General Committee Meeting - January 2022

On a wet and windy first Saturday after the New Year, we met on Zoom. Unfortunately, our Master, Rob had work commitments and so could not attend but Jonathan ably stood in as chairman. We started by remembering Alan Baldock who sadly died just before Christmas. Alan was a Vice President, past Master, CCCBR member for Sussex, current Peal Secretary.... He has been such a big part of ringing in Sussex and beyond.

Our tasks on the Agenda were to review the various rules and regulations of the Association. We spent some time on Safeguarding. A complex and delicate topic in the safe hands of Val Clay. The message is that we all need to think carefully about our responsibilities and help those organising our meetings. We should all make ourselves aware of this topic and check with our local PCC’s to make sure we all stay within the law.

Money always crops up. We have a surplus in our general account and so no need to increase subscriptions. It remains at £8. Despite this, there are a number of Towers where members have not felt it worthwhile to renew. There is so much work done in the background by Officers of the Association. We all owe it to them to make the effort to be involved to ensure ringing continues into the future. With the renewal form this year, we are all to be asked if we could give to the Bell Restoration Fund. Members have in the past complained that this money sits there doing nothing. The BRF has been very busy in the last year or so helping projects and the fund is now almost all gone. £2 each is suggested but why not give more ? Details are on the website including how to Gift Aid. Churches are struggling generally and unlikely to give bells any priority and so we need to help where we can.

The AGM is coming up in May. We need a new Master, Peal Secretary, and Bell Restoration Fund Secretary. We also need volunteers to head the Training & Recruitment and the Communications & Events Teams. Are you able to take on any of these responsibilities? Please make contact with Rob Lane if you need to know more.

The District Secretaries reported that Christmas covid restrictions have dampened enthusiasm for actual meetings but ADM’s are being planned for February. Do try to get to a meeting if you are able. Look out for details.

A small working party is reviewing the contents and purpose of the Library. There is an Insurance cost to us plus an ongoing responsibility of looking after it. Members will be asked to consider any recommendations at the AGM.

The Committee meets again in March. Hopefully, with the longer days and better weather, we will be able to all get out and meet and get bellringing going again. Do try to get involved and support the Association.

Mark Dawkins

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