Notes of a meeting between CCCBR, CBC and EH representatives

A meeting took place on 23rd April 2010 at Church House, Westminster, between representatives of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and officers of the Church Buildings Council and English Heritage.

CBC: David Knight, Anne McNair (Closed and Closing Churches)
EH: Diana Evans, Graham Pledger
CCCBR: Tony Smith, Kate Flavell, Mary Bone, Alan Frost (Committee for Redundant Bells)

1. Matters arising from previous meeting notes (RW 4 December 2009, p1211):
a) The date for the next DAC Bell Advisers Conference had been changed and it would now be held on 10th June. The presentation from the 2009 Conference on bells in closed and closing churches was still awaited. CBC would welcome an out-of-London venue for the next conference.
b) EH would welcome details of post-restoration tower movement measurements at Great St Mary’s, Cambridge.

2. Bell frame recording guidance:
CBC circulated the latest draft document on recording significant or historic frames and the summary of responses received. Discussion centred on the responses. EH and CBC agreed that the level of recording necessary should depend on the age and particular interest in the particular frame and installation (including belfry floors and foundation beams). The need to train people to conduct inspections was recognised and CCCBR’s co-operation in training would be welcome. CBC undertook to revise the document further before the June conference.

3. Faculty Process:
EH expressed concern that there appeared to have been a number of cases where they had not been consulted. St Magnus the Martyr and St Katharine Cree, both case studies from the 2009 DAC Bell Advisers’ Training Day, were included in this.

4. English Heritage Consultation guidelines:
EH welcomed the publication of the guidelines in The Ringing World of 19th March and noted that the link to the website had also been included in the meeting notes published on 4th December.

5. Heritage Protection reform:
Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment was published on 23rd March 2010. The document is available from and the Practice Guide may be downloaded at CBC commented that these documents should help parishes prepare their Statements of Significance. The Government had also published its Statement on the Historic Environment for England.

6. Central Council Open Meeting:
CCCBR explained the format of the open meetings; 2011 would be the first meeting of the next triennium and as there would be a welcome gathering for new members it would not be possible to have an open meeting as well. It was agreed to keep this on the agenda with a view to inviting EH and CBC to take part in an open meeting in 2012.

7. Updates on particular cases:
Great Malvern: EH understood that the parish were preparing new proposals.
Sandiacre: EH had written to the parish with a compromise solution.
Stoodleigh: EH needed to visit to assess the parish’s proposals further. CBC had accepted the case for removal of the old frame.

8. Redundant Bells / Closed and Closing Churches

CCCBR and CBC explained the work of their respective committees. A new draft policy is being prepared for the Statutory Advisory Committee of the CBC ( In response to a query from EH, CCCBR provided information on the relationship between the Committee for Redundant Bells, the Keltek Trust and the CCCBR Rescue Fund.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, 11th October 2010 at Church House.

The agenda for the next joint meeting between CCCBR, EH and CBC will be prepared shortly. If any reader has an issue to be raised at the meeting, details should be sent to James Clarke, the Chairman of the Towers & Belfries Committee by 25 September. James can be contacted at Sansuns, Tom’s Lane, Fairy Cross, Bideford EX39 5BU; e-mail

Mary Bone

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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers