south weald bell ringing
Tower Rules

The following rules were set out in 1899.  They are very formal by today's standards but they are fun to read.

SOUTH WEALD.
THE GUILD OF CHURCH BELL RINGERS.

RULES.

At the first meeting of the Guild, held 21st February, 1899, the following rules were approved and adopted:

1.—The Belfry being part of God’s House, the same reverence shall be observed by uncovering the head, and by
quiet and orderly conduct as in any other part of the church.

2.—The Ringers shall be appointed by the Incumbent (or Incumbent and Churchwardens) and hold their office at his (or their) pleasure. They shall, with the Incumbent’s approval, appoint one of their number to act as Leader of the Company. The Leader (or in his absence a deputy nominated by him) shall be responsible for maintaining proper order in the Belfry, and for keeping a register of attendance on Sundays and practice days.

3.—There shall always be a sufficient number of Ringers present on Sunday to ring the bells for divine service. Those who thus take part in calling others to church should themselves set an example of regular attendance.

4.—No persons, other than the Ringers, shall be allowed in the belfry without the consent of the Leader or his Deputy, subject to an appeal to the Incumbent or Churchwardens.

5.—The Belfry shall be open, and the bells rung only at such times as are authorised by the Incumbent and Churchwardens.

6.—The Ringers shall signify their acceptance of these Rules by signing their names in a book kept -for the purpose. Nothing in the rules shall be interpreted as interfering with the right of control over the belfry and the bells, which the law gives to the Incumbent of the parish.

7.—All money received for ringing, whether as a regular payment to the Ringers, or on special occasions, such as weddings, shall be paid into a general fund.

8.—The accounts of the general fund shall be submitted to an annual meeting of the Guild; after which the money shall be distributed in such manner as the Guild, with the sanction of the Incumbent, shall have determined. The annual meeting shall he held on New Year’s Eve of each year.

9.—Scientific change ringing shall be the rule; and no new Ringers shall be admitted unless they undertake to be instructed in change ringing. A Probationer is not qualified as a Ringer until he can raise and fall a bell, ring her in rounds, and set her in either stroke when ordered to do so; and the Leader shall certify to this effect before he is proposed for election. The names of all Probationers must be approved by the President.

10.—That the Vicar of the parish be President of the Guild.

11.—That the Curate of the Parish be requested to act as Secretary and Treasurer.

12.—That William Warner be the first Leader of the Ringers.

A seat in the Parish Church has been appropriated to the Ringers.