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Guild AGM 2015 - 25th April 2015

I was up bright and early to the Cathedral for the start of the AGM, but rather than head up the tower to ring I went to the vestry and got changed into my robes to perform my duty as server at the Communion Service at 10:00am. I was very nearly late even then, since just as I was leaving the vestry, Dan (one of the vergers) pointed out I was wearing the wrong colour for the day. Usually white in Eastertide, the day of the AGM was a feast day (Mark the Evangelist) and so would be red. I did a quick change act and then went to find the Dean with a few minutes to spare.

There was a change to the normal routine of the AGM morning because the Communion Service was being held at St. Hugh's Shrine in the northwest corner of the Cathedral, about as far as possible away from the Ringers Chapel and still be in the Cathedral. This was because the Girls Choir have taken over the Ringers Chapel and are using it as a Song School. This is apparently a temporary arrangement, but in "Cathedral time" temporary could be quite a while.

The Communion Service proceeded smoothly with the Dean (The Very Reverend Philip Buckler) presiding. There were about 35 communicants. After the service, the members made their way to Bailgate Methodist Church for the meeting. I won't bore you with the details, but generally people got re-elected, reports were read out and were accepted by the members and some rule changes were proposed and got voted in. One of the more controversial changes proposed had been withdrawn, this being a change to the name of the Guild. The name will remain as "The Lincoln Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers". There were some changes to "The Objects of the Guild", but these seemed to generate little controversy, the main points being ones of grammatical correctness pointed out by Chris Turner. Once we had dotted the 'i's and crossed the 't's the changes were unanimously voted in.

The Guild Officers in a jovial mood. From left to right:
Roger Lord (Treasurer), Alan Payne (Master),
The Dean (President), and Sandra Underwood (Secretary)

The changes to the Bell Repair Fund rules generated a bit more controversy, but frankly not a lot more. The main sticking point here was the inclusion of bell augmentation as a viable use for the Fund. On one hand, augmentation is not repair and it is a "Repair" Fund. However the Fund is there to "improve" rings of bells and if augmentation will lead to a tower becoming more active and thus contributing more to the art then funds should be available to do that. Eventually some words were found which everyone seemed to agree on. After Chris Turner had spotted and corrected yet more grammatical errors the changes were voted in unanimously.

And that was it. After a vote of thanks, the meeting was declared closed after little more than an hour. People departed temporarily to find food. I tracked down a biker chick and together on my 1975 Honda CB750, we adjourned to the Greenhouse on Burton road for a bite to eat.

Members assemble in St. Giles Church, Lincoln

There was now a dilemma. We could either go to some of the workshops being held at Bailgate Methodist church or go to St. Giles and ring there. Since I always do as I'm told, we ended up at St. Giles for some generally very good and comprehensive ringing on the 8 bells.

Ringers take hold at St. Giles

Rope Splicing workshop in progress

At about 4:00pm we travelled up to the Cathedral for further ringing on the 12 which again covered a good range of ringing from Rounds and Call Changes to Surprise Maximus. The ringing took us up to Evensong at 5:30. Since there was no ringing after Evensong and my pillion passenger and I were still hungry we skipped Evensong and instead made our way to Wagamamas where we proceeded to eat ourselves silly.

Ringing at the Cathedral

All in all a good day with a slightly new format. Hopefully the workshops attracted some interest from the members.

Jonathan Clark (Webmaster)