CCC and ringers' accountability

Arcubus markregan at a...
Sat May 15 13:14:35 BST 2004

I've just sent this to the RW. There's lots in common between what's
been happening at Bedford (and elsewhere) and the concerns many share
about the CAC and DAC advisors. Please let me have your views. I know
this is controversial. I'd much rather people say what they think…

"Responsibility and accountability
John Long's and James Saunders' letters would be fun if the reality were
not so serious. The weight of evidence and opinion published on recent
letters pages are a damning summary of affairs at St Paul's Bedford. I
used to think that any ringing was better than no ringing at all. Now I
think that some towers should be silent.
Then Keith Fleming and Andrew Middlicott raise a similar issue - that of
unelected and unaccountable ringers. Surely all those who hold office
should be elected or ratified by their local ringing community and the
church authorities? What's wrong with this? If you are responsible for
looking after ringing then you must be accountable too. 
It gets worse. The bells sub-committee of the Council for the Care of
Churches (CCC) is a body which has some importance. I asked the CCC what
the criteria and competencies for appointment to this group are, and how
the chairman was appointed and for how long. No explanation from the
CCC. Then I asked if the CCC bell meetings were open to interested
parties to witness (like Parliament and Synod). I was told the meetings
were private. Why? We're only talking about bells and old bits of wood
and metal here after all.
I'm all for achieving best practice in how we run our towers and if
you're elected by your ringers and supported by your church, you are a
much stronger leader. It's amazing what you can do with the support of a
PCC or Chapter. It's hard to expect high standards from a volunteer
community yet it is clear that in many cases towers are run by those who
aren't competent or who appoint themselves without due democratic
process. Appointment to many of ringing's advisory roles is a complete
mystery to me. I have no issue with some of the CCC members or many of
my DAC colleagues. I just think that this should be an open and
democratic process based on selection by suitability, ability and
experience. I was appointed to advise the Hereford DAC openly and I want
my performance to be reviewed annually and open to all for scrutiny.
Whether you run a tower or hold an advisory position you should be
publicly accountable. Isn't this what the Americans call a "no-brainer"?


Mark Regan
64 London Road
0797 1573688 

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