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 need to understand and accommodate both points of view.
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: -
Maintaining strategic oversight to ensure that bell-ringing continues to flourish and responds pro-actively to external challenges.
Promoting bell-ringing as an attractive, inclusive and worthwhile pursuit.
Supporting the spread of ringing amongst those groups of people and countries where it is under-represented.
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.
Providing support to those recruiting new ringers at all levels and using its efforts to foster the continuing recruitment of ringers.
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.
Encouraging and advising on sources of funding, expertise and resources necessary to support the training of ringers and the availability of places to ring.
Sharing, promoting and advising on best practice relating to the repair, maintenance and improvement of bell installations and training facilities.
Consulting on and recommending technical standards in ringing, maintaining records as necessary to uphold these standards.
Securing the maintenance of historic records, publications and artefacts relating to ringing which will be of value to current and future generations.
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: -
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 within 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.