BRANCH OFFICERS AND OTHER BRANCH ROLES: WHAT IS INVOLVED? A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
A Branch Officer or anyone fulfilling any of the other roles listed below should if possible:
1. be committed to the Aims of the Guild (Guild Rule 2) and particularly those that directly impact on their role;
2. be willing to make time to be involved with Branch meetings, practices and events;
3. be good communicators; and
4. be knowledgeable about the Branch and the Guild and ringing in general (or if not, know who to ask) so that they can help and assist Branch members.
A Branch Officer – What does the job entail?
The following summaries (they do not cover everything) may help Branch members considering standing for office and new Branch Officers.
As Chairman you will chair Branch Business and Committee meetings and should do so in an efficient and friendly fashion. You should communicate with other Branch Officers to make sure ‘the Branch runs smoothly’. You ‘set the direction’ for the Branch and act as a figurehead for the Branch. You may also need to work with local clergy and others church officials.
As Vice Chairman you should be ready to take on the role of the Chairman when this is appropriate and is required (in the absence of the Chairman for example).
As Secretary you draw together a Branch programme each year and act as the focal point for communication in the Branch and between the Branch and the Guild. You will receive e-mails, telephone calls and letters and must disseminate this information to the appropriate people as quickly and effectively as possible. You will need to maintain an e-mail list of Branch members. You will arrange and publicize Branch business meetings and write up the agenda and minutes. Once a year you will also write a Branch report for the Guild Report and update the Branch and tower details in it. You will (with the Branch Treasurer) administer the annual collection of Guild subscriptions (Form D) from tower correspondents.
As Treasurer you will receive annual Guild subscriptions, issue receipts, keep accurate records, look after Branch funds and draw up annual accounts (to be presented to the Branch’s Independent Financial Examiner). You will liaise with the Guild Treasurer as required especially in forwarding the Guild share of annual subscriptions and in providing details of the Branch accounts.
As Ringing Master you organise and lead the ringing at Branch meetings and practices, ensuring that the time is fully used and that everyone gets the most out of the experience. You do not necessarily have to be the best ringer in the Branch to be Ringing Master, but you do need to be a good organiser. You will need to learn what you can about the skills and aspirations of Branch bands and ringers. You will also assist and advise the Training Officer in organising training and in encouraging members to take part. You may also take the lead in organising quarter peals or peals for training purposes.
As Training Officer you organise ringing training and ringing development activities in the Branch, working with the Branch Ringing Master in particular. You will liaise with the Guild Education Officer and you will represent the Branch on the Guild Education Committee.
As Publicity Officer you collate information on Branch activities for publication in the Branch (newsletter or website) and for the Guild website and newsletter (Face to Face), working with the Guild Publicity Officer and Face to Face Editor. You also communicate ringing news to outside the ringing community – Diocese, local press and radio.
Other Branch roles: What does the job entail?
The following summaries (they do not cover everything) may help Branch members considering standing for other branch roles.
Your role as a Committee member will be defined by your Branch Committee – it could include reporting member activities and views in particular geographic areas and feedback of information from meetings to members. It could involve ‘adopting’ particular towers and/ or encouraging contact between towers.
As the representative of your Branch on the Guild Executive Committee you will attend these meetings (held usually three times a year) which deal with matters relating to the running of the Guild. You will bring your own views and the views of your Branch and afterwards will report back to your Branch.
As an LEBRF Trustee (each Branch appoints one) you are jointly responsible with your other Trustees for the management of the assets of the Fund and for grants made from the Fund. You will have a particular responsibility to assist and advise the Trustees and the applicant when a church in your Branch is applying to the Fund for a grant. You will also have a particular responsibility for leading the organisation of the Guild Open Day (raising funds for the LEBRF) when it is held in your branch.
As an Independent Financial Examiner you will be someone with the requisite ability and practical experience to carry out a competent examination of the accounts, doing a review of the accounting records and comparing the accounts to them; an independent examination is a simpler form of scrutiny than an audit. Independence means you do not take an active part in the administration of the Branch, so will not be a member of the Committee or a sub-Committee nor will you be a relative, a dependant or employee of any Committee member. You may well be a member of the Branch but should not table resolutions at the AGM.