Association Rules

1. Interpretation: In these rules:

1.1. 'The Association' means 'The North Wales Association of Church Bell Ringers'.

1.2. 'The Bell Restoration Fund' means 'The North Wales Association of Church Bell Ringers Restoration Fund'.

1.3. Words expressed in any gender shall, where the context so requires or permits, include any other gender.

1.4. Words expressed in the singular shall, where the context so requires or permits, include the plural.

1.5. References to a 'Member' shall, unless the context otherwise requires, refer to a 'Member of the Association' of any class of membership.

1.6. References to a 'Branch' shall mean a 'Branch of the Association'.

2. Name: The name of the Association is: 'The North Wales Association of Church Bell Ringers'.

3. Objects: The objects of the Association are:

3.1. To promote ringing for Divine Service and to secure recognition of bell ringers as church workers.

3.2. To advance the art and skill of church bell ringing within its area by encouraging the recruitment of new ringers and by the training of new and existing ringers.

3.3. To encourage the authorities of each church having bells to:
a) support its ringers and to take an active interest in the ringing of its bells.
b) Maintain its bells and ringing rooms in a proper state of repair and condition.

4. Area and Branches:

4.1. The Association's objects shall be carried out within the Dioceses of St Asaph and Bangor, either directly or through its Branches.

4.2. The Branches of the Association, and the churches within those branches, are:

East Clwyd Branch
Buckley, Flint, Halkyn, Hawarden, Mold, Northop

Gwynedd & West Clwyd Branch
Abergele, Barmouth, Beaumaris, Bodelwyddan, Clynnog Fawr, Denbigh, Dolgellau, Llanbedrog, Llandegai, Llandudno, Llangefni, Porthmadog, Prestatyn, Rhuddlan, Rhyl, Ruthin

Montgomeryshire Branch
Berriew, Forden, Guilsfield, Llandinam, Llandyssil, Llanfyllin, Welshpool, Llanidloes, Llansilin, Machynlleth, Montgomery

Wrexham Branch
Bangor-is-y-Coed, Bettisfield, Chirk, Gresford, Hanmer, Holt, Hope, Llandrillo, Llangollen, Overton on Dee, Ruabon, Worthenbury, Wrexham

5. Members There are two classes of Members.

5.1. Voting members elected in accordance with Rule 6 shall comprise of: a) Ringing Members: Bell ringers over 18 who are resident within or are ringing members of a church within the Dioceses of St Asaph and Bangor. b) Student Ringing Members: Bell ringers of any age who are resident within or are ringing members of a church within the Dioceses of St Asaph and Bangor and who are in full-time education or training. c) Honorary Members: Former Ringing Members who by meritorious service to the Association or to their own Branch are so elected by the Association Voting Members.

5.2. Non-voting Members elected in accordance with Rule 6 shall comprise of: a) Patrons: The Bishops of the Dioceses of St Asaph and of Bangor and all incumbents of churches having bells within those Dioceses. b) Non-resident Life Members: Bell ringers who are not resident within nor are ringing members of a church within the Dioceses of St Asaph and of Bangor. c) Associate Members: Non-ringers having an interest in the objects and activities of the Association.

5.3. Each Member (unless a Patron or Non-resident Life Member) must be a member of a Branch of the Association. Membership of a Branch automatically confers membership (of the same membership class) of the Association.

5.4. Ringing Members who leave the area are automatically transferred to Non-resident Life Membership.

6. Membership:

6.1. Voting Members and Associate Members shall be elected to membership at any general meeting of a Branch or of the Association. The candidate for election must be proposed and seconded by Voting Members and the proposition passed by a majority of Voting Members present.

6.2. A Ringing Member or a Non-resident Life Member may in cases of emergency be elected otherwise than at a general meeting of a Branch or of the Association. He must be proposed and seconded by Voting Members and pay the full subscription due. a) If elected a Ringing Member, his membership must then be notified, and his subscription paid, to the Secretary of the Branch in which the Member was proposed for membership. b) If elected a Non-resident Life Member, his membership must then be notified to the Secretary of the Association and his subscription paid to the Treasurer of the Association.

6.3. If a Member is elected to membership at a general meeting of the Association he must (unless a Non-resident Life Member) at the same time join a Branch and details of his election shall be provided by the Secretary to the Secretary of that Branch.

6.4. Patrons are automatically members of the Association. A Patron shall cease to be a Member upon his ceasing to hold the office giving rise to his membership.

6.5. An Honorary Member shall only be elected to membership at a general meeting of the Association. He must be proposed and seconded by Voting Members and the proposition passed by a majority of Voting Members present.

6.6. A Member shall cease to be a Member:
a) if he gives to the Secretary of his Branch written notice of his resignation of his membership.
b) if he fails to pay his annual subscription for two consecutive years.
c) if the Member, having committed some act or been found guilty of behaviour inconsistent with membership of the Association, the Association, in general meeting, resolves on the motion of the Association Committee to remove him from membership.

6.7. The Secretary of each Branch shall keep a register of the names of all persons who become Members and of those whose membership has ceased. He shall provide details of Branch membership to the Association Secretary when requested to do so.

7. Subscriptions and Finances:

7.1. Subscriptions shall be for the Calendar Year and shall, therefore, be due on 1 January annually. The amount of the subscription for the year shall be set at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association in the preceding year, where the recommendation of the Association Treasurer will be placed before members for consideration. Subscription monies shall be allocated as follows: 50% to the Association General Fund 50% to the Bell Restoration Fund Individual Branches may raise funds as they see fit to cover their own running costs. At the last Management Committee meeting of each year the Association Treasurer shall present to the Committee an assessment of the future financial needs of the Association with a view, if appropriate, to transfer any further surplus funds from the General Account to the Bell Restoration Fund.

7.2. No subscription shall be payable by Patrons or Honorary Members.

7.3. Non-resident Life Members shall pay a single subscription which entitles them to life membership.

7.4. Branch Treasurers shall collect members' subscriptions as quickly as practicable as from 1 January each year and shall use their best endeavours to have these remitted to the Association Treasurer by 31 March of that year. A list of members who have paid/renewed their subscription shall accompany this remittance and this list shall be copied to the Association Secretary, the Gift Aid Secretary and the Report Secretary.

7.5. Peal Fees for the year (or other period) ending with the next following Annual General Meeting shall be determined by the Association at its AGM.

8. Officers:

8.1. Association Officers:
a) The Honorary Officers shall be Voting Members of the Association and shall be: The President The Ringing Master The Deputy Ringing Master The Secretary The Treasurer The Report Secretary The Peal Secretary The Bell Advisor The Training Coordinator
b) The Officers of the Association shall retire at the end of each Annual General Meeting of the Association but shall be eligible for re-election at that meeting.
c) The Bishops of Bangor and of St. Asaph shall be invited to be Presidents of the Association and they will be invited to chair any general meetings of the Association that they attend.

8.2. Branch Officers:

a) The Honorary Officers shall be Voting Members/Honorary Members of the Association and shall be: The Ringing Master The Secretary The Treasurer
b) The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined if the Branch so resolves at its Annual General Meeting. c) The officers of each Branch shall retire at the end of each Annual General Meeting of that Branch but shall be eligible for re-election at that meeting. d) No business shall be conducted by a Branch except in General Meetings.

9. The Association Committee

9.1. The Association Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Association, two representatives (who shall be Voting Members) of, and appointed by, each Branch and any Members who represent the Association on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

9.2. The Association Committee shall manage all the affairs of the Association and shall have power to do everything for that purpose.

9.3. The Association Committee shall meet not less frequently than twice yearly. The Ringing Master (or the Deputy in his absence) shall chair the meeting.

9.4. The quorum shall be five, of which not fewer than two shall be Officers of the Association.

9.5. Not less than three days' written or oral notice shall be given by the Secretary to the Members of the Association Committee of any meeting but, in an emergency, at the discretion of the Ringing Master (or the Deputy in his absence) and the Secretary, additional meetings may be called on 24 hours' notice.

9.6. Decisions at meetings of the Association Committee shall be made by a simple majority and in the event of equality of voting the Ringing Master (or the Deputy in his absence) shall have a casting vote.

9.7. Any casual vacancy on the Committee or of any office (including that of auditor) arising between Annual General Meetings may be filled by the Committee.

10. Association Annual General Meeting:

10.1. An Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held in March. Successive meeting shall be hald in each Branch by rotation at a venue to be selected by the Branch hosting the meeting.

10.2. The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be: a) to receive and consider the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting. b) to receive and consider : the accounts for the preceding financial year; the auditor's/independent examiner's report on the accounts; the Treasurer's report on the financial position of the Association. c) to receive and consider reports of the activities of the Association during the preceding year. d) to elect Officers. e) to remove and elect the auditors/independent examiners of the Association. f) subject to the rules of the Bell Restoration Fund to remove and elect the auditor/independent examiners of the Bell Restoration Fund. g) if and when necessary, to appoint Members to represent the Association on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, such representatives normally to serve for the three years of the Council but to be eligible for re-appointment. h) to fix the Subscription for the following calendar year. i) to fix the Peal Fees for the year (or other period) ending with the next following Annual General Meeting.

10.3. The Secretary must give Members not less than 21 days' notice of the meeting. Notice will be deemed to have been properly given if not less than 21 days' written notice is given to the Secretary of each Branch.

10.4. A collection shall be taken for the Bell Restoration Fund and the amount collected announced and recorded in the minutes of that meeting.

11. Association Ordinary General Meeting:

11.1. An Ordinary General Meeting of the Association may be convened at any time upon a resolution of the Association Committee.

11.2.The Secretary must give the Members not less than 21 days' notice of the meeting.

12. Association Extraordinary General Meeting:

12.1. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association may be convened at any time upon either a resolution of the Association Committee or a requisition setting out the resolution or resolutions to be proposed at it. The requisition must be signed by not fewer than six Voting Members and served on the Secretary personally or by Recorded Delivery Post.

12.2. The Secretary must give the Members not less than 21 days' notice of the meeting. Notice of the meeting must be given within 14 days of service of the requisition, failing which any of the requisitioners may do so. Notice will be deemed to have been properly given if not less than 21 days' written notice is given to the Secretary of each Branch.

12.3. The business which may be conducted at an Extraordinary General Meeting may be any one or more of:

a) removing all or any of the Officers of the Association or the auditors/independent examiners and filling any vacancy caused by such removal.
b) altering these rules.
c) increasing or decreasing the number of Branches or appointing that a church shall fall within a different Branch.
d) dissolving the association.

13. Branch Meetings:

13.1. General Meetings:

a) Each Branch shall hold a general meeting so often as its officers appoint.
b) Not less than three days written or oral notice shall be given by the Secretary to the Members of the Branch by notice given to each tower within the Branch. In an emergency, at the discretion of the Branch Ringing Master and the Secretary, a meeting may be called on 24 hours' notice.
c) The quorum shall be five.
d) Decisions at General Meetings of the Branch shall be made by a simple majority and in the event of equality of voting the Ringing Master shall have a casting vote.

13.2. Annual General Meeting Each Branch shall hold an Annual General Meeting and the business shall be:

a) to receive and consider the minutes of the previous AGM.
b) to receive the Branch Ringing Master's report on the activities of the Branch during the preceding year.
c) to receive and consider:
   i. the accounts for the preceding financial year;
   ii. the Treasurer's report on the financial position of the Branch.
d) to elect officers.

14. Accounts, Income and Property:

14.1. Association:

a) The Financial Year of the Association shall end on 31 December, to which day the Association Accounts shall be balanced and drawn.

b) As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, there shall be prepared a statement of the assets and liabilities of the Association at the end of the financial year and a statement of its income and expenditure during the year, which statements shall be audited by the auditor/independent examiner.

c) Copies of the audited statement of accounts shall be sent to every Branch Secretary with the notice convening the Annual General Meeting.

d) The auditor/independent examiner shall be a member of the Association appointed at the Annual General Meeting but if the meeting so resolves, he shall be a Registered Auditor who is not a Member of the Association.

e) All moneys received by the Association shall be paid into an account in the name of the Association at a bank or building society appointed by the Committee. Cheques and other instruments drawn on and directions to the bank shall be signed by not fewer than two officers.

f) No action involving expenditure in the name of or on behalf of the Association shall be taken and no undertakings which would commit the Association to expenditure or other liability shall be made without the prior authority of a resolution of the Committee.

14.2. Branch:

a) The financial year of every Branch shall end on 31 December, to which day the Branch Accounts shall be balanced and drawn.

b) As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, there shall be prepared a statement of the assets and liabilities of the Branch at the end of the financial year and a statement of its income and expenditure during the year. Those statements shall be presented to the Annual General Meeting of the Branch for adoption.

c) A copy of those statements shall be sent to the Association Treasurer within 14 days after the Annual General Meeting at which those statements have been adopted.

d) All Moneys received by the Branch shall be paid into an account in the name of the Branch at a bank or building society appointed by the Branch in General Meeting. Cheques and other instruments drawn on and directions to the bank shall be signed by not fewer than two members of the Branch.

e) No action involving expenditure in the name of or on behalf of the Branch shall be taken and no undertakings which would commit the Branch to expenditure or other liability shall be made without the prior authority of a resolution of the Branch in general meeting.

15. Peals

15.1. Peals rung in the name of the Association must be rung by Members (which, for the avoidance of doubt, may include Ringing Members or Non-resident Life Members elected to membership immediately prior to the Peal).

15.2. Each ringer must pay the Peal Fee.

15.3. Details of the peal must be sent, with the fees collected, to the Peal Secretary who will record the peal in the Peal Book and send the Peal Fee to the Association Treasurer.

15.4. The Peal Secretary shall report from time to time to the Association as to peals recorded and will, if so required by the Committee, publish a report for which the Association may charge.

16. Bell Restoration Fund:

16.1. Subject to the Rules of the Bell Restoration Fund, the Ringing Master, Deputy Ringing Master, Secretary, Treasurer, Bell Advisor and one appointee of each Branch are the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund.

16.2. The Bell Restoration Fund is a separate entity from the Association and is subject to its own Rules. The Association has no power to bind the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund.

17. Indemnity The members of the Committee shall not be liable (other than as Members) for any loss suffered by the Association as a result of the discharge of their respective duties on its behalf, except such loss as arises from their respective wilful default, and they shall be entitled to an indemnity out of the assets of the Association for all expenses and other liabilities reasonably incurred by them in the discharge of their respective duties.

18. Dissolution

18.1. The Association may be dissolved: i. by a resolution passed under Rule 11. ii. by a resolution of the Committee if the number of Members is less than ten for a period of not less than six months.

18.2. The dissolution shall take effect from the day when the resolution is passed and the Committee shall be responsible for the winding up of the assets and liabilities of the Association.  

18.3. If any property remains after the discharge of all debts and liabilities of the Association it shall be paid to the North Wales Association Bell Restoration Fund.

19. Rules. No alteration, deletion or addition, to these rules shall be made except at an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting. Notice of any proposed change shall be promulgated to all branch secretaries and the management committee at least one calendar month before said meeting. The current annual membership fees are £5.00 for Adults and £2.50 for Student members. The subscription for Non-resident Life Members is £2.00 and the Peal Fee is £2.00 per rope.