate a Ringing Member for election at the Annual General Meeting as a trustee to the Bell Restoration Fund.
c) Triennially, each District shall normally nominate a Ringing Member for election at the Annual General Meeting as a representative to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. The representatives will take office in the year following their election.
d) Triennially, the Diocesan Committee shall normally recommend a Webmaster and a Safeguarding Officer for ratification at the Annual General Meeting.
8. INDEPENDENT EXAMINER
The Annual General Meeting shall elect an Independent Examiner who will carry out an examination of the Association's accounts annually and report to the Annual General Meeting. The report shall be attached to the published accounts. The Independent Examiner may not hold office on the Diocesan Committee or be a trustee of the Bell Restoration Fund.
9. THE DIOCESAN COMMITTEE
a) The Diocesan Committee shall comprise: the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, General Secretary, Treasurer, Peal Secretary, Central Council Representative(s), Education Officer, Bell Adviser, Public Relations Officer, Webmaster, Safeguarding Officer, Quarter Peal Secretary, the Honorary Members, the Bell Fund Trustees, each District Secretary, and two representatives elected by each District.
b) The committee shall have the power to co-opt up to two ringing members to serve until the next Annual General Meeting.
c) The Committee shall manage the business of the Association in accordance with the rules.
d) The Committee shall meet at least twice a year.
e) Ten members of the committee shall form a quorum.
10. GENERAL MEETINGS
a) The General Secretary shall convene once a year an Annual General Meeting to receive reports from the Officers of the Association, a report from the Bell Restoration Fund, accept and approve the examined accounts of the Association and the Bell Restoration Fund, elect members and ratify the election of Non-Resident Life Members, elect Officers of the Association, and carry out any other business that may be permitted at an Annual General Meeting.
b) The General Secretary may at the request of the Diocesan Committee, or if so required by at least twenty Ringing Members, convene a General Meeting. Any requisition of the Meeting must state the purpose of the Meeting.
c) Notice of an Annual General Meeting or a General Meeting shall be given as defined by rule 14.
d) Twenty-five ringing members of the Association shall form a quorum, except at an Annual General Meeting.
e) For the purposes of these rules, an Annual General Meeting shall be deemed to be also a General Meeting.
11. DISTRICTS
a) There shall be four district branches in the Association viz.: Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon and Wisbech.
b) Only Ringing Members of each District may vote at meetings of that District.
c) Each District shall hold an Annual Meeting in January each year to elect a President, Secretary, Ringing Master(s), two Diocesan Committee representatives, any other officer(s) deemed as necessary, and a committee, which shall be responsible for the business of the District.
d) District Officers:
President
The District President shall normally chair and preside over the business meetings of the District.
Secretary
The District Secretary shall liaise with the District President and the Diocesan General Secretary. The District Secretary shall be responsible for the day to day running of the District and shall deal with correspondence, recording and reading the minutes of meetings, maintaining accurate membership records, expediting matters outstanding and executing the decisions thereof.
A person shall be appointed by each District to be responsible to the Association Treasurer for collecting membership fees. Other monies collected shall be recorded and independently examined and presented to the Annual District Meeting.
Ringing Master(s)
The District Ringing Master(s) shall preside over the ringing whenever the District meets to ring, or when the District hosts an Association ringing event.
e) The District Secretary shall convene a business meeting at least three times a year for the purposes of electing new ringing members of the Association and generally dealing with District affairs.
12. PEALS
a) All true peals of 5,000 or more changes rung for the Association shall conform to the rules and decisions of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and be acceptable to the Association.
b) The conductor of the peal shall be responsible for providing the Peal Secretary with the Peal Fee, and the following details: the method(s) rung, the number of changes, the composition, names of the ringers, and any other information necessary to check the validity of the peal. This information and the Peal Fee shall be provided within two months after ringing of the peal, except for peals rung in December, when the details and fees shall be provided not later than 31st January in the year following the ringing of the peal.
c) The peal fee shall be divided between the funds of the Association and the Bell Restoration Fund in a proportion to be decided from time to time at a General Meeting of the Association.
d) The Association may not accept peals if the details and/or the peal fees are not received in accordance with rule 12 (C). The Diocesan Committee shall make decisions on such peals.
13. ANNUAL REPORT
a) The General Secretary or another person appointed by the Diocesan Committee shall be responsible for publishing an Annual Report, each year, which shall contain the following information for the previous calendar year:
  1. a list of members of the Association and their date of joining
  2. the names and addresses of Association and District Officers
  3. a copy of the Accounts of the Association, the Districts, and the Bell Restoration Fund and the Independent Examiner's reports
  4. the subscription rates and peal fees of the Association
  5. rules of the Association and the Bell Restoration Fund
  6. the reports from the General Secretary, Treasurer, Peal Secretary, Education Officer, Bell Adviser, Public Relations Officer, Safeguarding Officer, Webmaster, Quarter Peal Secretary, Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund and District Secretaries
  7. details of the peals rung for the Association
  8. a report of quarter peals rung
  9. a list of towers within the Diocese of Ely and the tower correspondents
  10. any other report agreed upon by the Diocesan Committee.
b) Each Ringing Member of the Association shall be entitled to receive a copy of the report without further charge.
14. CHANGE OF RULES AND DUE NOTICE
a) Additions, alterations and deletions to these rules shall only take place at a General Meeting of the Association and after due notice of not less than one month.
b) Changes to the subscriptions rates and peal fees may only take place at a General Meeting of the Association and after due notice of not less than one month.
Publication in a current national ringing journal shall be deemed as sufficient notice. Details of such changes of rules should be circulated to correspondents of towers at which there are Ringing Members, at least one month prior to the meeting.