Guild Constitution


The society shall be called The Chester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.


The objects of the Guild shall be:

  1. To advance the Christian Religion, in particular but not exclusively, by:

    1. promoting and fostering the ringing of bells for Christian prayer, worship and celebration;

    2. promoting and fostering the ringing of bells on occasions of national or local commemoration, celebration or mourning; and

    3. the provision, preservation, restoration and augmentation of bells and their fittings, including any which are redundant.

  2. To advance education and training in all aspects of bell ringing and maintenance.

3.  AREA

The Guild shall operate in the Diocese of Chester and such neighbouring Parishes as may be deemed desirable by the Guild and the Parishes concerned.

A tower is said to be 'in union' with the Guild if it has a ring of bells hung for full circle ringing and has at least one fully paid up member of the Guild in its ringers.


The Guild shall consist of:

  1. Vice Presidents

  2. Honorary Life Members

  3. Associate Members

  4. Members

  5. Non Resident Life Members


  1. The Bishop of Chester shall be ex-officio President, the Suffragan Bishops, the Archdeacons of the Diocese and the Dean of Chester shall be ex-officio Vice Presidents.

  2. The Clergy at churches which have bells shall be ex-officio Associate Members.


  1. The Annual General Meeting shall have the power to elect Vice Presidents and Honorary Life Members.

  2. Members may be admitted to the Guild at any Branch Meeting.

  3. Members may also be elected by two resident members of the Guild before starting a peal, providing that the appropriate subscription be paid at the time. Such elections shall be ratified at a Guild or Branch meeting. (1995)


An Annual General Meeting shall be held for the purpose of :

  1. Electing Officers for the ensuing year.

  2. Receiving a Report of the activities of the previous year.

  3. Receiving and adopting the Accounts and fixing the subscriptions and peal booking fee for the ensuing year.

  4. Transacting any other business approved by the Executive Committee.

  5. Transacting any urgent business as may be deemed desirable by the Master.

  6. Taking part in united worship and practice in Change Ringing.


These shall be called at any time by the Secretary at the request of two or more officers, or of ten members.


  1. The Officers of the Guild shall be :

    1. The Master

    2. The Secretary

    3. The Treasurer

    4. The Report Secretary

    5. The Peal Recorder

    6. The Central Council Representatives

    7. The Bell Restoration Officer

    8. The Press Officer

    9. The Librarian

    10. The Webmaster

  2. The Master shall be a person skilled in the art of Change Ringing and capable of forwarding the cause of Change Ringing in the Diocese.

  3. The Officers shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting, with the exception of the Central Council Representatives who shall hold office for the duration of the Council triennial period, or part thereof.

  4. The Master shall not be eligible for immediate re-election after serving for three consecutive years in that office.


The government of the Guild shall be vested in the Executive Committee which shall consist of :

  1. The Officers

  2. The Branch Secretaries and two representatives appointed by each Branch

  3. The Ringing Master of Chester Cathedral.


The Trustees are the Master, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Bell Restoration Officer.


    1. The Master shall take the Chair. In the absence of the Master the meeting shall appoint its own Chairman.

    2. Eight persons shall form a quorum, provided that representatives from at least four branches are present.


The Guild shall be affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, and shall abide by its rules and decisions.


For the more effectual advancement of the objects of the Guild, local Branches shall be formed as opportunity offers and as the Executive Committee shall deem advisable. They shall be administered as hereafter provided.


The Constitution may be amended by a two thirds majority of members present and voting at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting called for this purpose.


  1. If the members resolve to dissolve the Guild, the trustees will remain in office as charity trustees and be responsible for winding up the affairs of the charity in accordance with this clause.

  2. The trustees must collect in all the assets of the Guild and must pay or make provision for all the liabilities of the Guild.

  3. The trustees must apply any remaining property or money

    1. directly for the objects;

    2. by transfer to any charity or charities for purposes the same as or similar to the Guild;

    3. in such other manner as the Charity Commission for England and Wales (“the Commission”) may approve in writing in advance.

  4. Before, or at the same time as the resolution to dissolve the Guild, the members may pass a resolution specifying the manner in which the trustees are to apply the remaining property or assets of the Guild. The trustees must comply with this further resolution if it is consistent with paragraphs 1 to 3 inclusive in sub-clause c above.

  5. In no circumstances shall the net assets of the Guild be paid to or distributed among the members of the Guild (except to a member that is itself a charity).

  6. The trustees must notify the Commission promptly that the Guild has been dissolved. If the trustees are obliged to send the Guild’s accounts to the Commission for the accounting period which ended before its dissolution, they must also send the Commission the Guild’s final accounts.

(NB Constitution amended to include changes agreed at EGM of 14th July 2012)