Membership of the Oxford Diocesan Guild
If you are a bell ringer within any of the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire, we hope that you will become a member. Membership brings several benefits, but also brings you more into the fellowship of ringers.
Types of Membership
The majority of members are Ringing Members who are eligible because they are competent to ring for Sunday services and either live in the Diocese or ring at a tower in the Diocese. They will be elected at one of the business meetings of their Branch. Subscriptions are payable for each calendar year, except for those who pay lump sum equivalent to 25 times the annual subscription who then become Life Members.
Those ringing members who have served the Guild in an exceptional way over a 30 year period may be proposed for Distinguished Membership at the general Guild AGM, not at a Branch meeting. These members still pay subscriptions, but it is a title that recognises their contribution to their Branch and the Guild. Further details and the application form can be found here if you know someone that you might like to propose.
Associate Members are those who are not eligible for ringing membership but take an active interest in the Guild or a Branch.
This type of membership is no longer open although those elected in the past retain this membership. They have full voting rights. There is no annual subscription due from these members.
Non-Resident Ringing Membership is available to those who live outside the Diocese and are typically elected prior to ringing a peal for the Guild. They have no voting rights.
Branches and the General Guild
When you become a member, you are able to participate in events both locally and wider afield throughout the Diocese. All the towers in the Diocese are allocated to one of the 15 Branches and all of the Branches have their own officers and organise activities to help their towers and ringers with training, meeting up socially and ringing. You are encouraged to take advantage of these events particularly Branch practices, the majority of which are intended for those of all abilities and skills.
The broader Guild organises a mix of training courses catering for the full range of capabilities such that for anyone able to handle a bell well will be helped in progressing to the next stage from plain hunting up to Surprise ringing. The general Guild also provides support for towers and ringing in every Branch on matters such as restoration and maintenance. It is a member of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers which is an umbrella organisation providing guidance to all ringers in the country and abroad.
By being a member, you will of course be able to participate in all the activities of the Branch and the general Guild. The Guild also automatically covers virtually all members with a personal injury insurance cover whether incurred in the tower or travelling to or from ringing.