1. The name of this Guild shall be the Leicester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (hereinafter the “Guild”) and the area covered shall be the Diocese of Leicester.
2. The Guild will be represented on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and shall undertake to abide by the rules and decisions of the Council.
3. Nominations for membership shall be proposed and seconded by fully paid-up resident members. Each new member shall be ratified at a Guild meeting. Ringing members, at the time of joining the Guild, must be able to ring either a tower bell or a pair of handbells in rounds unaided. Annual subscriptions shall be due on the 1st January each year.
4. The Guild shall have a Trustee Committee consisting of the President, Honorary General Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and two other elected members who will be known as Honorary Trustees.
(a). The Guild shall be managed by the Trustee Committee, after consultation with the General Committee. The Trustees shall administer to the specific needs and objectives of the Guild.
(b). The General Committee shall consist of the members of the Trustee Committee and those considered necessary to represent the membership and any sub-Committees that they may appoint. The Guild’s Central Council Representatives shall be ex-officio members.
(c). The Guild shall appoint at least one Independent Examiner to scrutinise the accounts who shall hold no other Guild office.
5. An Annual General Meeting shall be held to elect two Honorary Trustees, elect Officers, appoint at least one Independent Examiner, receive relevant reports, to debate any rule changes and to receive and adopt the independently examined Statement of Accounts.
6. The General Committee shall determine the rate of members subscriptions. Persons authorised to spend Guild monies shall be any two of the Honorary Treasurer and the two Honorary Trustees. The Guild, as it is a charity, will comply with the Charity Commission rules as to its running and as regards to debts, insolvency and liabilities. No alterations of these Rules shall be made so as to cause the Guild at any time to cease to be a charity at law.
7. Subject to fair consideration of all the relevant circumstances the General Committee shall have the power to expel any member or to remove any Officer or Trustee from office.
8. Any peal rung for the Guild must comply with Central Council rules. All participants must be Guild members and a peal fee, as determined by the General Committee, shall be paid to the Guild. The Peal Secretary shall be notified within one month after the peal with full details.
9. The General Committee shall maintain and make available a set of Operational Guidelines for members.
10. No amendment or addition to these Rules shall be made except at Annual General Meetings of the Guild. Proposals for any amendments must be given to the Honorary General Secretary as per the Operational Guidelines.
11. The interpretation of these Rules, and matters not covered by them, shall be decided by the General Committee.
The area of the Leicester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (hereinafter the “Guild”) shall consist of the districts of Hinckley, Leicester, Loughborough, Market Harborough, Melton and Syston.
2. Membership Membership categories for the Guild shall be:
(a). Honorary – a distinction bestowed at the discretion of the General Committee following a nomination and seconding from members. Residence in the area of the Guild is not essential.
(b). Junior – for those below the statutory school leaving age who may pay a reduced subscription.
(c). Adult – for those between the statutory school leaving age and the statutory pensionable age.
(d). Retired – for those above the statutory pensionable age who may pay a reduced subscription. Existing members who reached 65 on or before 31 December 2012 shall not be required to pay a subscription.
(e). Life – for those who wish to pay a one-off payment equal to 21 times the annual adult subscription.
(f). Associate (non-ringing and non-voting) – for a one-off payment equal to one annual adult subscription.
(g). Non-Resident Life Members – qualified ringers not resident in the area of the Guild may become Non-Resident Life Members on payment of a sum to be determined by the Annual General Meeting. Their names will then be registered on the books of the Guild without payment of any further fees during the time they continue to reside out of the area, but they shall not be eligible to hold any official position, or to vote on any motion. Should they at any time become resident within the area of the Guild they will then be subject to all the rules applicable to resident Ringing Members.
(h). Nominations for membership, including the subscription fee, full name and contact details (and the tower resident members wish to be affiliated to) along with the name of the Proposer and Seconder must be submitted to the Hon. General Secretary within one month of the nomination. This provision shall cover nominations prior to peals.
(i). Newly elected members who wish to subscribe annually shall pay the full subscription for the year of their election.
(j). All members may receive a Certificate of Membership as soon as convenient after their election upon application to the Hon. General Secretary and payment of the appropriate fee.
3. Trustees and Committee
(a). Trustees shall start their tenure on the 1st January following their election except when an interim appointment has been made.
(b). Should a vacancy occur, the General Committee shall have the power to make an interim appointment of a member. Interim appointees shall then be subject to the normal election procedures at the next Guild AGM.
(c). Meetings of the Trustee Committee shall be held at times and places to be arranged by the Hon. General Secretary or a Trustee and with the agreement of the Committee Members. Reports of those meetings shall be kept by the Hon. General Secretary. The quorum for such meetings shall a minimum of three members.
(d). Trustees shall be responsible for submitting an annual report in accordance with Charity Commission guidelines.
(e). Guild Trustees may be removed from office by the General Committee following procedures as per the Member, Officer or Trustee Conduct Hearing guideline.
4. Guild Officers and Committees
(a). Guild Officers and Committee members shall start their tenure on the 1st January following their election except when an interim appointment has been made.
(b). Should a vacancy occur for General Office, the General Committee shall have the power to make an interim appointment of a member. Interim appointees shall then be subject to the normal election procedures at the next Guild AGM.
(c). The General Committee may appoint such sub-committees, described by terms of reference, as it considers necessary. Members of those committees shall be appointed by the President at the first General Committee Meeting of the year.
(d). The General Committee may appoint a Vice-President, Guild Web-Master, Peal Secretary, Ringing Master, Guild Report Editor, Librarian, Public Relations Officer, Assistant Ringing Master and any other officers as it considers necessary. There shall be no automatic right or expectation that they shall serve on any committee.
(e). Meetings of the General Committee shall be held at times and places to be arranged by Hon. General Secretary or Hon. Trustee and with the agreement of the those committee members. Reports of those meetings shall be submitted to the Trustee Committee. A copy of all reports shall be kept by the Hon. General Secretary.
(f). The Hon. General Secretary may invite additional members to attend a General Committee meeting as required.
(g). Should a vacancy occur on any sub-committee in the interim, the President shall have the power to fill any vacancy by the appointment of a member.
(h). The Guild Officers shall be paid their postage and expenses.
(i). Guild Officers may be removed from office by the General Committee following procedures as per the Member, Officer or Trustee Conduct Hearing Guideline.
5. Guild Meetings
(a). The Annual General Meeting shall normally be held on the last Saturday in October each year.
(b). Nominations for Officers duly seconded, must be submitted to the Hon. General Secretary no later than six weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting. If no nominations have been received by this time, the General Committee is empowered on behalf of the membership, to nominate officers at any General Committee meeting.
(c). Notice of any proposed amendment or addition to the Guild Rules must be submitted to the Hon. General Secretary no later than six weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
(d). In addition to the Annual General Meeting, a second meeting shall be held, normally on the last Saturday in April, in each year.
(e). Districts will be responsible for the arrangements for Guild General Meetings, in the District that they are held, in liaison with the Hon. General Secretary and the Guild Ringing Master.
(f). At least eight days’ notice of Guild meetings shall be given by the Hon. General Secretary. All meetings should be advertised as widely as possible so that all members are kept informed of the activities of the Guild. Details of all meetings should appear on the Guild website.
6. Central Council Representatives
(a). Central Council Representatives shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting every third year, to align with the Central Council Triennial, and shall serve from the 1st January in the year following their election. Nominations, duly seconded, for the office of Representative to the Central Council must be submitted to the Hon. General Secretary not later than six weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
(b). Each Representative attending the Annual Meeting of the Central Council shall be entitled to a grant towards their expenses. The sum is to be determined by the General Committee annually.
(a). Each District shall be managed by a committee of four members, consisting of a Chairperson, District Secretary and two others. Three members shall form a quorum.
(b). District Committee members shall be elected at the District Annual Meeting to be held each year. Only members of the District shall be entitled to vote and the elected members will take office from the 1st January following the meeting. The District Secretary shall communicate the result to the Hon. General Secretary at the earliest opportunity.
(c). District Secretaries shall make arrangements for all meetings of their District. At least eight days’ notice of District meetings shall be given by the District Secretary. All meetings should be advertised as widely as possible so that all District members are kept informed of the activities of the District. Details of all meetings should appear on the Guild website.
(d). A member of the District shall collect the subscriptions due and remit them to the Hon. Treasurer.
(e). District Officers shall be paid their postage and expenses.
(a). Conductors of peals recorded and acknowledged by the Guild shall be responsible for collecting and remitting fees, along with full details of the peal, to the Peal Secretary within four weeks of the peal being rung. Conductors of peals rung during December shall send full details to the Peal Secretary before the 14th January in the next year.
(b). If a silent and non-conducted peal is rung for the Guild, the responsibilities of the Conductor under these guidelines shall be assumed by the Peal Organiser.
(c). Peals in default of any part of these guidelines shall not be recognised by the Guild.
(d). The Peal Secretary is responsible for forwarding the accumulated fees to the Hon. Treasurer at quarterly intervals, unless the Conductor or Peal Organiser has remitted the peal fee to the Guild bank account by electronic means and informed the Guild Treasurer and Peal Secretary of this fact by an email.
9. Special Meetings
The Hon. General Secretary or an Hon. Trustee shall call a special meeting on the requisition of fifteen members of the Guild, or upon a direction from the General Committee, such a meeting to be called not earlier than 14 days and not later than 28 days of the handing of the requisition or direction to the Hon. General Secretary or Hon. Trustee.
10. Member, Officer or Trustee Conduct Hearing
No Member, Officer or Trustee shall be expelled from the Guild, or removed from office, without first being summoned before the General Committee to explain their conduct and being given the opportunity to submit a defence. Every Member, Officer or Trustee so summoned shall be given 28 days’ clear notice in writing by the Hon. General Secretary or an Hon. Trustee to attend that meeting of the General Committee.
11. Members’ Data
(a). Members’ data shall be relevant and for the specific purpose of their membership. It should be accurate, secure and up to date.
(b). Members of the Guild agree to their personal data, insofar as these relate to their membership of the Guild, being held on paper or electronically, or if not so agreeing will advise the Hon. General Secretary. Disclosure will be made only to Guild Officers, or other members acting at the request of the General Committee or a District Committee, in furtherance of the Objects of the Guild.
(c). The Guild shall comply with current data regulations and guidelines, and update its procedures accordingly.
The Guild accepts the guidelines of the Central Council. These have been set up specifically to address the potentially conflicting issues of safeguarding of children and of vulnerable adults and the recruitment of young ringers on whom the future of the Exercise depends. Safeguarding policies concerning ringing of individual tower bands are set by Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) for the conduct of ringing in their own towers.
13. Availability and amendments
(a). Both the Rules and the Guidelines shall be available on the Guild website and a hard copy be held by the Hon. General Secretary.
(b). These Guidelines may be amended or altered, at any time, by the Guild General Committee. Such amendments or alterations shall be conveyed to the members in the most appropriate manner.
(c). Any amendments or alterations shall not take effect until six weeks after such notification. On receipt of five written objections during that time from members to the Hon. General Secretary or a Trustee, the issue will be subject to a vote at the next Guild Meeting.
(d). Any member may advocate suggestions for amendment or alteration of these Guidelines via any Guild Committee member for consideration by the Guild General Committee.