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The ringers’ AGM in January was our first non-Zoom AGM since Covid, and a timely opportunity to take stock of the effect of the last three years. Many things have returned to normal and we are still strong compared with many bands, but our turnout statistics for service and practice ringing show we are less strong than we were before.
The AGM saw the Foreman’s role handed from Jane Mellor, who had the difficult task of leading us through the last three years, to Steve Smith. Ben Eylott, one of our youngest members, took on the role of Treasurer from Angela Lazda, and the other officers reshuffled slightly.
By custom the Rector chairs our AGM, and his presence helps to strengthen the link between the church and the band, many of whose members are not members of the congregation, even though they help to provide the service of performing before worship and advertising the church’s presence in the community.
The link is also strengthened by inviting clergy, wardens and music directors as guest of honour at the tower dinner. The invitation goes by rotation and this year it was John Burbury. When the Rector announced his imminent retirement it seemed fitting for him to attend one last dinner before departing so at the last minute he and Lorraine were invited as well as John. It was David’s fourth dinner during his 26 years here, but the first he’s attended without having to make a speech.
At the dinner the band welcomed non-ringing partners together with many of our colleagues from the wider ringing community beyond All Saints. Entertainment includedh a performance of change ringing on handbells, and to mark the occasion there was a peal of Berkshire Surprise Major at All Saints in the morning – the first since Covid. There is a published record of the performance at: bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1592079
John Harrison (February 2023)
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