Click for direct access to    Constitution      Guild Rules     Branch Rules     Bell Fund Rules



1          This Society shall be called the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers. It shall aim to be of service to the Church in the Diocese of Peterborough by:

a   Ringing for Divine Service;

b   Recruiting and training ringers;

c   Encouraging the art of change ringing;

d   Helping ringers to improve their standard of ringing;

e   Care and restoration of bells and their fittings.

2          The Guild shall be a constituent body of the Peterborough Diocesan Synod, affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bellringers, and registered as a Charity.


3          Membership of the Guild shall be in the following categories:

a  Ringing Member: A person who can ring rounds;

b Associate Member A non-ringer who wishes to support the Guild;

c  Life Honorary Member: A Ringing or Associate Member who has given outstanding service to the Guild;

d Non-Resident Member A person who is qualified to be a Ringing Member, but is resident out-side the Diocese and does not ring frequently at a tower within it,

4         Ringing, Associate and Life Honorary Members only shall have voting rights and be permitted to hold Office in the Guild. 

5         Churches within the Diocese may be affiliated to the Guild on payment of an annual donation.

C         BRANCHES

6          There shall be initially eleven Branches, namely: Culworth, Daventry, Guilsborough, Kettering, Northampton, Oundle, Peterborough, Rutland, Thrapston, Towcester and Wellingborough. The main activity of the Guild shall be carried out in these Branches.


7                     The Guild Annual General Meeting, which shall normally be held on the second Saturday in June, shall be the final decision-making body of the Guild and shall elect all Guild Officers, appoint two Auditors or Independent Examiners, as appropriate, and set subscriptions and peal fees for the following year.

8                     Members shall be elected to fill the following offices: President, Master, Secretary, Treasurer, Steward, Peal Secretary, Report Editor, Public Relations Officer, Newsletter Editor, Central Council Representatives.

9          For the efficient running of the Guild and the implementing of its objects there shall be four committees with the following functions:

a          GUILD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE - to co-ordinate all Guild activities; to prepare and publish a printed Annual Report and audited or independently examined accounts; to convene sub-committees as required;

b          FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE - to budget annually for the Guild's activities in the ensuing year; to recommend the level of subscriptions and peal fees and other methods of raising the necessary money; to organise General Meetings and social activities;

c          RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING COMMITTEE - to assist Branches in recruiting new ringers; to provide courses for training teachers of ringing; to prepare training programmes for use in the Branches;

d          RESTORATION AND MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE - to maintain an annually updated inventory of the conditions of all church bells in the Diocese; to make recommendations concerning the preservation and redeployment of bells from redundant churches; to advise incumbents; to arrange local courses of instruction in belfry maintenance.

10        Every Branch shall be represented on each of these Committees as set out in the Branch    Rules. The Peterborough Diocesan Synod shall elect triennially five representatives on the Guild Management Committee.

E         FINANCE

11        All money in the Guild's General Fund not required for working purposes may be transferred to the Bell Fund, or may be invested as directed by the Guild Management Committee.

12        All cheques shall bear the signature of any two of the following Officers: President, Master, Secretary, Treasurer, Steward.


13       The Peal Secretary shall keep a record of all peals rung for the Guild, for inclusion in the Annual Report.

G         BELL FUND

14        There shall be a separately constituted Bell Fund.


Guild Rules


1          Ringing and Associate Members may be elected at any Branch meeting by a majority of

those present when proposed and seconded. Membership shall be exercised through only one Branch at a time, being the Branch in which the member either resides or rings frequently. First subscriptions are due on election and subsequent subscriptions are due in advance on the first day of January each year.

Membership shall cease if such subscriptions are not paid within one year of becoming due. The subscription of members elected in or after October shall cover the remainder of the current year and the whole of the next year.

2          The subscription rate of Ringing and Associate Members, and the peal publication fee, shall be fixed for the following year at the Guild Annual General Meeting. Unless a change is agreed, the existing rate shall continue. Full-time students shall pay one half of the full subscription. From January 1, 2012 it shall be waived for members who are of the Guild’s subsequent retiring age (at least 75 years). However, the subscription shall be waived for those who at January 1, 2012 have already passed the national retirement age and whose subscriptions have been waived by the previous version of this rule. Branches may waive for periods of one year at a time the subscription of Ringing Members who suffer from prolonged illness or unemployment, and Associate Members within the Branch area who assist with the Guild's work.

3          Life Honorary Members shall only be elected at a Guild Annual General Meeting. Nominations may only be made by the Guild Management Committee or a Branch. No further subscriptions are payable after election.

4          Persons who have been Ringing or Associate Members for at least two years may, upon leaving the Diocese, inform the Branch that they wish to become Non-Resident Members. No subscription is payable during the period of non-residence. A person resident outside the Diocese who wishes to be associated with the Guild may be elected a Non-Resident Member at a Guild or Branch Meeting as an alternative to Ringing or Associate Membership. A single payment, which shall be the current adult ringing membership subscription, shall be paid at the time of the election.

5          For the purpose of peal ringing new members may be provisionally elected in the belfry to the appropriate category of membership Their election is subject to confirmation at a business meeting of the appropriate Branch, in the case of a Ringing Member, or at a meeting of the Guild Management Committee, in the case of a Non-Resident Member. If  election is not confirmed the subscription will be refunded.

6          A member failing to conform to the objects and rules of the Guild may be expelled by the Guild Management Committee, which shall report the matter to the next Guild General Meeting. Such a member shall forfeit any payment made to the Guild.


7          All Officers shall retire annually at the Guild's Annual General Meeting but shall be eligible for re-election. The Guild Management Committee shall make nominations for any office for which there are no valid branch nominations. Other nominations may be made in writing to the Guild Secretary, or orally at the Annual General Meeting, provided always that they are proposed and seconded. Election shall be made by ballot, the successful candidate being that one with the highest number of votes. Central Council Representatives shall be elected in accordance with the rules of the Central Council.

8          The Guild Annual General Meeting shall appoint two Auditors or Independent Examiners, as appropriate, who shall not be members of the Guild Management Committee or the Finance and General Purposes Committee, and need not be members of the Guild.


9          The Guild Management Committee shall consist of: Guild Officers listed in paragraph 8 of the Constitution: the Chairman and one representative from each Branch; one representative from each of the other committees listed in paragraph 9 of the Constitution; and five representatives, Clerical or Lay, elected triennially by the Diocesan Synod. Twelve members shall constitute a quorum. This committee shall meet at least once a year on the first Saturday in March.

10        The President shall take the Chair at all business meetings of the Guild and the Guild Management Committee. In his absence the Chair will be taken by the Master, or in his absence by a person elected at the meeting.

11        The Finance and General Purposes Committee shall consist of the Guild Secretary as Convenor, the     Guild Treasurer and one Representative from each Branch.

12        The Recruitment and Training Committee shall consist of the Guild Master as Convenor and one Representative from each Branch.

13        The Restoration and Maintenance Committee shall consist of the Guild Steward as Convenor and one Representative from each Branch.

14        Each of the above three committees shall elect their one Representative on the Guild Management Committee at a meeting in February.

15        The President, Master, Secretary, Treasurer and Steward shall form the Guild Executive. In the event of a Guild Office being vacated between Annual General Meetings, they shall make an appointment until the next Annual General Meeting.

D         EXPENSES

16        The following expenses shall be paid by the Treasurer out of Guild Funds:

a  The cost of printing the Annual Report and any other publications authorised by the Guild Management Committee;

b  The expenses of Guild General Meetings;

c  Stationery, postage, telephone, notices of meetings and other incidental expenses;

d  Insurance of Guild property;

e  Central Council fees and reimbursement of a representative's expenses in attending each Council meeting, not exceeding the second class return railway fare and a subsistence allowance, to be determined by the Guild Management Committee.


17        To be recognised, peals rung for the Guild must conform to the decisions of the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. All those taking part shall be members of the Guild and at least two shall be Life Honorary or Ringing Members.

18        Conductors shall forward the following to the Peal Secretary as soon as possible and in any case not later than the 15th January of the following year

a  Note of the performance;

b The composition for a peal on seven or more bells, if not previously rung for the Guild, or its peal numbers if already used;

c  The names of the towers to which members ringing their first peal belong;

d The names, addresses and subscriptions of any Ringing Members elected in the belfry;

e  The names, addresses and subscriptions of any Non-Resident Members elected in the belfry;

f   The peal fees.

19       The Peal Secretary shall:

a  Immediately forward details and monies received under Rules E.18.e. and E.18.f  to the Guild Treasurer.


20        No alterations or additions shall be made to the Constitution or Rules of the Guild, Branches or Bell Fund, except at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting called by the Guild Management Committee or requested in writing to the Guild Secretary by at least twenty voting members. Notices of such alterations and of the date and place of the General Meeting at which they are to be proposed shall be published in "The Ringing World" at least one month before the meeting.
Alterations or additions to the Constitution or Rules shall require a two-thirds majority of those members present and eligible to vote.

21        No alteration or additions shall be made to the Constitution or Rules which shall have the effect of the Guild or Bell Fund ceasing to be Charities at law.


22        A decision to dissolve the Guild may only be taken at a General Meeting under the same conditions for notice and voting as those prescribed in Rule 20 above. The net assets of the Guild shall then be disposed of to either, or between both of, the following:

a   Any successor charitable body or bodies with similar objectives, covering all or part of the same geographical area;

b  Such Charitable Bell Funds as the Guild may select.


Branch Rules

1          Each Branch shall hold its Annual General Meeting on a Saturday in January for the purpose of receiving a report and audited or independently examined accounts for the previous year, electing officers and arranging a programme of activities for the ensuing year. Members shall be eligible to vote or stand for office only in accordance with Guild Rule 1, in the Branch through which they exercise their membership.

2          The following officers shall be elected annually: Chairman, Ringing Master, Secretary/Treasurer, Steward, Press Correspondent. Guild Management Committee Representative, The Branch Chairman and Guild Management Committee Representative shall normally represent the Branch on the Guild Management Committee. The duties of Branch Secretary/Treasurer shall normally be carried out by one officer but separate officers may be appointed when Branches deem this to be necessary. The Ringing Master. Secretary/Treasurer and Steward shall normally represent the Branch on the Recruitment and Training Committee, Finance and Genera! Purposes, and Restoration and Maintenance Committees respectively, but substitutes will be permitted at the discretion of the Branch and Officers concerned. The Branch Officers, Guild Management Committee Representative and three elected members shall form the Branch Committee. A Branch may also elect additional working officers at its discretion to assist in the running of the Branch.

3          Each Branch shall appoint an Auditor or Independent Examiner, as appropriate, at its Annual General Meeting. The Auditor shall not be a member of the Branch Committee and need not necessarily be a Guild Member.

4          The Branch Ringing Master shall organise the ringing at Branch Meetings, provide leadership to improve the standard and regularity of Sunday Service and practice ringing, represent the Branch on the Recruitment and Training Committee and regularly report to the members on the state of ringing within the Branch.

5          The Branch Secretary/Treasurer shall collect all subscriptions due from Branch Members and shall remit three quarters to the Guild Treasurer, the remainder being retained for the Branch's own use. A statement of accounts shall be prepared for submission to the Branch Annual General Meeting and subsequently to the Guild Treasurer by the end of January, All monies held by, or on behalf of, the Branch shall be included in these accounts and there shall be no special funds in existence other than those included in the accounts. A directory of towers, correspondents and members shall be maintained for submission to the Report Editor by the 15th February each year.

6          The Branch Steward shall attempt to inspect each belfry in the Branch at least once every five years and shall report his findings to the Branch A.G.M. and to the Restoration and Maintenance Committee at its February meeting. He shall keep in touch with work required and planned in the Branch, advise incumbents on the best course of action where repairs are needed, and offer help and leadership to local working parties.

7          The Branch Press Correspondent shall report on Branch activities for the Guild Newsletter, "The Ringing World" and the newspapers.

8          The Branch Committee shall be responsible for the good management of the Branch's affairs and shall report to the Branch Annual General Meeting and the Guild Management Committee on the year's work. This report shall be submitted to the Guild Secretary by the end of January.

9         Any alteration of Branch boundaries shall require the agreement of the Branches, incumbents and ringers concerned and shall be submitted to the Guild Management Committee for ratification.

10        A Branch shall have the power to make bye-laws at its Annual General Meeting provided that they do not contravene Guild Rules.

11        Each Branch shall be invited to make nominations at its Annual General Meeting annually for Guild Officers and triennially for Central Council Representatives.

Bell Fund Rules


1          The Fund shall be known as the PETERBOROUGH DIOCESAN GUILD OF CHURCH BELL RINGERS BELL FUND and registered as an associated Charity with the Guild. It shall exist to assist the Church within the Diocese of Peterborough in:

a   The preservation of redundant bells;

b   The repair restoration and augmentation of existing bells;

c   The provision of new belts;

d   Other work directly associated with the repair, restoration, augmentation or provision of bells.


2          The Administrators of the Fund shall be the President, Master, Secretary, Treasurer and Steward for the time being of the Guild. The Treasurer and Auditors or Independent Examiners, as appropriate, of the Fund shall be the Treasurer and Auditors or Independent Examiners, as appropriate, for the time being of the Guild.


3          The responsibility for raising income for the Fund shall rest with the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the Guild, Methods shall include:

a   Covenanted subscriptions;

b   Collections at meetings and practices of the Guild and its Branches;

c   Donations from affiliated churches;

d   Bequests;

e   Other means.


4          All money in the Fund shall be invested in any manner the Administrators think fit in the best interests of the Fund.

E        GRANTS

5         Application forms are obtainable from the Guild Steward. Completed forms, together with a specification of proposed work, an estimate of the cost, and details of how the work is to be financed, shall be sent to the Guild Steward.

6         The Restoration and Maintenance Committee shall consider the application and forward it with their suggestions to the Administrators.

7         Any grant recommended by the Administrators shall be voted on without amendment at a Guild General Meeting.  The Guild Steward shall notify the applicant of the meeting's decision.

8         A Guild General Meeting may also authorise a maximum sum of money that may be spent annually at the discretion of the Administrators to assist with minor repair work, provided that such work is eligible for a grant under Bell Fund Rule A.1.

9         The applicant shall notify the Guild Steward as soon as work has commenced. If the work has not commenced within one year of the grant being made, the grant will lapse.

10       Application for payment of the grant shall be made to the Guild Steward after the completion of the work. The application, on the form provided, shall be accompanied by a copy of the final account and details of any variation from the original specification.           

11       Authority to pay the grant shall be vested in the Administrators, who may also reduce the       amount approved after consideration of the work carried out and its final cost. 

12       Only one grant will be paid in respect of each completed proposal.


13       The Treasurer shall prepare accounts for each year ending 31st December and submit them to the Auditors or Independent Examiners, as appropriate. The audited or independently examined accounts together with a report by the Administrators shall be submitted to the Guild Management Committee at its March meeting for inclusion in the Guild's Annual Report.


14       Any decision to dissolve the Fund shall be made in accordance with the procedure set out under Guild Rule 22.

By OCR from 2006 Annual Report  GHP  Updated after AGM 2008

Page created 12/1/2014. OCR error corrected 1/12/14. Bell Fund title corrected to title used in Report 8/8/2016.

Community Web Kit provided free by BT
Cookies and Privacy | Charity Number: 258271