[Bell Historians] Great Malvern
John H Allen
john at yQT0N5CJknhK3SDi7WhaUt9ceA9jD-CLIk7mQ8PtFL1Er_PWeHHqtu1bDDWJB3fnt9Zw2p_qPI8b3DNo1w.yahoo.invalid
Mon Mar 9 22:37:16 GMT 2009
I share David's anger but as I have already pointed out the Faculty
application was supported by all the C Of E bodes. It is the Bishop's Legal
Officer, the Chancellor who has come to the opposite view. The decision
needs to be challenged in the Court of the Arches but whether the parish has
the stomach or the funds to do this is another matter. The PCC approved in
January 2002 so it has taken 7 years to get this far.
I also notice that one of the experts who is quoted in the judgement is an
elected member of the CC's Towers and Belfries Committee.
From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com [mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of David Bryant
Sent: 09 March 2009 22:15
To: Bell Historians
Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Great Malvern
"Nowhere do I see a proper case made for keeping the frame."
Quite. Some of the supposed justification is completely ludicrous, e.g:
"It is however of historic interest ... locally for its place in the
evolution of the fittings of the medieval church building and of
bell-ringing activity at the Priory"
What complete nonsense! If this were a valid justification it could be used
as a reason for keeping absolutely anything - and the danger is that this is
exactly what will happen if it's accepted as valid in this case.
Things are only likely to get worse, and part of the problem is that there
is no recognized group of bell historians to act as an opposition party, and
the way the CofE carries on doesn't help situations like this. Granted, the
CCC didn't agree with EH on this occasion, but neither, it seems, did they
actively fight it - which they should have. The CCC has a policy on
conservation which strikes a good balance between the needs of ringers and
the requirements of conservationists, and it is in nobody's interest if EH
is allowed to go to ridiculous lengths without challenge
And here we come back to the problem of the CCC Bells committee. Any chance
of it becoming democratic and people being appointed on merit with a clear
and transparent appointments procedure? Or is it just going to continue to
operate on the basis of the CCC appointing whoever they decide? At the last
round of appointments, I had never heard of the three people appointed, they
had (so far as I know) no background in Bell history, they are not members
of this list, none of them (so far as I know) came to the conference at
Worcester Cathedral and I have heard nothing about them since. Are they
doing a good job? I've no idea given that they are not part of the general
bell historian community. It was interesting that when I asked about the
appointments procedure at the Worcester conference, the CCC representative
didn't really answer the question.
If things are to improve I think we really need a recognized society of bell
historians which is accepted as an expert witness in cases like this, or
alternatively a new (and transparent) setup at the CCC (which needs to be
accepted by EH as the principal expert body), but the chances of the latter
happening don't seem very high. Ideally someone, or better still a group,
would take the CofE on over the issue and at one time I might have had a
go - but not now. After a long-running dispute with the Diocese of York over
something else, I have nothing but contempt for the CofE and it has become
very clear that they don't consider that any of their actions should be
subject to scrutiny or question - it's still very much a Victorian
organization which thinks that people should just accept that the CofE is
always right, and always in the right. It's an attitude which doesn't bode
well for any attempts to reform the way it does things.
I wonder whether it's worth members of this list emailing EH and the Diocese
of Worcester to express views on the matter? As bell historians, we might be
expected by the uninvolved to side with EH, but rather suspect that nearly
all members of this list will think that the decision made is the wrong one.
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