Who’d have guessed when I wrote August’s edition of Chairman’s Chatter, what was going to happen… turbulent times for the nation, extremely busy times for ringers, and ringing brought even further into the public consciousness. And now we have Ring for the King, which is leading to an avalanche of learn to ring enquiries landing on our doormat, and those of local guilds and associations. In addition to forwarding these potential new ringers to local teachers, we’ve been thinking about how we can help you make the most of this opportunity. The YouTube video of choice promoting bellringing was produced by Ross Havenhand during lockdown, and is available on the ART YouTube channel. If you wish, it’s actually quite easy to produce one for your own tower using your own amusing photos.
The Ring for the King appeal is a great opportunity for bands. Being careful what I say here, it appears that it’s appealing to a certain demographic who are not always aware of the physical or training needs required to Ring for the King. We are suggesting that those who are expressing an interest should be invited to meet the band at the local practice and see what ringing is. This allows them to bow out gracefully if they realise ringing isn’t for them. No wasted time, lots of goodwill and no embarrassing conversations.
If you are wondering about how to make the most of this opportunity, we are hosting a special Ring for the King Teaching Forum on Sunday 27 November at 19.30. It's for those who want to drum up good PR in the local community and those who want to train up their new recruits so that they become valued members of the band well beyond the Coronation. The forum, hosted by Matt Lawrence, will start with a 30-minute presentation, which will be followed by discussions in small, themed breakout rooms.
Now is the time to start thinking about nominating someone for an ART Award and gathering back-up information and testimonials. Applications are invited for:
Note, that we have a new ART Award this year for the person (or people) making a significant contribution to the promotion of ringing in their local area. The judges want to understand the purpose of the activities undertaken and the impact and benefits they have had for ringing, ringers, and the local community. Promotion can be to the whole local community or be specific to particular groups, e.g. schools, scouts and guides, or local interest groups.
Next year’s ART Conference will be held on 11/12 March and is centred on Bournville Gardens in Birmingham. It will be different. There will be a strong practical element (teachers in towers, ringing bells) and it will span two days. The format change means that the conference will be smaller than before, so if you want to come, book early. More information and tickets will be available in early 2023.
The latest forum started with a 15-minute presentation by Anthea Enzor, from the Darlington Teaching Hub, in which Anthea shared her experiences of group teaching and setting up a new hub. It was followed by a very lively and interesting Q&A session, before people split into themed breakout rooms. Anthea’s presentation, along with all the previous ones, are available on the ART YouTube channel under the Teaching Forum playlist:
The six teaching forums we’ve hosted since ringing resumed have proved to be popular and wide-ranging, with the audience changing depending on the headline topic. We will be continuing with the teaching forum’s next year, so please let me know of any topics you’d like to see covered.
The University Recruitment Package launched in August, received eleven expressions of interest from university societies, of whom eight formally applied.
This is being funded using a sum of money ring-fenced for recruitment, donated by AbelSim – https://www.abelsim.co.uk. I’m glad to say that there’s money left to repeat this offer in future years.
SmART Ringer has gone through a bit of a rough time over the last months and is very fragile. Thank you for your patience whilst it has been down. It is now wrapped in cotton wool with only business critical changes allowed.
The good news is that the ART Trustees have signed off the project to completely replace SmART Ringer and work on this has started. Due to the fragility of the existing SmART Ringer, we aim to replace it as soon as possible, with what we call a minimum viable product – enough to do the basics such as adding new ringers, processing accreditations, and ordering LtR certificates – which will be stable and prevent any more time being wasted on repairing a soon-to-be-replaced system.
This first release might feel a little under-whelming, but after this we expect to be releasing new versions on a regular basis, with increased and better functionality and an improved user interface.
If you fancy being paid to teach ringing and live close to Cambridge, why not have a look at applying for the Ringing Centre Manager job at St Clement’s. It is a part-time salaried position for an experienced ringer who enjoys teaching, making presentations and managing volunteers.
The Ringing Centre, comprising a brand-new ring of six bells in the centre of Cambridge, is intended to be open to the public on weekday afternoons with displays, demonstrations, teaching and training. The successful candidate will be expected to work about 18 hours per week subject to negotiation, with a salary pro rata (FTE £30k for 40 hr/wk). The applications deadline is 28 November 2022.
We’re looking for someone who has worked in safeguarding before, as a volunteer or in paid employment and has a basic knowledge of child protection and how to handle issues. You will assist the ART Management Committee and Safeguarding Administrator, and should expect to work for about a half a day a month, plus two or three days a year to keep the ART safeguarding policies up to date. The current incumbent says he does less than that, but I don’t want to set expectations too low!
We’ve updated the ART Photography and Video policy together with the Exemplar/Model Release form and have introduced a new Under-18 Consent form. The updates are based on research into best practice in other organisations (CofE, CCCBR, IMPRESS (Press Standards) and the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) which is part of the NSPCC). The new consent form is designed using age-appropriate consent principles, and allows the person giving the consent to specify how widely images and associated personal data can be used.