First posted: 15 September 2017

CCCBR President's call for volunteers for CCCBR reform workgroups

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I last wrote in late August, reporting on progress with reform and renewal of our central ringing organisation. I am now writing to give a further progress report, and to call for volunteers as Workgroup Leaders or helpers. All ringers are invited to volunteer, which can be either self-nominations or the nomination of someone else (in which case it requires their consent). Full details, and a link to the online form, are given below.

By way of a brief reminder, the Council Review and Action Group (CRAG) was set up following a vote at the Central Council’s meeting in 2016. Its recommendations were brought to the Council’s annual meeting in May 2017.  The full CRAG report, including its scope, methodology and proposals, can be found here:

The story so far

In the CRAG final report, Appendix Q proposed an indicative timeline for activities surrounding the reorganisation of CCCBR. Here is a taste of key actions from that timeline:

CRAG reference Element Indicative timeline Status
A ii Develop and publish draft 5-year strategy for consultation September – November 2017 Commenced
B vi Make appointments to Executive June – November 2017 Completed
C Confirm workgroup configurations and responsible Executives June – August 2017 Commenced
C i Recruit Workgroup Leaders September – December 2017 NOW OPEN!
E i Develop service offering for direct membership June 2017 – May 2018 Commenced
F ii Scope out creation of employed professional support group June 2017 – May 2018 To start
G Appoint neutral ringer to undertake Decisions replacement June – August 2017 Completed
H Recruit Rules redesign group June – August 2017 Completed

Having reported on appointments to the Executive (in my message of August 2017), I am now inviting expressions of interest for leadership and helper roles on "workgroups".

What are Workgroups?

Recommendation C of CRAG’s final report is introduced as follows – "The new Executive will, by November 2017, realign the current committees into a significantly reduced number (single figures) of Workgroups, each led by an individual Workgroup Leader." The CRAG report describes this concept at length. Although it may appear that this realignment is merely an aggregation of CCCBR’s existing Committees, the concept is much bolder than that. Workgroups are the way that the CCCBR will deliver its plans. While they will of course continue some of the work of the former committees their priorities will be determined by the overall strategy of the CCCBR and what is necessary to strengthen and refresh ringing. Workgroups and their leaders will work closely with the executive, other workgroups and people from outside the CCCBR for a healthy future for ringing.

The CRAG report proposed a set of workgroups that require skilled, charismatic and hands-on leaders and helpers. These are as follows:

  • Volunteer and Leadership Development (working with David Smith and Alison Everett)
  • Tower Stewardship and Management (working with David Kirkcaldy and Ernie de Legh-Runciman)
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Historical and Archive
  • Direct membership channel (helpers working with Phillip Barnes)

There is one other workgroup for which a leader has already been identified, and this will be announced in due course.

How to get involved

The online form will be open until Friday 29th September.

I should clarify that those who responded in Phase I are still very much in the mix, and don’t need to re-submit. Furthermore, existing Central Council Representatives are particularly encouraged to put their names forward to assist with these new structures.

Do please think carefully about what you can do for ringing, and volunteer for one (or more) of these roles. This is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference. To give something back to ringing. To build and secure a bright future for ringing.

Christopher O’Mahony
President, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

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