Letter to CCC

Andrew Wilby andrew at w...
Sun Apr 4 17:05:47 BST 2004

If I were to write to the CCC at the moment I think it would be along these lines.......

Dear CCC

Well you do seem to have stirred up a lot of hostile feeling towards yourselves! I doubt that you intended it but then perhaps learning from the history of your own committee is not one of your strengths, I refer of course to the eruption and rather heated debate that eventually led to the agreement enshrined in the current Code of Practice.

The 1993 Code is a joint document that carries the endorsement of your partners being English Heritage, The Central Council of Church Bellringers and the Bell trade as you know. That being so you needed to proceed carefully and respectfully towards your partners if you considered that the Code needed revision. Rather than announcing and presenting your revision it would have been astute and courteous of you to consult your partners as to why you believed the Code needed changing and then to agree with them the objectives of the revision and a process. That is the way that partnership and collaboration works in this world.

The Church of England of which you are an agency is of course about the past... but it is primarily about the present and the future. There is a old and well used quotation which is quite relevant to the mission of the church: 
" honour the past, enhance the present, construct the future."

It is very easy for all of us to fall into the trap of limiting our perspectives to but one of the three. The past is actually the easiest to deal with, the present can take a lot of hard and unrewarded effort and I am sure that the Committee are very much concerned with managing present policy as well as they can. The future is always difficult. Forward vision is not such a common talent in the population but it is very pertinent to the current debate.

I would urge you to take a step back and engage constructively with your partners. Whether intended or not, your approach so far has been taken as somewhat hostile and the fault and remedy can lie nowhere else. 
The future of the Bell trade does matter and the opportunity for future generations to improve on our handiwork is very important . Finding the right balance in the present is a challenge in which we all have a responsibility, but it is a mutual one, and other perspectives have to be respected.

This time around we could do without hostility, threats to produce an alternative Code or to take the matter to General Synod. However it is you at the CCC that have taken the initiative and how we proceed from here is very much down to you.

Please delight us by your future leadership in this matter.


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