Safeguarding & rules


The Church of England and the Lichfield & Walsall Archdeaconries Society of Change Ringers are committed to the safeguarding of children under 18 and vulnerable adults and ensuring their wellbeing. The Church has robust policies and the Society endeavours to comply with them.

Activities Arranged by the Society

When taking part in society activities, children and vulnerable adults may be considered at risk, particularly when undertaking 1:1 training, transport to events and through the close bonds of friendship engendered through ringing activities.

The Society has a responsibility to prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial or discriminatory abuse or neglect of such children or vulnerable adults. In consequence, the society undertakes to exercise due diligence in the appointment and selection of those who work closely with children or vulnerable adults. The society will follow guidelines issued by the church authorities and meet such civil legal requirements as may be in force.

In implementing our responsibilities, the society will appoint a safeguarding officer, prepare a detailed safeguarding policy, identify those activities entailing 1 to 1 physical training, supervision or transportation of children or vulnerable adults, arrange training for the trustees and event managers and seek to ensure that at least two persons with DBS certificates are present at events where children or vulnerable adults might be considered at risk.

If you have any concerns regarding safeguarding matters, contact either the safeguarding officer, or any member of the committee. Contact details can be found at the front of the Annual Report. The society will deal sympathetically and fairly with any complaints or concerns of a safeguarding nature and will advise and seek advice from the appropriate authorities. A copy of the full policy of the society is available on request.

Safeguarding within Individual Towers

The PCC of the church to which your tower belongs should already have adopted a safeguarding policy that the tower band should comply with and that policy should be displayed prominently in the church, along with the name of the Parish Safeguarding Officer. However, many towers have an independent access, so a copy should also be displayed in the tower.

It is advisable to keep a register of who attends to ring at services and practices – including visitors. This is good practice whether you have any children and young people in the tower or not.

Anyone teaching children should have a DBS check. It is advisable to have 2 people in the band with DBS clearance in case the main person can’t attend. The process is straightforward and online you will need to get the relevant access numbers from your Parish Safeguarding Officer. Once your certificate has come through, show it to your Parish Safeguarding Officer as they will make a note of the number and the date it is issued. Remember that DBS checks are only valid for three years and are only correct on the issue date.

When you have children and young people in the tower, ask the parent or guardian to fill out a registration form, with their contact details, any health issues the person may have and, most importantly, ask permission to use photos for the parish magazine of other public publication (examples are on the safeguarding pages of the diocesan website).

It is recommended that those leading activities and groups working with children, young persons or vulnerable adults undertake the foundation course. Tower captains need to do the Leadership module. There is also a basic course, relevant to all members. Unfortunately, any safeguarding training undertaken before January 2017 doesn’t fulfill the criteria. Links to the courses can be found on the website:

If the young people in the tower need transport to events – don’t arrange it via the tower – ask the parents to agree the process between themselves, unless you know that the driver has a current church-based DBS.

The main points to remember are:

that this process is to protect YOU

even if there aren’t children or young people currently learning, don’t wait to get someone checked – if a young person shows an interest you want them to be able to start straight away

There is a lot of information and advice on the diocesan website: .

If there is anything of immediate concern, then the diocesan safeguarding officer should be notified straightaway. Details are on the diocesan website, which gives details of who to contact quickly.

Society Rules


1. That this Society be called the “Lichfield and Walsall Archdeaconries Society of Change Ringers”.


2. That the Society be affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and abide by its rules and decisions.


3. That the objectives of the Society are:

a. The institution and maintenance of full Sunday Service Ringing throughout the Archdeaconries.

b. The fostering of the closest possible co-operation with the Church and the Community.

c. The recognition of the position of ringers as Church Workers.

d. The encouragement of recruitment and training of ringers and advancement of the art of change ringing.

e. The provision of financial assistance by way of grants to affiliated Church Authorities incurring expenditure on the provision, maintenance or improvement of their bells and bell installations.

Membership and Subscriptions

4. That the Society consist of:

a. Ringing Members, who are either resident in, or ringing regularly at, a tower in the Archdeaconries of Lichfield and Walsall, the Parishes of All Saints Sedgley, Christ Church Coseley, St James Barton under Needwood, Holy Angels Hoar Cross or St Mary Stafford, subscribing not less than £7.00 per annum, of which £3.00 shall be immediately transferred to the Bell Restoration Fund. Ringing Members who are 18 years of age or under will subscribe not less than £3.00 per annum, of which £2.00 shall be immediately transferred to the Bell Restoration Fund.

b. Honorary Life Membership, conferred upon members who fall into one of the following categories

i. The completion of 50 years continuous Ringing Membership.

ii. The necessity of giving up active ringing because of a permanent disability.

iii. Having given, at the discretion of the committee, outstanding service to the Society.

Such members shall have the status of Ringing Members, but shall pay no further subscriptions and be elected preferably at an Annual General Meeting, or at any full meeting.

c. Non-resident Life Members, paying one subscription of £5.00, having no part in the business affairs of the Society. Such membership will cease upon a member taking up residence in the Archdeaconries of Lichfield or Walsall, or ringing regularly at the towers, as specified in 4a. A Ringing Member, upon leaving the Archdeaconries, may become a Life Member under this rule provided that his/her total subscription paid amounts to at least £5.00

Only Ringing Members and Honorary Life Members shall vote at meetings of the Society and each member shall have one vote.

5. That the minimum qualification for membership is to be able to handle a bell and ring call changes competently.

6. That persons be admitted as members at any business meeting of the Society provided that they are proposed and seconded by Ringing Members, approved by the majority of members present and on payment of the current subscription, renewable on 1st July each year. Members elected at the June meeting in each year shall pay their first subscription upon election and be exempt the following year.

7. That members whose subscriptions are more than one year in arrears be considered to have left the Society.


8. That all participants in Society peals pay a peal fee of 30p for each one rung. The conductor, at some time prior to the following meeting, to be answerable to the Society Treasurer for the amount due.

9. That any person wishing to attempt a peal with the Society be proposed, seconded and elected previous to an attempt being made, and at the next meeting the conductor of the peal must report the same and the election be ratified, the proposer to be answerable for a one-off payment equivalent to the annual subscription.

10. That details of any peal reported as having been rung for the Society be entered in the records of the Society only if at least half of the participants were Ringing Members or Honorary Life Members of the Society.


11. The Society shall appoint a Committee to consist of:

a. Officers: Secretary, Treasurer, Ringing Master and Assistant Ringing Master.

b. Ex-Officio Members: Bell Adviser, Newsletter Editor and Central Council Representatives.

c. Up to four other Ringing Members or Honorary Life Members.

All shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. A Ringing Member may nominate or second only one person, who has indicated their willingness to stand, for any one post and may not be nominated for that same post. Where more than the required numbers of persons are nominated, an election must be conducted by ballot. If no nominations are received for a post, the Committee shall be empowered to make suitable arrangements and take appropriate action. Central Council Representatives shall be elected for a three-year term.

12. That the quorum shall consist of five members, at least two of whom shall be Officers. At the first Committee meeting following each Annual General Meeting, the Committee shall elect a Chairman from amongst its number.


13. That the Trustees of the Society shall be the Committee


14. That the Annual General Meeting be held in September each year or such other time as the Committee should decide. Other meetings to be arranged around the Archdeaconries and in towers as named in 4a. The Committee shall have the power to call a Special General Meeting, or ten members may request, in writing, such a meeting.

Society Funds

15. That the Society shall maintain a General Fund, a Bell Restoration Fund and other such funds as are deemed necessary by the Committee. All funds shall be applied only in furthering the Objects of the Society. The Treasurer shall prepare Accounts for the year ended 30th June, which shall be examined.

16. That the Trustees shall have the power to invest or otherwise deal with such sums as the Committee of the Society may place in their hands in such a manner as the Committee shall direct. Any two of the Trustees shall have the power to sign cheques. The Trustees shall have the authority to administer internet banking account(s) in accordance with the processes set down by the Society's bankers. Dual authorisation of payments is preferred when the banker's processes permit. Where the banker's processes require administration by a sole individual, one Trustee shall be authorised to do so, provided that additional Trustee(s) are also given power of scrutiny of the bank account(s).

Bell Restoration Fund

17. That the Bell Restoration Fund shall be administered by the Committee of the Society who shall have the power to approve a grant from the Fund when the written procedures for requesting and offering a grant have been completed. Decisions on the award of grants from the Fund will be made by the Committee and recorded in the minutes. Grants will be considered for the purpose of providing, maintaining and improving a bell installation, including sound control, but excluding ropes and repairs to church fabric.

a. Any parish unsure of the type of permission needed for any work may consult the Honorary Bell Adviser.

b. If the work is not commenced within two years of a grant being offered, a new quotation should be submitted to the committee.


18. That in the event of dissolution of the Society, the assets of the Society shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Charity as the members may determine, or failing that shall be applied for some other charitable purpose.

Change of rules

19. That any alterations to these rules may be made at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting. Notice of any proposed rule change shall be made in writing to the Secretary at least six weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting. Such proposals to be included in the agenda which will be published at least 28 days prior to the meeting. No amendment may be made to clause 3 (Objects clause) or clause 18 (Dissolution clause) without the prior consent in writing of the Commissioners. No amendment may be made which would have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a charity at law.

Striking Competition Rules

The following rules relate to both the 6 and 8 bell competitions. Where alternatives are given in brackets, the first refers to the 6 bell competition and the second to the 8 bell competition.

1. Teams shall consist of six (eight) ringers, who must be members of the Society, but can be elected on the day of the competition. Teams shall consist of:

a. Tower-based teams, comprising members who are members of and ring regularly at the same tower, which is affiliated to the Society at the time of the competition. There may be more than one team per tower, with a limit of two if there are more than ten entries in total. No person may ring more than one bell or for more than one tower based team. Up to one (two) guest ringer(s) may be allowed, providing they ring regularly with the band and are ringing members of the Society.

b. Youth teams, comprising members selected from regular attendees at the Three Spires youth practices. No person may ring more than one bell or ring for more than one youth based team, although they may also ring for a tower-based team.

c. Both types of team are eligible to win the Henry Follis Cup or the Harry Butler Shield.

2. The date, location and final date for entries shall be notified to each tower at least four weeks prior to the competition. The venue of the competition shall be at a tower where the local team do not wish to participate.

3. Entries shall be made directly to the Honorary Secretary. An entry shall be deemed an acceptance of the rules.

4. The draw shall be made publicly and promptly at the stated time by a person who is not a member of a competing team.

5. The order of the teams drawn shall be final.

6. Any team not complete and ready to ring at the time required shall be liable to disqualification.

7. The competing team only shall be in the ringing room during the test piece. A seventh (ninth) person may count the rows for call-change bands but must not aid the band.

8. A steward shall accompany each team to the ringing room, remain for the practice and explain the following:

a. Up to 5 whole pulls are allowed for rope testing.

b. Up to 3 minutes are allowed for practice. The responsibility for timing rests with the band, but if requested, the steward will give notice of the time remaining. Teams exceeding 3 minutes will be penalised.

c. The signal for the test piece shall be three whole pulls on the treble.

d. The marking shall be of 120(112) rows from the start of the test piece.

9. The test piece shall consist of 120(112) rows and shall be EITHER:

a. A touch of any method consisting of a true 120 of minor or doubles (a true 112 of major or triples) OR:

b. If a team is unable to ring a method, it may ring call changes. Such ringing shall be at least 120(112) rows of changes. The ringing must start and end in rounds and include the following changes: 135246 and 531246 (13572468). No bell shall be called to move more than one place at a time.

10. a. Scoring will be one fault for any error(s) per row, and zero faults for a clean row.

b. Gold certificates will be awarded to any team achieving 20 or fewer faults. Silver certificates will be awarded to any team achieving 21 to 40 faults. Bronze certificates will be awarded to all remaining teams who complete their test piece.

c. The highest placed change ringing 6-bell team(s) shall be presented with the Henry Follis Cup. The Harry Butler Shield shall be presented to the highest placed call change team(s). Both trophies shall be retained for one year, or part of a year in the event of a tie. The winners of the 8-bell competition shall be presented with certificates.

11. Any dispute arising from the rules shall be resolved by an officer of the society, who is not participating. If not resolved, it shall be referred to the committee, whose decision shall be final.