Central Council Review Part 2: The role of a central body

Article published in Ringing World on 7 October 2016: http://cccbr.org.uk/review/part2/

In my last article I outlined the background to the review of the Central Council and the work that CRAG (the Council Review Action Group) was undertaking in order to advise the Central Council on how it might change and modernise in order to serve ringers better.

At the time of writing we have had just over 50 responses of which about two-thirds were in total or general agreement with what was proposed as a vision for ringing. About ten per cent of respondents felt that a Vision was unnecessary and that CRAG should simply have proposed reforms to the Central Council. A number were disappointed that there was no mention of ringing as a sport, while a few others (all from the UK) felt that the church should have featured more prominently. While both of these viewpoints were from a small minority it is clear that any central body (or bodies) that exist to support ringing in the future will n

The Services We Need

Having consulted on the proposed Vision for ringing, we wish now to present our outline suggestions for what needs to be done centrally to support and develop ringing. We describe below these as an outline Mission Statement for a central body.

I would stress two things at this point. First, that we have an open mind whether all of these services would need to be delivered by the reformed Central Council. Second, the list below is an outline list. For example, we don’t seek to describe each and every type of publication or software that a central body (or bodies) should produce.

Suggested Mission for a central ringing body

“To promote the Vision for Ringing through the provision of the following services, either directly or through links with others: -

Strategy Maintaining strategic oversight to ensure that bell-ringing continues to flourish and responds pro-actively to external challenges.
Promotion Promoting bell-ringing as an attractive, inclusive and worthwhile pursuit.
Engagement Supporting the spread of ringing amongst those groups of people and countries where it is under-represented.
Advocacy Representing the interests of ringing and ringers to external stakeholders, media and others outside the bell-ringing community.
Communication & Cohesion Facilitating communication and cohesion amongst ringers and bell-ringing societies to assist ringers in supporting each other and achieving their ringing objectives.
Recruitment Providing support to those recruiting new ringers at all levels and using its efforts to foster the continuing recruitment of ringers.
Development Promoting the development of ringing skills at all levels so that each ringer has the opportunity to progress as far as their ambitions and talents allow.
Resources Encouraging and advising on sources of funding, expertise and resources necessary to support the training of ringers and the availability of places to ring.
Bell Installations Sharing, promoting and advising on best practice relating to the repair, maintenance and improvement of bell installations and training facilities.
Standards Consulting on and recommending technical standards in ringing, maintaining records as necessary to uphold these standards.
Heritage Securing the maintenance of historic records, publications and artefacts relating to ringing which will be of value to current and future generations.
Innovation Encouraging research and innovation in the advancement of ringing; its methodologies, tools and technologies.

There may well be things that you think are important that we have missed. Please let us know in your feedback. You may also have strong views on which things the Council / central body should or should not do itself. We would be interested in these views too so, once again, please provide us with feedback.

Have your say!

We would like your feedback in one, or both, of two ways:

  1. Please send all feedback about the proposed Mission statement above preferably by email to
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please could you include all your comments in the text of the email since some mail servers appear to strip out file attachments sent to our email address.
    For those unable to use email, please send any letters addressed to CRAG Mission, Piltdown House, Maidstone Road, Platt, Sevenoaks, TN15 8JE. Please ensure all comments are received by CRAG by 5pm on Monday October 31st.
  2. We would also like to invite more general written submissions about the Central Council review. These might be about particular strengths or weaknesses of the CC, ideas for improvement, ideas for services that you feel the CC should provide (or cease providing), views on how the CC can best serve you and with what other organisations the CC should engage. This is not however an exhaustive list.
    These written submissions should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or else addressed to “CRAG Submissions” at the address above. We should like to receive any of these general submissions as soon as possible but in any case no later than 5pm on Monday October 31st.

In both cases we would ask for your name and where you ring. If you wish you may also outline your experience within ringing or in other areas to provide us with a little context for your comments.

The members of CRAG have been sharing and debating ideas by email over the last two months. We are meeting again face to face in mid-October to consider the feedback we have received so far and to continue our work developing ideas on how to improve the services we need for ringing to have the vibrant, healthy future we all want.

Phillip Barnes
Chairman, CRAG
7 October 2016

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