last updated: 11 May 2019
1 The title of the Association shall be "The Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers".
2 In these rules the following expressions shall have the following meanings:
a "the County" shall mean the County of Surrey as recognised in 1880;
b "Ordinary Resolution" and "Special Resolution" shall mean a motion passed by a simple majority and a three‑quarters majority respectively of those members voting and entitled to vote at the meeting at which it is moved;
c reference to "meetings of the Association" and, where the context admits, to "the Association" shall mean "the Association in General Meeting" and shall not extend to meetings of a District;
d "the Council" shall mean the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers;
e words importing the masculine gender shall, where the context so admits, also import the feminine gender.
3 The objects of the Association shall be:
a to promote, advance, maintain and support the ringing of bells for services;
b the recognition of bellringers as church workers;
c to facilitate and assist in the instruction and practice of both the art and science of change‑ringing;
d to institute schemes for, supply information as to, and to assist in, the provision, repair, maintenance or transfer of church bells and their fittings and necessary apparatus including equipment for sound control measures whether through the administration of the Belfry Repair Fund or otherwise;
e to promote fellowship and harmony among bellringers generally including organising social meetings and making gifts on behalf of the Association and to promote goodwill and understanding between bellringers and the general public;
f in construing and of the paragraphs (a) to (e) of this Rule, no paragraph shall be deemed to be predominant and no object shall be deemed to be subsidiary to another;
g to commission, print, publish, and distribute and/or sell, in any part of the world, literature relating to all or any of the above objects and to the history of bells and bellringing;
h to do all such other lawful things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the above objects and in particular (but without raising any loan save with the authority of a Special Resolution of the Association) to expend monies on or in furtherance of any of the above objects. Such monies may be expended on the authority of an Ordinary Resolution of the General Committee or (if part of the funds of a District) of its District Committee and in such case the members from time to time of such committees acting in good faith shall not be responsible for loss.
4 Pursuit of the objects shall be conducted usually within the County but shall not be limited thereto.
5 The County shall be divided into such number of Districts with such boundaries as the Association by Special Resolution shall decide from time to time.
TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP
6 The types of membership recognised by the Association are detailed in the table below:
Resident Ringing Member
A ringer (or lapsed ringer) resident in or ringing frequently for Sunday Service within the County and meeting one of the following criteria:
An adult who does not fall under other Resident Ringer categories.
A young ringer who has not yet reached their 18th birthday at the 1st January or is still in full time education.
Note: Resident Ringing Members may be attached or unattached to a tower, but shall be affiliated to a District.
Annually renewable at the rate below
Honorary Life Member
Awarded on the achievement of thirty years as a Resident Ringing Member.
The total of thirty years membership does not need to be accumulated in a single continuous period.
District or Association
A ringer who is not resident and does not ring frequently for Sunday Service within the County.
on first joining as a member
* All Members eligible to vote shall receive a copy of the Association Annual Report.
JOINING THE ASSOCIATION
7 (i) A new member satisfying the criteria for membership can join the Association on completion of a membership form with sponsor and on payment of the current year's subscription.
(ii) All new members must agree to be bound by the Rules of the Association and have their application sponsored. Sponsors must have been a Resident Ringing Member of the Association for at least the preceding two calendar years, or be an Honorary Life Member.
(iii) Resident Ringing Members shall be affiliated with the District in which they are resident or most frequently ring. New members eligible for more than one District may choose their affiliation by writing to the relevant District Secretary.
(iv) Although common it is not necessary to be attached to a tower to be a member of the Association. Ringers who are unattached to a tower but otherwise qualify as a Resident Ringing Member may join the Association and choose their affiliation to a District.
(v) An existing Resident Ringing Member may choose to change their District affiliation provided they qualify by residency or place of ringing by notifying, in writing, both District Secretaries.
(vi) A ringer who is not resident in the County and is not a frequent Sunday Service ringer in the County may join as a Non‑Resident Member, on completion of a membership form with sponsor and on payment of the subscription.
8 (i) The subscription and concession rates shall be kept under review by the General Committee and set by a Special Resolution of the Association for the following year.
(ii) The methods of payment and collection of subscriptions shall be agreed by the General Committee and be appropriate to the type of membership, affiliation and processes available for collection at the time.
(iii) The total subscription raised each year shall be shared between the Association and the Districts. The basis on which subscriptions are shared shall be determined by a Special Resolution of the General Committee.
(iv) Annually renewable memberships shall be continuous with all subscriptions becoming due on 1st January each year.
(v) The subscription of any annually renewable membership commencing on or after 1st October shall run to 31st December of the following year.
(vi) A member resigning or being expelled before their subscription is paid shall not be liable for that year's subscription. Once paid no refunds shall be given for resigning or expelled members.
CONDUCT OF MEMBERS
9 (i) Members eligible to vote may only do so in person at a meeting of the Association.
(ii) Members with voting rights will be eligible to vote at all meetings of the Association and at meetings of the District to which they are affiliated. Honorary Life Members may vote at all meetings of the Association and at any District meeting regardless of their affiliation.
LEAVING THE ASSOCIATION
10 Membership of the Association shall cease if a member dies, resigns, lapses or is expelled.
(i) Resigns by notifying the District or General Secretary they no longer wish to be a member of the Association.
(ii) Lapses by failing to pay their subscription renewal within 12 months of the date it became due.
(iii) Expulsion on completion of the process for expulsion of a member (see below).
(iv) A Resident Ringing Member who moves away from or ceases to ring within the County may transfer their membership to a Non‑Resident Ringing Member upon notification, in writing, to the General Secretary or the appropriate District Secretary.
EXPULSION OF A MEMBER
11 (i) The General Committee shall consider any case for expulsion of a member and may, after an Ordinary Resolution, invite a member to resign within a given time period.
(ii) If no such resignation is received within the time given the General Secretary shall organise an Extraordinary meeting of the Association and propose a motion for Special Resolution at that meeting for the expulsion of the member.
(iii) The member has the right to be informed of any complaint against them and be invited to speak at any meeting where a proposal has been made to expel them.
12 The Association by Ordinary Resolution shall appoint any person as President of the Association for a term not exceeding five years. This rule shall not prevent any person being re‑elected for a further term or terms of years.
13 An honorary life member may by Special Resolution of the Association be appointed a Vice‑President of the Association to hold office for life. The Bishops of Southwark, Guildford, Croydon, Kingston‑upon‑Thames and Woolwich shall, ex‑officio, be Vice‑Presidents of the Association.
14 The Association annually by Ordinary Resolution shall appoint any person as Independent Examiner to independently examine the accounts of the Districts and of the Association. They may not hold an office which confers membership of the General Committee.
15 The Association shall be affiliated to the Council and Representatives shall be elected in accordance with the Council's constitution for the time being. The Association shall recognise and abide by the rulings of the Council and shall pay the reasonable travelling and incidental expenses of such Representatives in attending the meetings of the Council.
16 The General Officers (in order of seniority and their responsibilities) shall be a General Master (who shall, inter alia, be the Chairman at the business meetings of the Association and of the General Committee and shall organise ringing meetings of the Association), a General Secretary (who shall, inter alia, act as Treasurer of the Association, conduct all correspondence on behalf of the Association and the General Committee and maintain a register of members and their respective classes), an Assistant General Secretary (who shall, inter alia, take minutes of business meetings of the Association and the General Committee and perform all such other functions as the General Secretary may delegate to him from time to time), a Belfry Repair Fund Secretary (who shall, inter alia, coordinate the belfry repair activities of the Association including keeping accounts and compliance with the requirements of the Charity Commission, a Training Officer (who shall, inter alia, coordinate training within the Association), and a Communications Officer (who shall, inter alia, advise the General Committee on matters relating to member and public communication, edit the Association's newsletter and coordinate the Association's online presence).
17 District Officers shall be a District Master, a District Secretary, an Assistant District Secretary (who shall perform the same functions for their District as the corresponding General Officers perform for the Association respectively) and three District Committee Members.
18 Only a resident ringing member or honorary life member is eligible as General Officer or District Officer. No member may be General Master for more than three consecutive years. A Resident Ringing Member is only eligible as a District Officer for the District to which they are affiliated for the time being.
19 No member may be elected to more than one General and one District post at any one time. Officers shall be elected in order of seniority. Newly elected officers come into office at the close of the meeting at which they are elected, save for a Master who comes into office immediately upon election.
20 The General Officers shall be elected annually by Ordinary Resolution at the Annual General Meeting. District Officers shall be elected annually by Ordinary Resolution at their District's Annual District Meeting. Casual vacancies among Officers may be filled by Ordinary Resolution of the relevant District Committee or, in the case of a General Officer, of the General Committee.
21 A District Committee shall consist of the District Officers for the District of whom three shall form a quorum. The General Committee shall consist of the members of all District Committees and the General Officers of whom seven shall form a quorum.
22 A Committee meeting shall be convened forthwith upon the request of any member thereof to the appropriate Secretary who shall give at least three days’ notice of such meeting to all members of that Committee. The power of the Committee is unlimited within the Rules and objects of the Association. It may delegate such power to whom it thinks fit and may revoke such power provided that any such revocation shall have no effect until received by the delegate and shall be void in so far as it purports to be of retrospective effect.
23 The General Secretary and each District Secretary shall produce accounts annually to the Independent Examiner and seek the approval thereto of a meeting of the General Committee (and of the Annual General Meeting) and of the District Committee (and the Annual District Meeting) respectively.
24 The appropriate Committee shall arrange the times, dates and venues of all meetings of the District or of the Association and shall have power to alter such arrangements save that the date of the Annual General Meeting shall be held on a Saturday in May and an Annual District Meeting shall be held by each District on a Saturday in January or February.
25 An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association or of a District shall be convened within 42 days of the receipt by the appropriate Secretary of the instruction of the appropriate Master, or of the written requests of at least 12 members (other than non‑resident members) who shall in the case of such requests in respect of a District be attached to that District.
26 No business shall be transacted at a meeting of the Association or at an Annual District Meeting unless a quorum of members entitled to vote at such meeting is present. A quorum shall be twenty in the case of a meeting of the Association and ten in the case of an Annual District Meeting.
27 The resident ringing members and/or honorary life members frequenting a particular tower shall cause their District Secretary to be told of a tower correspondent to receive postal and/or email notices of meetings. All notices will also be placed on the Association's website. Accidental omission to give any (but not all) such notices shall not invalidate the meeting concerned.
28 At least 14 clear days’ notice and 28 clear days’ notice shall be given of Annual Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings respectively.
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
29 Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the law of England and Wales and the General Committee may prepare standing orders in accordance therewith for the guidance of chairmen.
30 If the appropriate master is at any time absent from a meeting it shall forthwith proceed by Ordinary Resolution to elect a member to act as chairman in the Master's absence. Such election is to be conducted by the appropriate Secretary or other member, on a show of hands.
31 Save as otherwise provided in these Rules, a proposal for a motion must be made in writing to reach the appropriate Secretary at least 28 clear days before the meeting at which such motion is to be voted upon. All motions require a seconder before being put to the meeting. Alterations, additions or deletions to the Rules or any matter directly concerning finance (save for the adoption of the accounts) may only be effected by Special Resolution. Notwithstanding the foregoing the meeting may by Special Resolution agree to discuss and to vote upon a motion received within less than the stipulated notice.
32 All motions for the election of Vice‑Presidents, an Independent Examiner, Council Representatives and General Officers shall be proposed either orally at an Annual District Meeting or in accordance with the immediately preceding Rule. Motions for the election of District Officers shall be proposed either orally at the Nomination Meeting or in accordance with the immediately preceding Rule.
33 If no motion is proposed for the election of any member to an office (other than that of Vice‑President) the chairman of the meeting in his discretion may accept the proposal of one or more motions for the election of members to that office notwithstanding the immediately preceding Rule.
34 If the motion for the election of an officer is contested, the resolution of the meeting shall be decided by secret ballot. The chairman shall appoint such tellers to conduct the ballot as are willing to do so and who shall, if possible, not be members of the Association. A motion proposed and seconded for the election of a member to an office for which no other member has been moved shall be declared duly carried by the chairman of the meeting without voting.
35 Any other business is to be restricted to discussion and the raising and answer of queries.
36 No notice need be given of motions for the adoption of minutes, reports or accounts.
37 A peal can be recognised as having been rung for the Association provided that the majority of the band are members of the Association (eg. on 8 bells 5 ringers must be members allowing for a maximum of 3 non-members to be in the band) and the composition meets the standard accepted by the CCCBR.
38 The Association by Special Resolution may dissolve and provide for the disposal of its net assets, provided always that except when such dissolution is with a view to reconstruction or amalgamation, the Belfry Repair Fund shall be administered by the Council.
39 The Association shall maintain a library and the General Committee shall be responsible for the annual appointment of a Librarian and instructing him in the proper administration of the Library and providing for the housing and adequate insurance of the Library.
BELFRY REPAIR FUND
40 The Association shall hold a Belfry Repair Fund, to be administered by the General Committee through the Belfry Repair Fund Secretary. The Fund shall be registered as a charity. The General Committee shall have the same unrestricted power of investment of the Fund as if it were absolutely entitled thereto and when acting in good faith shall not be responsible for loss.
41 The General Committee may in its absolute discretion make a grant out of either the capital or income of the Belfry Repair Fund for or towards the cost of bells, their fittings or repairs thereto or any structural, mechanical or sound control work for the proper functioning of bells ringing full circle provided always that the bell or bells concerned are located within the County.
42 The Belfry Repair Fund Secretary shall maintain account of the Belfry Repair Fund distinguishing monies in the Fund from all other monies held in the name of the Association. Collections shall be taken for the Fund at every meeting of the Association and at every business meeting of the Districts, such monies as are collected shall be passed to the Belfry Repair Fund Secretary.
(Surrey Association Belfry Repair Fund: Registered Charity Number ‑ 260561)
Note 1: 'Written notification' is deemed to include electronic communication such as emails, but not texts
Note 2: Rule 8iii - the share of the subscriptions is currently set as 60% Association: 40% Districts.
Previous version of the rules last update: 10 May 2014
1 The title of the Association shall be "The Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers".