[Bell Historians] Tower Classification requrred

'Chris Frye' Chris@frye.org.uk [bellhistorians] bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Thu Apr 14 12:22:24 BST 2016

> Alan Buswell: " secular towers...Dunkeld Cathedral is In Trust".

This topic was discussed on the Change Ringers list within the past 6 months or so. It would be worth getting hold of the records. My final suggestion was that we should do away with the category "secular" (applied to 19 towers and a hangover from "printed Doves") and fit the towers listed into the other categories or new ones if needed.

Dunkeld Cathedral is an interesting example of the complexity of the subject. The Dove field for "Diocese" does indeed show Dunkeld Cathedral as being "Trust (non CCT)". That is correct because the bells, the tower and the ruined nave are owned by Historic Environment Scotland (the newly renamed Historic Scotland). However the bells are rung by a band of ringers associated with the parish of Dunkeld Cathedral, whose congregation is part of the Church of Scotland, which owns the choir of the Cathedral. Hence for some purposes, such as perhaps recording of quarter peals, it would have to be concluded that Dunkeld Cathedral should not be classed as "secular". The bells are rung for the same purposes as any other active church or cathedral.

The notes on "searching" in Dove (listed under help on the Dove home page) make it clear that the "Diocese" field is concerned with "ownership". It says that "the 'non religious' categories are admittedly somewhat arbitrary".

> Alan Buswell: "Oxford towers...all in private ownership and therefore Secular."

Does being "secular" follow from "private ownership"? I have looked at a few definitions of these terms and I am not convinced. One definition for secular is "not connected with religious or spiritual matters". The last time I was in the Chapel of Merton College (last July) it did not appear to be at all "secular" to me.  In the case of Oxford Colleges, these are charities and it is easy to find details of "ownership". The most recent Annual Report for Merton College says "The College is governed by its Statutes approved by Privy Council and dated 15 July, 2015... The Governing Body is constituted and regulated in accordance with the College Statutes, the terms of which are enforceable ultimately by the Visitor, who is the Archbishop of Canterbury." 

These points drafted about an hour ago, so apologies for overlap with other responses. 

Chris Frye.



Posted by: "Chris Frye" <chris at frye.org.uk>


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