(Revised 1951 with later amendments)

1    That the name of this Guild shall be The Leicester Diocesan Guild Of Church Bell Ringers. That the area covered by the Guild shall be the Diocese of Leicester, with districts at Hinckley, Leicester, Loughborough, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray and Syston.

2    (a) That the Guild shall consist of Honorary, Ringing and Life Members, and shall be managed by a General Committee. Nominations for membership shall be proposed and seconded by fully paid-up resident members. Such nominations (together with the entrance fee in respect of nominations for Honorary and Life Members) and the full name and address and the names of the proposer and seconder, must be received by the Hon General Secretary within one month of the nomination.  This provision shall cover nominations prior to peals.

      (b) Honorary Members shall pay yearly an amount not less than the annual subscription, to become due on the 1st January of each succeeding year from the year of their election. Residence in the area of the Guild is not essential.

      (c) Ringing Members must be able to ring tower bells; or to ring two handbells, retained in hand through the plain course of any one method, on five or more bells. They shall pay either an annual subscription due on the 1st January of each year, or a single Life Membership subscription. The Life Membership subscription shall be a sum equal to twenty-one annual subscriptions. Newly elected members who wish to subscribe annually shall pay the full subscription for the year of their election. Members under the statutory education leaving age and members who reach statutory pension age after 31 December 2012 shall pay a reduced subscription. Members who reach the age of 65 on or before 31 Dec 2012 shall not be required to pay an annual subscription. Ringing members who are or have been actively involved in Guild activities over a number of years may be transferred to the list of Honorary Life Members on the application of a District Committee at the discretion of the General Committee.

      (d) 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 shall then be subject to all the rules applicable to resident Ringing Members.

      (e) All members may receive a certificate of membership as soon as convenient after their election upon application to the General Secretary and payment of the appropriate fee.

3    The officers of the Guild shall be the: President, Vice-President, Hon. General Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Public Relations Officer, Guild Ringing Master, Hon. Librarian, Peal Secretary, Two Trustees.

      (a) The management of the Guild will be entrusted to the General Committee who will promote the Guild’s objectives and be responsible for the long term well-being of the Guild

      (b) The General Committee may appoint such sub-committees, described by a terms of reference, as it considers necessary

      (c) The General Committee shall consist of the following members: President, Vice-President, Hon. General Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Public Relations Officer, two Trustees, a representative from each of the appointed sub-committees, together with a member of the Committee of each District.The CC reps should be ex-officio members of the general committee.

      (d) That meetings of the General Committee be held at times and places to be arranged by the Hon. General Secretary and with the agreement of the committee.

      (e) The Hon. General Secretary may invite additional members to attend a general committee meeting as required

      (f)  Should a vacancy occur on the Committee in the interim, the Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy by the appointment of a qualified member.

4    (a) That the Annual General Meeting be held on the last Saturday in October each year. The business shall be:

      To receive the Annual Reports of officers; to elect the officers to serve for the following calendar year; to elect two other members holding no other office in the Guild to independently examine the accounts of the Guild; to determine subscriptions for the following year; to make alteration or addition to the rules

      The meeting shall conduct any other business of the Guild

      Nominations for all officers, duly seconded, must be in the hands of the Hon General secretary no later than three calendar months prior to the meeting. If no nominations have been received by this time, the General Committee is empowered on behalf of the membership, to nominate officers at the September General Committee meeting. No person may be elected President unless he or she has served on the General Committee.  The retiring President shall automatically hold the office of Vice-President.  Should a casual vacancy arise for a General Office such vacancy shall be filled by the General Committee for the remainder of the term subject to ratification at the next general meeting.

      (b) That in addition to the Annual General Meeting a general meeting shall be held normally on the last Saturday in April in each year.  This meeting shall receive and adopt the Statement of Accounts independently examined to 31 December of the previous year and shall be competent to conduct any other business of the Guild other than that listed in paragraph 2 of rule 4(a).

      (c) Arrangements for General Meetings will be made by the District in which the meeting is to be held in liaison with the Hon General Secretary and the Guild Ringing Master.

      (d) That meetings of the General Committee be held at times and places to be arranged by the Hon. General Secretary with the agreement of the committee.

5    That the Guild be represented on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and shall undertake to abide by the rules and decisions of the Council. Delegates shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting every third year and shall serve from the 1st January in the year following their election. Nominations for the office of delegate to the Central Council to be signed by two members and sent to the Hon General Secretary not later than three calendar months prior to the meeting.

6    That each District shall be under the management of a Committee of four, consisting of a Chairman, Local Hon Secretary, and two other members. They shall be elected at the District Annual Meeting to be held each year, at which only members of the District shall be entitled to vote, and the elected members will take office from the first of January following the meeting. The Local Hon Secretary shall communicate the result to the Hon General Secretary within fourteen days, otherwise the election shall be considered void, and the General Committee shall proceed to appoint the necessary officers. Three members of a District Committee shall form a quorum, provided that all members of that committee have been duly summoned. The Local Hon Secretary shall make arrangements for all meetings of his district and shall collect the subscriptions due and remit them to the Hon Treasurer.

7    At least eight days notice of all meetings shall be given. All meetings should be advertised as widely as possible so that all members are kept fully informed of the activities of the Guild. Such notice in the case of General Meetings to be given by the Hon General Secretary or in the case of District Meetings by the Secretary for that District. Details of all meetings should appear on the Guild website.

8    (a) That each delegate attending the Annual Conference of the Central Council shall be entitled to a grant towards his expenses, the sum to be determined by the General Committee.

      (b) That the General and District Secretaries be paid their postages.

9    (a) That each peal acknowledged and recorded by the Guild complies with the decisions of the Central Council.

      b) The conductor of any peal rung for the Guild shall within one month send the composition to the Peal Secretary.

      (c) A peal fee, of an amount to be determined by the Annual General Meeting, for each person taking part shall be paid for each peal rung for the Guild. Conductors shall be responsible for collecting and remitting fees 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.  The Peal Secretary is responsible for forwarding the accumulated peal fees to the Hon Treasurer at quarterly intervals.

      (d) All participants in peals acknowledged and recorded by the Guild must be bona fide members of the Guild at the time of ringing of the peal.

      (e) If a silent and non-conducted peal is rung for the Guild, the responsibilities of the conductor under this rule shall be assumed by the peal organiser.

      (f) Peals in default of any part of this rule shall not be recognized by the Guild.

10   The Hon General Secretary 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 General Secretary.

11   That the General Committee shall have the power to expel any member who fails to comply with the rules of the Guild, or who, in the opinion of the Committee, renders himself unfit for membership.  No member, however, shall be expelled without first being summoned before the Committee to explain his conduct and being given an opportunity to submit a defence.  Every member so summoned shall be given seven clear days notice in writing by the Hon General Secretary to attend the meeting of the General Committee.

12   That no alteration or addition to these Rules shall be made except at Annual General Meetings of the Guild.  Notice of any proposed alteration to be given (in writing) to the Hon General Secretary not later than three calendar months prior to the meeting.

13   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 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, or otherwise as the General Secretary may deem appropriate in the interests of ringing in general.

14   That the interpretations of these Rules and matters not covered by them shall be decided by the General Committee.