Central Council of Church Bell ringers: Workshops:

Sunday 8th September 2019

It was impossible to get to all the Workshops due to overlapping times but the following contains information from three of them.

Volunteering & Leadership Workshop

“When you take hold of a Rope, you don’t know how it will take over your life”

The main aim of this session was to elicit what help Guilds and Societies needed from this Group to help them mobilise ringers, by developing teams, enhancing knowledge, giving guidance and materials where needed, and promoting life-long learning.

They are very much concerned by the age profile of many belfries and the need to recruit and retain younger ringers, and to help them develop/take over Leadership roles.

They are looking at encouraging more Regional Youth Festivals, a Youth Conference in York in 2020 and the possibility of an International Young Ringers’ Organisation.

Ringing centres were discussed: it was stated that these did not have to contain the all-singing, all-dancing Technological Aids but were towers of Good Practice offering outreach to others on a regular basis with planned programmes.

I have ordered a copy of ‘Training Times 13’ (didn’t know Training Times 1-12 even existed!) for information.

Insurance: Presentation by Marcus Booth, Ecclesiastical Insurance: Church Underwriting Manager – and a Bell Ringer!

This was by far the most intense workshop but offered to clarify many of the myths and legends surrounding Church and Guild insurances.

  1. Ecclesiastical Insurance is owned by a Charitable Trust – ‘All Churches Trust Ltd.’ All profits are distributed to Parishes on a Grant basis and £120 million has been donated since 2014!
  2. http:www.ecclesiastical.com/documents/bell-ringing-guidance.pdf will give you templates for documents on H & S, Risk Assessment, Fire Risk Assessment
  3. Their Standard Policy – ‘Parish Plus’ (Most Church PCC s have this) covers the following 
    1. Physical damage to buildings through fire, storm, theft
    2. Loss of Income following physical damage
    3. Loss of money or goods in transit
    4. Liability for all Clergy, Employees and Authorised Volunteers – the Bell ringers come under the latter category
    5. Liability for all third parties and visitors – this latter category includes visiting ringers whether ad hoc or by arrangement but must have satisfied the Ringing Master of their capability to ring.
    6. Trustee Indemnity
    7. Personal Accidents – providing the equipment etc. that caused the accident has been well maintained.
    8. Legal Expenses
    9. Anything ‘In Connection’ with your usual activities
      These are all subject to the Policy Conditions that reasonable care has been taken on maintenance that reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent damage, and that reasonable care has been exercised for regulations to be observed.
  4. Is Bell Ringing a dangerous occupation? YES!
    Do we need to ensure the Church has Insurance Cover? YES
  5. Church & Cathedral Bell Ringers – Employers’ Liability
    1. Accidental injury of Employers or Volunteers where there is proven negligence:
      (i) Slips, trips, due to poor general maintenance
    2. Anyone approved by Vicar or PCC is an ‘Authorised Volunteer’. This covers
      1. Resident band
      2. Visiting Ringers whether on Sunday or Practice Night
      3. Visiting Ringers invited for a specific event
      4. Tower Tours – members of the public
      5. Any person performing maintenance e.g. clock winding, cleaning etc.
  6. Personal Accident Cover
    1. If you are engaged on a Church Activity. However these are age defined – at the moment 3 years to 80 years (the latter may be reviewed soon)
    2. Benefit is paid to PCC not individuals (You might have to put in a liability claim to receive compensation)
    3. The C of E Safeguarding Policy and the CCCBR policy on Safeguarding must be adhered to.
  7. Guild Insurance Guilds are only insured for events organised by the Guild itself or its Districts e.g. a BBQ that takes place outside the confines of a Church and therefore not covered by the Church Insurance. The cover is restricted to MEMBERS only.
  8. FAQs
    1. Are you insured when you ring on holiday? Yes, because you become an ‘Authorised Volunteer’ if the Tower captain has vetted your capability.
    2. Are you covered on an organised tower outing? Yes, as you are ‘Church Organised’ you are covered by your own Church’s policy. Your Vicar or PCC has in effect accepted the liability for the visits.
    3. Are you covered at a Branch Practice? Yes, because you become an ‘Authorised Volunteer’ if the Tower captain has vetted your capability.
    4. Are you covered for peals and quarter peals? Yes, because you become an ‘Authorised Volunteer’ if the Tower captain has vetted your capability
  9. How can you help Yourselves?
    1. Keep accurate records – timed and dated – of any incidents that occur in your tower.
    2. Ensure there are regular Inspections of your bells and fittings and that there is regular Maintenance. Keep a log of date and time of the above.
    3. Keep a Record of any accidents.
    4. Review Risk Assessment at least once a year at the Tower AGM or after an accident.
    5. Report any incidents that result in damage even if a claim is not made.