Association Constitution

Updated by Committee September 2023 and ratified by AGM in November 2023


  1. Name and Object
  2. Structure and Government
  3. Annual General Meeting
  4. Duties
  5. General
  6. Appendices
    1. Six Areas
    2. Glossary of terms
    3. Parishes by Areas

1. Name and Object

  1. That this society shall be called the Devon Association of Ringers (hereinafter the Association).
  2. That the object of the Association shall be to cultivate and encourage the vernacular traditional art of Devon Call Change Ringing.
  3. That the Association shall aim to achieve its object by:
    1. assisting with the recruitment of and providing appropriate training for ringers;
    2. encouraging ringing for divine service;
    3. holding Annual Festivals, which shall include the following competitions: Six Bell Novice, Six Bell Area North and South qualifying rounds with parishes being divided according to the Six Areas. Six Bell Minor and Major Finals. One Eight Bell competition. The rules and conditions for the competitions are contained in a separate Association document
    4. forming positive working relationships with other ringing organisations especially locally;
    5. actively supporting the work of the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund (Registered Charity No 276490).

2. Structure and Government

  1. The Association shall consist of ringers of towers affiliated to the Association, the aforementioned ringers being regarded as de facto members of the Association. The names of ringers considered to be members of an affiliated tower shall be listed and presented at the point of affiliation.
  2. The management of the Association shall be vested in a committee that is elected by members at the Association Annual General Meeting.
  3. The Committee shall meet at least twice a year to conduct the general business of the Association, the quorum being one third of the Committee membership.
  4. The Committee, including all officers, excepting the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund Trustees, shall be elected individually at an Annual General Meeting to serve for a triennium. Devon Church Bell Restoration Trustees shall be elected annually in accordance with DCBRF rules.
  5. The Committee shall comprise:
    1. the following officers who shall be ex officio members of the Committee – Hon Secretary, Hon Treasurer, Competition Secretary North, Competition Secretary South, Training Officer, Fund Raising Officer, Publicity Officer, Safeguarding Officer, Webmaster and Guild of Devonshire Ringers Liaison Officer.
    2. Two representatives on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and five representatives on the Devon Ringers Council: any of whom may or may not also serve as Deanery Representatives on the Committee.
    3. Three Association Trustees on the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund Committee.
    4. Two representatives from each Area with vacancies remaining until a ringer from that area comes forward.
    5. A Chairman and Vice-Chairman, both of whom shall be elected from representatives on the Committee included in 2.v.b and 2.v.d above: one from the Northern group of Areas and one from the Southern group of Areas, the offices alternating between the North and South areas. It shall be considered desirable that the Vice-Chairman succeeds the Chairman at the end of a triennium, commencing at an Annual General Meeting.
  6. During the course of a triennium, the Committee shall have the power to co-opt from the membership specifically to fill any vacant posts on the Committee, co-opted members being ratified at the following Annual General Meeting.
  7. The following officers, no two of whom may be members of the same tower, shall form the Executive Committee of the Association, with powers to make decisions in times of exceptional circumstances; Hon Secretary, Competition Secretaries, Hon Treasurer, Chairman and Vice‐Chairman. The quorum for the Executive Committee shall be three.
  8. A president shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (as President elect), from and by the membership of the Association a year before serving as President. The Office of President shall be held alternately by members from the North and South Areas. The President may attend Committee meetings at his/her own discretion.

3. Annual General Meeting

  1. The Association will normally hold its Annual General Meeting on the second Saturday on November.
  2. An attendance book shall be circulated and signed by all present.
  3. The Quorum of the Annual General Meeting shall be representatives of ONE THIRD of the number of affiliated towers.
  4. If the AGM is not quorate the meeting will go ahead. The minutes will be circulated to all affiliated towers by email and attached to the Association website. The business transacted will be considered to be acceptable to all members unless any individual raises any issue in writing to the Hon Secretary, within two weeks of minutes being circulated. This will then be considered by the Committee and a response issued.
  5. All members of affiliated towers being regarded as de facto members of the Association shall be entitled to speak at the Annual General Meeting.
  6. Towers chosen by the Committee will be ratified at the Annual General Meeting.
  7. Additional votes taken at the Annual General Meeting will be undertaken on an individual basis.
  8. At the Annual General Meeting:
    1. The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting and Committee meetings shall be presented by the Hon Secretary, having been circulated to the membership at least 14 days prior to that Annual General Meeting.
    2. An Annual Report shall be presented by the Hon Secretary;
    3. The Independently Examined Accounts of the Association for the preceding year shall be presented by the Hon Treasurer, together with a report thereon;
    4. Election of Officers and Committee shall be held in accordance with Rule 2.
    5. Dates and venues of Festivals shall be confirmed.
    6. A report by a representative of the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund shall be given;
    7. A report by a representative of the Devon Ringers Council shall be given;
    8. A report by a representative of the Association’s Central Council Representatives shall be given;
    9. Any other business shall be transacted, there having been due notice given to the Hon Secretary in writing.
    10. Date and venue for next Annual General Meeting shall be agreed.

4. Duties

  1. It shall be the duty of all members of the Association to cultivate and encourage the art of Devon Call Change Ringing in accordance with the stated object of the Association;
  2. It shall be the duty of Committee members to attend Committee meetings. If any members are absent, without reasonable apology prior to any meeting, on two or more consecutive occasions, they shall forfeit their position on the Committee of the Association;
  3. It shall be the duty of Committee members to raise awareness of and further maintain the aims of the Association on promoting the tradition of Devon Call Change Ringing and upholding the good name of the Association. Specifically each Area Representative will achieve this by:
    1. encouraging the affiliation of towers to the Association;
    2. assisting the Hon Treasurer in the collection of affiliation fees;
    3. working with the Association’s Training Officer in identifying and addressing the needs of those wishing to learn/improve the art of Devon Call Change Ringing;
    4. Communicating actively and maintaining links with the local membership, local deanery association (where applicable) and local branch of the Guild of Devonshire Ringers;
    5. Undertaking other such duties as required and agreed by the Association.
  4. The Hon Secretary shall administer the Association’s general activities and shall convene the Committee;
  5. The Hon Treasurer shall be responsible for administering the general funds and running expenses of the Association and any other payments that have been agreed by members at an Annual General Meeting or by the Committee;
  6. The Training Officer shall coordinate and promote training events, with enlisted assistance from the Committee and other suitably experienced Association members.
  7. The Publicity Officer shall produce bulletins for the Association, to affiliated members and the wider public.
  8. The Fund raising Officer shall promote the Association’s “300 Club” to raise funds for the Devon Bell Restoration Fund as at 1 {e].
  9. The Webmaster shall be responsible for maintaining the Association’s Web site on the internet.
  10. The Central Council Representatives shall endeavour to actively represent the Association’s interests and promote a positive working relationship between the Association and Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

5. General

  1. This Constitution (including appendices) shall be subject to regular review by the Committee.
  2. Upon the receipt of a written request supported and signed by representatives of a minimum of five affiliated towers, an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called by the Hon Secretary within 28 days of such a request.
  3. Any proposed alteration to this Constitution or dissolution of the Association shall require:
    1. that written notification of the same, including the names of the proposers and seconders, together with the name of their tower affiliation, be given to the Hon Secretary at least 28 clear days prior to the Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting at which said proposed alteration or dissolution is to be made;
    2. that written notification of the same to be given to all affiliated towers by the Association Hon Secretary at least 21 clear days prior to Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting at which the said proposed alteration or dissolution is to be considered;
    3. the assent of a majority comprising no less than two thirds of those present are entitled to vote in order for the said proposal to be affected.
    4. In the event of a Dissolution of the Association, all assets of this Association remaining after the satisfaction of proper debts and liabilities shall be given to the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund (Registered Charity No 276490)

6 Appendices

  1. Areas


North West

North East

North Central


South West

South East

South Central

A complete list of parishes in the different areas will be listed below

  1. Glossary of Terms

Constitution – structure, organisation: the system of fundamental laws and principles of a society.
Vernacular – native to a place.
De facto – existing in actual fact, though not by official recognition.
Ex-officio – by virtue of one’s office or position.
Executive – empowered to administer.
Vice[-chairman] – in the place of; as the deputy or successor of.
Triennium – period of three years.
Dissolution – termination.
Honorary – (i) given as an honour only without the usual requirements, functions etc., e.g. Presidency; (ii) designating an office held as an honour only, without pay, e.g. Hon Secretary.
Shall – determination/obligation in 2nd/3rd persons.
Will – determination/obligation in 1st person.