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Source: (consider it) Thread: Bunch of bell ends
Ricardus
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York Minster has decided to sack without notice its entire team of volunteer bellringers. No ringing through the festive period. But not to worry, in the New Year the ringers, full of goodwill and recognition of their services, can reapply for their old posts.

What reason does the Minster give? An organisational restructure for health and safety reasons.

... Yeah, of course that's it. That's why exactly the same thing has happened in all the thousands of other churches, and dozens of other cathedrals, with bells. That's why every time there's an update to our health and safety policy at work, I get suspended for three months and have to reapply for my own job. Oh wait, no that's not how it works.

And with what words did the Minster see fit to preface their announcement? 'York Minster invites everyone to discover God’s love'.

Story here.

(Disclaimer: I am a ringer but have no connection with York or York Minster.)

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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mr cheesy
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I do rather like the fact that the same process has gone through for the "flower-arranging, brodery, collections and police teams."

I'm a happy embroider, but I'm willing to lay money on it being slightly less of a Health and Safety issue than being in the precinct "police" force.

OK, if you must do a H&S audit, then do it the same day so the same people can get on with the thing they've been doing. What's the problem?

Isn't it annoying when people blame 'Elf 'n Safety for other underlying issues.

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That the good in me is dead

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Schroedinger's cat

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Hang on, we have a group of people here whom we can't control. That won't do - control is what being church is all about.

Lets spend some of the money we claim not to have to pay someone so we can control this whole team.

Because we couldn't have volunteers being important in the church. Where would that lead to?

And some people can't understand why the church is haemorrhaging people like Trump Supporters have haemorrhaged brain cells.

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Stercus Tauri
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My notion of church is that it's a self sustaining, self supporting, community. You go there to worship, to learn, to meet people, to do gospel type stuff like helping other people. You don't go there to be managed and controlled as if you were at work. But this stuff is spreading; the community members are becoming customers who are no longer trusted to regulate themselves. It's not just York.

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ThunderBunk

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It starts, literally, at the top. The current ABC is, by temperament and inclination, a manager, and goes around hitting things with a managerial hammer, which is the only one he has. He then appoints people in his image (naturally, because that's how everyone does appointments). So the C of E is about to die of management.

.....not with a bang but a whimper.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

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BroJames
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Hmm… The ABC had no hand in appointing the current Dean of York, nor any of the Canons of York. That's not to say you're not right, just that this isn't evidence that you are. More like "Any stick to beat a dog with"
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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
It starts, literally, at the top. The current ABC is, by temperament and inclination, a manager, and goes around hitting things with a managerial hammer, which is the only one he has. He then appoints people in his image (naturally, because that's how everyone does appointments). So the C of E is about to die of management.

.....not with a bang but a whimper.

That's pretty much what I thought. Does the dean resemble that at St Oggs in "All Gas and Gaiters"? He was terrifying and I can well imagining him banning the bellringers as he banned the bishop from what was after all the dean's cathedral in one episode.

Congregations can be unruly too. Will steps be taken to prevent unauthorised entry?

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When you are dead, you won't even know you are dead. It is a pain felt only by others.

Same if you're stupid.

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Penny S
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I have seen at a local show a temporary belfrey erected by local ringers to display what they do? Is there anywhere near the cathedral the ringers can erect such a thing and do guerilla ringing? (Not sure where spare bells can be found.)

It sounds like the expulsion of the West Gallery musicians.

[ 13. October 2016, 23:11: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Golden Key
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Penny--

Guerrilla ringing? I like your style! [Cool]

Can some of the skills be transferred to using handbells? They'd be portable.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
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Ricardus
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More on this story here.

The Minster continues to show how much this has to do with health and safety:
quote:
The locks on the tower doors have been changed, and the team were refused access on Tuesday even to ring the bells down into a safe position, The Press has been told.
And apparently the Dean thinks a ringer can be trained in three months. Training to be carried out by ... er ...

quote:
She said a new team of volunteers would now be recruited, who would work under a paid 'Head of Tower,' but it would be about three months before the recruitment, induction and training process had been completed and they could be deployed.


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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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jacobsen

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Pillocks, pillocks, I say!

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But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
And apparently the Dean thinks a ringer can be trained in three months. Training to be carried out by ... er ...

quote:
She said a new team of volunteers would now be recruited, who would work under a paid 'Head of Tower,' but it would be about three months before the recruitment, induction and training process had been completed and they could be deployed.

And where are these new ringers going to be trained if the belfry is out of bounds?

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"People don’t become better when they’re dead; you just talk about them as if they are. But it’s not true! People are still arseholes, they’re just dead arseholes!” - Lemmy

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Golden Key
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I wonder...is it possible that some of this may be about insurance? E.g., "Good grief, can't have all those amateurs fussing around and doing something dangerous! Our insurance premiums would go up if they got hurt. Can't we just put one of those Tibetan singing bowls by a speaker? I'm sure the priest has plenty of free time to strike it before and after the service."

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Penny S
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One of the ringers is on LBC at the moment. It seems to have been done with absolutely no sense of humanity, sensible management practice, let alone Christianity. Normal modern management practice, maybe. Call everyone into a closely timed meeting with no questions and tell them what is happening.
The marriage rules are appalling - where in the past ringers could marry in the cathedral, with bells, now they cannot even marry there, while, as the ringer explains, members of the local army, regardless of religious belief, can.

She didn't mention the bit about leaving the bells in the wrong position.

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Penny S
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In Ricardus' link.

quote:
Asked whether she believed the volunteers had been treated with Christian compassion, she (a minster spokesperson) said: "I do not think it was unChristian."
First four words significant.
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BroJames
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I wonder what the back story to this is.

I remember some years ago someone being dismissed from an institution for what some felt was a minor infringement of the rules, and that was given as the explanation. Because of my (peripheral) involvement, I was aware that this was the latest in a very long line of exactly the same infringement, and that over several months the institution had worked with the individual to try and support him pastorally, and to try to help him address the infringing behaviour.

All of this, if known, would have reduced or eliminated the criticism faced by the institution, but would have been a breach of pastoral confidentiality and harmful to the individual concerned. He played the victim, and I think he genuinely believed he was hard done by. But I think he was fortunate that the full story didn't come out.

The experience left me very ready to ask for the other side of the story in situations like this, and at the moment the Minster is being very reticent. They may be keeping quiet because they've made a monumental mess of things, or they may be keeping quiet because there are good reasons why they can't go public with their side of the story.

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Boogie

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I wonder if it's an ageism thing?

I heard the spokesperson saying an excellent, new and vibrant team would be appointed. For vibrant read 'young'?

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Stercus Tauri:
My notion of church is that it's a self sustaining, self supporting, community. You go there to worship, to learn, to meet people, to do gospel type stuff like helping other people. You don't go there to be managed and controlled as if you were at work. But this stuff is spreading; the community members are becoming customers who are no longer trusted to regulate themselves.

Yes, some Churches have forgotten what the word 'volunteer' means.

I am a volunteer for a very large charity and it's less controlling than the local Church! I think, sometimes, small outfits fear the 'law' in a self defeating way. Yes, regulations must be followed, obviously. But it's up to the hierarchy to keep all that in their own court and deal with volunteers as people, not numbers.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Jane R
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I don't know anything about this beyond what's been reported publicly, but it sounds as if there's more to the story than 'Jobsworths sack dedicated bellringers for no particular reason'. Even if it does play nicely into the 'Elf and Safety Gorn Mad' trope.

Why were the bells left in an unsafe position, that's what I'd like to know. Our ringers always ring them down before leaving the tower.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:

Why were the bells left in an unsafe position, that's what I'd like to know. Our ringers always ring them down before leaving the tower.

Probably because of the weight. Liverpool Cathedral routinely leaves the bells up as long as there is a regular ringing programme because it takes so long to raise and lower them. York is lighter than Liverpool (obviously), but still massive compared to most churches.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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L'organist
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AIUI in times past members of the ringing team were allowed to be married in the Minster but the most recent wedding was refused on the grounds that the ringer 'didn't live in the Minster parish' and wasn't on the electoral roll. When the ringing team raised some, IMO, objections to this and cited the fact that members of the York garrison can, by tradition get married in the Minster, they got no response until this sudden lockout.

As for a new 'team' being in place in 3 months [Killing me]

To train anyone to competence in change ringing is going to take at least 6 months - and then they'll only be able to do simple changes in a ring of no more than 8 bells: York has 14.

As for the Dean refusing permission for the bells to be rung down (lowered so that the mouth is down, not facing up) this is downright dangerous.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:


The experience left me very ready to ask for the other side of the story in situations like this, and at the moment the Minster is being very reticent. They may be keeping quiet because they've made a monumental mess of things, or they may be keeping quiet because there are good reasons why they can't go public with their side of the story.

Normally I would agree with this, but there are two reasons why I think this is different:

1. It's not that we don't have the Minster's side of the story, it's that the reasons given by the Minster make no sense. If the Minster had said 'We cannot comment publicly on this story and urge against irresponsible speculation', then I could accept that maybe they had their hands tied and ringers' conspiracy theories are unjustified. But the Minster had a choice whether or not to talk bollocks, and has plumped for bollocks.

2. Ringers are capable of extreme petty feuds against each other and against the clergy. But normally these are 'our problem', that is, they manifest themselves in angry screeds to the Ringing World and passive-aggressive comments to the PCC. But here, even if we accept there's a feud in existence and that it's the ringers' fault, it's the Minster that has chosen to make it a public problem by suspending Remembrance Day and Christmas ringing.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Penny S
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In the linked story, it was said that as a result of the other management changes, people who had served the cathedral in other areas had left, not re-applying for their posts. In the case of broderers, that's another skill with a long apprenticeship.

Do you suppose many ringers will be applying to ring in such an atmosphere?

And, remembering David Jenkins, is there any chance of God displaying his opinion any time soon?

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Doc Tor
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'Some' churches have allowed, by the path of least resistance being followed, for the ringers who use their bell tower (often not members of the congregation below) to become their own exclusive club - in that they become accustomed to doing as they want. (Ditto the choir, but that's a different story).

A new incumbent/dean is installed, and they look at the church's liabilities and responsibilities, and conclude, that to keep in line with current legislation, if they are liable, they need to exercise oversight.

Cue all the toys going out of the pram.

There are ways of dealing with that situation, and people can have opinions on that, but since the minster is providing all of the personal, public liability, industrial and property insurance for each and every bell ringer while they're on minister grounds, you bet the dean is going to want to have a say in how 'their' ringers operate. They might be volunteers rather than employees, but that doesn't lessen in any way the minster's liability if/when something goes wrong.

It's not sexy to say so, but it's all fun and games until someone loses a finger.

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Lost in Space

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Penny S
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This is from the York Minster Society of Change Ringers website:

quote:
The Minster authorities are doing a very thorough job of cleansing their website of all references to the bells. Articles referencing recent ringing have been removed; ringers have been removed from the volunteers section; the books and CDs appear to have been pulled from the online shop. The Minster Twitter feed apologises for ‘essential maintenance’ a couple of days ago. However, the book, “The Bells and Bellringers of York Minster” is available to purchase still through us, details under the “publications” tab.

Bell ringers

What in heaven's name is going on? Are they suspected of calling up Satan or something?

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fletcher christian

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You know, I can well believe that this is all about H&S. I recall an audit being published for A medieval church with an uneven tiled floor of original medieval tiles. It called for the church to be closed until the floor was made safe with new tiles [Roll Eyes]

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Penny S
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That wouldn't fit the purging of the web site. Which in itself can only do the Minster harm because it looks bad - like 1984.

It would be interesting to note what the 18 months of difficulties were.

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mr cheesy
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Of course, it could be a combination of all of these things: it is possible (I'm speculating) that the bellringers have somehow become an irritant to the Minster authorities - maybe there have been minor injuries, maybe they were not responding to repeated requests to change the way they behave, maybe the whole wedding issue was getting out of hand. Add into that mix a Dean who has had her fill of cliques who are refusing to co-operate plus some poor public relations and you might easily get this mess.

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Pass me a book I've read
Pass me a fresh cut flower
And ask me what I dread
That the good in me is dead

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Penny S
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But the Dean has not responded to offers to discuss things, apparently.

And a thing I thought of this morning, and then forgot about - all the people concerned, flower arrangers, broderers, people responsible for collections (not sure about the police part of it) will have seen their work there as service to their Minster, and to God, and now they've been told that what they have dedicated their time and love to is worthless.

And received that appalling heading to their redundancy notice. And, in the case of the ringers the unpersoning of their service into the memory hole.

Mithras wept.

[ 14. October 2016, 14:17: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Penny S
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And now the carillon player, who had some opinions in the media, has also been sacked.

Bats.

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Helen-Eva
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I'm sure no-one actively intended to do any harm on either side and I'm absolutely certain that massive harm has been done with people in tears, heartbreak, distress, disillusionment, stress, heaven knows what else. So sad this has happened.
[Votive]
Sorry - that wasn't very hellish.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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anne
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
AIUI in times past members of the ringing team were allowed to be married in the Minster but the most recent wedding was refused on the grounds that the ringer 'didn't live in the Minster parish' and wasn't on the electoral roll. When the ringing team raised some, IMO, objections to this and cited the fact that members of the York garrison can, by tradition get married in the Minster, they got no response until this sudden lockout.

This, at least, might be restated as "Ringers threw their toys out of the pram when the Cathedral enforced the law (of the land, rather than the Church) with regard to marriage eligibility."

The whole situation may have been handled badly, but it's unlikely to be quite as one sided as the press and the ringers would have us believe.

Anne

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‘I would have given the Church my head, my hand, my heart. She would not have them. She did not know what to do with them. She told me to go back and do crochet' Florence Nightingale

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
'Some' churches have allowed, by the path of least resistance being followed, for the ringers who use their bell tower (often not members of the congregation below) to become their own exclusive club - in that they become accustomed to doing as they want. (Ditto the choir, but that's a different story).

A new incumbent/dean is installed, and they look at the church's liabilities and responsibilities, and conclude, that to keep in line with current legislation, if they are liable, they need to exercise oversight.

Cue all the toys going out of the pram.

This is entirely true, but the liability rules are the same everywhere and yet it's only York Minster that's having this problem.

Also, while bellringers can indeed be intransigent cliques, one major reason why towers become independent fiefdoms is that some non-ringing clergy have zero knowledge of the issues involved in bellringing and zero interest in finding out, with the result that all the decisions are taken by ringers because they are the only people with the expertise to do so. The fact that the Minster imagines ringers can be trained in three months suggests that such may well be the case here.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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I'm not sure that 'ringers can be trained in three months' has come from the minster.

'Experienced ringers can be recruited by the new, paid Master, who will answer directly to the Dean and Chapter (unlike the situation we have at the moment where we have absolutely no idea who comes and goes, and if that means that everyone needs a DBS check, which takes roughly ooh, three months to come through, then so be it)' is how I read it.

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Lost in Space

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Jolly Jape
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Whether the existing ringers are a bunch of intransigent divas or the embodiment of all Christian virtues is neither here nor there. Even were they devils incarnate, it would not absolve the Dean and Chapter from treating them according to the principles of Godly behaviour and natural justice which, I'm pretty sure, they know they ought to incarnate. As it is, whether provoked or not, they have behaved like playground bullies, throwing their weight around to hide their insecurities. An all too common occurrence in the Church, I'm afraid.

[ 14. October 2016, 18:20: Message edited by: Jolly Jape ]

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mr cheesy
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I dunno - is it? If someone at the Minster was behaving in a way that was actually dangerous to the extent that there was a risk of injury, wouldn't the Chapter be liable?

Again, I don't know what has happened here, but it seems rather strange to be part of a hierarchical organisation and then complain when someone in a position of authority in that hierarchy loses their rag and says nope, I don't give a shit how long you've been ringing these bells, from now on you're going to do what I say.

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ThunderBunk

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Communities work best by consensus. And it's possible to lead without dictating.

My initial reaction was based on my considerable faith in the dean, whom I met many years ago now at Coventry when she was Canon Pastor there. However, I have rather sadly come to the conclusion that is an outbreak of management fever, which little can excuse when it tears into a Christian community, particularly if the same trick has already been pulled on other teams of volunteers.

This is not ot say that working with teams of volunteers, or that volunteers' tendency to identify with the object of their devotion should ever be allowed to leave them with the unchallenged impression that the cathedral belongs as a whole, but still this strikes me as an act of wanton destruction carried out with little understanding of what was being destroyed and how long it will take to rebuild.

Reapply for roles? FFS. The Very Rev David Brent has arrived and lives in York./

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Obviously I have no idea as to what's been going on here.

But it has been my experience in church life that people in fairly "closed" and long-standing groups strongly resent anyone in authority treading on their patch and telling them what to do - even when they're quite right to do so.

Health and Safety has been a particular bone of contention: "We've been doing it all these years and nothing's ever gone wrong, who are you to tell me what we ought to be doing with all your pettifogging risk assessments and jobsworth documentation ...".

I could see that there might be particular H&S issues in some ringing chambers, especially those that are up creaky ladders - although presumably that isn't the case in the Minster.

(Cross-posted with TB).

[ 14. October 2016, 19:51: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
They have behaved like playground bullies, throwing their weight around to hide their insecurities.

Sorry, I don't think we have enough hard evidence to say that, however much it might appear to be the case.
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Sorry, I don't think we have enough hard evidence to say that, however much it might appear to be the case.

On this front, it appears at a minimum that the communication has between the ringers and the Dean and Chapter has been handled very badly indeed.

As far as anne's comments on the legality of ringers marrying in the Minster goes, you are entitled to marry in a C of E church if you have regularly attended services for 6 months. Being on the electoral roll is not required, as far as I can tell.

Ringers ring regularly on Sundays before the service. That's as close to attendance as many regular parishioners get...

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

As far as anne's comments on the legality of ringers marrying in the Minster goes, you are entitled to marry in a C of E church if you have regularly attended services for 6 months. Being on the electoral roll is not required, as far as I can tell.

Ringers ring regularly on Sundays before the service. That's as close to attendance as many regular parishioners get...

Nope, York Minster doesn't have a parish so every wedding needs to be under a Special Licence from the Archbishop (of Canterbury, apparently. I've no idea why).

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Baptist Trainfan
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I think that, in England, only the ABC can provide Special Licences.

From the Minister website:

The Registrar will only issue a Special Licence if the couple has what is referred to in law as a “present and demonstrable connection” with the cathedral in question – in practical terms, this normally means either coming to services at the cathedral on a regular basis over several months, or being one of the cathedral’s current employees. What the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Registrar will be looking for is convincing evidence that the couple has a genuine and substantial, personal and on-going, connection with the cathedral in question, which is so strong that it therefore makes this cathedral the most obvious church in which their marriage service should be held. Our hope and expectation is that couples will continue to worship regularly in the Minster after their wedding for as long as they live in the area.

Of course, the ringers - although demonstrably connected to the Minster, are not employees and may not be worshippers either. But has this Policy been hastily rewritten, or has it been there for yonks?

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BroJames
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It looks like a slightly less legalistic restatement of the Archbishop's Faculty Office's statement of the law.

Most of the reasons for which the Faculty Office used to issue a special licence are now w covered by the 2008 Marriage Measure. ISTM that the Faculty Office are now looking for a genuine worshipping connection with a cathedral in order to issue a special licence.

I don't know how that squares for employees, or with the alleged privilege for the garrison of York, although for the former it might be argued that they are genuinely part of the cathedral comunnity

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Nope, York Minster doesn't have a parish so every wedding needs to be under a Special Licence from the Archbishop (of Canterbury, apparently. I've no idea why).

It's a legal leftover from the Reformation. It was a discretion originally exercised by the Pope, and reserved to the ABC after the split from Rome. The Faculty Office was established after the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533, which transferred to the Archbishop of Canterbury the power to grant licences that had previously been dispensed by the Catholic Church.
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

'Experienced ringers can be recruited by the new, paid Master, who will answer directly to the Dean and Chapter (unlike the situation we have at the moment where we have absolutely no idea who comes and goes,

I.e. the situation that obtains in every other tower in the country, without any objections from the insurers ...
quote:

and if that means that everyone needs a DBS check, which takes roughly ooh, three months to come through, then so be it)' is how I read it.

DBS would be a potentially plausible justification* if it were in fact the justification given by the Minster, but it isn't. All of the Minster's communications on the matter have been clear that it is about health and safety. DBS has little to do with Health and Safety. A lack of criminal record won't help you (for example) change a stay safely.


* Potentially plausible: About a decade ago the Church of England issued guidelines to the effect that, since anyone who worked with minors needed a CRB check (as it then was), it was at least arguable that in a voluntary organisation with both adults and minors - such as choirs and bellringing teams - all of the adults should be CRB-checked. Most ringing bands have interpreted that as meaning that minors should not be left alone with ringers who haven't been vetted, but it's possible that the Minster might take the more rigorist view. Of course that would require one to believe that the Minster has only just noticed the child-protection issue, despite it having been raised a decade ago and despite their modernisation programme having been in place since 2014 ...

[ 14. October 2016, 22:01: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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fletcher christian

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I'm really not casting aspersions, just looking at all possibilities. Neither am I attempting to justify the actions of the Cathedral; they might well be a bunch of assholes. However, the thought that first struck me when this story hit was that the issue was not of personality clashes or power, but a criminal issue. If you put everything together that has been done, it fits.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Nope, York Minster doesn't have a parish so every wedding needs to be under a Special Licence from the Archbishop (of Canterbury, apparently. I've no idea why).

OK - so then there's no difficulty at all. Ringers can obtain a special licence - being a regular bellringer there is clearly a “present and demonstrable connection”.

But the Minster would have to agree to hold the wedding as well, and it sounds like that's the thing that has changed.

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Net Spinster
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I'm inclined to think power. The bellringers seem to be fairly independent with, I guess, their book and cd sales (however meager) going to their group rather than the minster. They seem to be self-selected and probably even elect their own head. The new system will have the head chosen by the Dean.

Another link
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/14/bellringer-york-minster-wrong-sack-us-silence-church-bells

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anne
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

As far as anne's comments on the legality of ringers marrying in the Minster goes, you are entitled to marry in a C of E church if you have regularly attended services for 6 months. Being on the electoral roll is not required, as far as I can tell.

Ringers ring regularly on Sundays before the service. That's as close to attendance as many regular parishioners get...

Nope, York Minster doesn't have a parish so every wedding needs to be under a Special Licence from the Archbishop (of Canterbury, apparently. I've no idea why).
The Archbishops Special Licence is far from automatically granted and usually requires a strong 'worshipping connection' which some bell-ringers might find difficult to prove, since it might need them to be present with the congregation during services, rather than simply in the ringing chamber before or after it.
The whole thing looks to me like a clash between 'WE have always done it this (our) way' and 'WE are going to enforce the law/rules finally, even if they've been ignored till now.' Badly handled, mis-communicated, poorly planned perhaps, but not as simple as the ringers would like to paint it.

anne

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
I'm really not casting aspersions, just looking at all possibilities. Neither am I attempting to justify the actions of the Cathedral; they might well be a bunch of assholes. However, the thought that first struck me when this story hit was that the issue was not of personality clashes or power, but a criminal issue. If you put everything together that has been done, it fits.

I'm not sure it does fit, except in the unlikely event that all the bellringers are involved in some criminal conspiracy (including the 11 year old?) Occam would suggest that managerial incompetence coupled with a great dollop of pride and a controlling spirit are the culprits

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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