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.
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.