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Bell Fund

Background

The Oxford Diocesan Bell Fund was set up by the Guild in 1974. It is a registered charity number 268390.

Public Benefit

The Fund’s objective is to raise and collect sums of money for investment in suitable charitable investments (as advised by the Diocese of Oxford Investment Advisor) and applying the income arising from the investments in or towards the repair and renewal of church bells in the Diocese of Oxford.

The Rules of the Bell Fund may be found at this link.

Governance and Management

The Bell Fund is governed by the Governing Trustees who are the members of the Guild General Committee. They usually meet once each year at the Bell Fund AGM. For ease of diary arrangements the Bell Fund AGM is usually held immediately before the March General Committee Meeting.

The Bell Fund is managed by an elected body comprising, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and 4 Managing Trustees, all whom are elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Managing Trustees generally meet twice a year, in February and September. Grant applications are considered at both of these meetings. Dates of these meetings are published in the Guild web site calendar.

Grants

Grants may only be given towards the repair, maintenance and renewal of church bells and will not be given towards the costs of augmenting the number of bells in a tower. For clarification, “bells” includes the frames and fittings and all other parts and constructions necessary for the proper functioning of the bells, but excludes day-to-day replacement of ropes, stays or sliders. “Repair, maintenance and renewal” does not include routine servicing of the bells, frame and fittings, or repairs to the tower structure.

When the Managing Trustees receive notification that on-site work has been completed, members of the ODG Towers & Belfries Sub-committee undertake inspections to verify that the works have been completed to an acceptable standard and are in accordance with the Faculty or other approval process. On receipt of a satisfactory report, arrangements are made for payment of the grant.

We may publish brief details of the work for which a grant was given, on this web site. Value of grants paid to projects is set out in the annual accounts.

The grant application rules can be downloaded at this link.

Grant Application Forms are available from the Bell Fund Treasurer. Application Forms are issued upon request and are not available to download below.

Click this link to request a grant application form.

Annual Report

The Managing Trustees publish an Annual Report each March. This records the activities of the Bell Fund in the previous year. It Identifies the new monies raised, the level of the interest earned from the investments, the current value of the investments, the grants paid, the provisional grants allocated and the issue of new Grant Application Forms. It is presented to the Governing Trustees for adoption at the Bell Fund AGM and is published in the Guild Annual Report.

Annual Reports can be seen at the links below:

Annual Report 2021

Annual Accounts

In accordance with Charity Commission Rules, independently examined accounts are published for the Bell Fund each year. They are provided to the Governing Trustees at the Bell Fund AGM and published for ODG Members to see in Odd Bob. Copies of accounts can be found at the links below:

Annual Accounts 2021.

Management Policy

For a number of years the Managing Trustees have published an annual Policy setting out how the Fund is being managed with regard to investment strategies; levels of grants; anticipated demands on the Fund and emerging external factors, which are being monitored for their effect on the function and purpose of the Fund.

The Trustees receive guidance from the Diocesan Investments Advisor on a regular basis, which guides the decisions on the investment of new monies and the realization and re-investment of capital appreciation.

The current Management Policy can be found at this link.

Fund Raising

All new money raised is used to purchase suitable charitable investments as advised by the official Diocesan Investment Advisor. Interest from the investments is used to fund the grants awarded to eligible schemes. Thus the awarding of grants does not diminish the investments and the increasing capital worth of the scheme has provided considerable protection against the fluctuating market conditions experienced of late.

The Guild has recently launched its JustGiving page which can be found at this link – https://www.justgiving.com/oxforddiocesanbellfund

Widgets can be added to branch websites like this one –

Branches can create funding campaigns under the ODG JustGiving umbrella like the Witney campaign – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/witney-bells

There are a number of sources of new monies raised each year:

  • Tower, Branch, PCC and personal donations
  • Branch Fund raising (eg EBSB stall)
  • Gift Aid tax recovered form personal donations
  • Half the Guild Peal fees
  • Service Collections
  • Donations in memory of deceased members
  • Annual Ringing Day in May
  • Leap Year Sponsored Ringing week
  • Donation from the ODG General Fund
  • Financial surplus for other Guild Activities

The most effective way for tax-payers to make a donation to the Bell Fund is through the Gift Aid scheme. This allows the income tax, which has been paid on the donation to be recovered by the charity.

Follow this link to the EBSB Fund Raising Stall.

Forms for one-off and regular forms of donations with Gift Aid statements can be found here (link required – please supply Andrew with document).

Other Fund Raising Sources

See our Funding Projects page.