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Source: (consider it) Thread: Bunch of bell ends
Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by anne:

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

All of which reflects badly on the Dean and Chapter, the Ringers, the Diocese, the CofE and the whole of Christianity.

Nice work Satan.

[ 15. October 2016, 08:23: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by anne:

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.

On the specific issue of marriage licences, you may be right. On the wider question of why the bellringers had to be suspended for three months, evidently this is some special law that is only known to or applicable in York Minster.

I accept that we shouldn't assume bad faith when we don't know the full story. The reason I believe the Minster is acting in bad faith is that the parts of their story that they have released make no sense, which is not a good sign for the parts that they are concealing.

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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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Baptist Trainfan
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In today's "Guardian", one of the ringers claims (and I have no reason to doubt him) that they were called to a meeting on Tuesday at which they were told "that the minster had commissioned an external report on ringing which had identified health and safety risks". This was "a complete surprise" as none of the ringers had been involved in any report, nor were they aware that it was being carried out. He also says that "the minster will not share this report with us or tell us what the supposed risks were".

So what's going on? I keep thinking of this case: forget about the choir, and concentrate on the issue of why the organist was "sacked" without being given a reason.

[ 15. October 2016, 08:48: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
In today's "Guardian", one of the ringers claims (and I have no reason to doubt him) that they were called to a meeting on Tuesday at which they were told "that the minster had commissioned an external report on ringing which had identified health and safety risks". This was "a complete surprise" as none of the ringers had been involved in any report, nor were they aware that it was being carried out. He also says that "the minster will not share this report with us or tell us what the supposed risks were".

This part I think is entirely plausible - if an external consultant told the Dean that there were immediate issues then she really had no choice but to act immediately.

As to sharing the report - given how fast they were to run to the press, I'm guessing she didn't want to add more fuel to the fire.

quote:
So what's going on? I keep thinking of this case: forget about the choir, and concentrate on the issue of why the organist was "sacked" without being given a reason.
I'm not sure I'm following the connection.

To me this episode is a textbook example of how not to handle volunteers, albeit perhaps due to external forces (the H&S report). The case you've discussed above is about an employee who wasn't sack but had his contract terminated.

That's a different thing and could be for a range of reasons - for example the church may have suddenly realised it couldn't afford his fees (again, he wasn't sacked, he was given notice).

I think part of the problem at the Minster - and in any organisation with long-standing volunteers - is that there is an inevitable tension and conflict. They (the bellringers) feel some kind of pride in having a level of semi-automation, the Chapter have a limited number of ways they can influence what is being done.

Unlike others, I actually believe H&S is important, even if the activity has been carried on for 1000 years, that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't a risk for an institution with limited capacity to pay for claims after injury.

Now, one would hope that the institution would have tried talking to those involved before it got to this point, but the fact that there was a sudden intervention suggests that there was an urgent reason and a failure in communication over an extended period.

[ 15. October 2016, 09:18: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Baptist Trainfan
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Thanks ... I was purely thinking of a church telling someone that "their services were no longer required" without consultation or apparently giving a reason. I felt that the cases had a certain similarity but you are right, they aren't the same.

[ 15. October 2016, 09:24: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This part I think is entirely plausible - if an external consultant told the Dean that there were immediate issues then she really had no choice but to act immediately.

It's the part I find implausible to be honest. I don't believe the H&S issues are structural (e.g. cracks in the tower), because a.) you couldn't carry out a structural survey without the ringers noticing, b.) as stated in the letter she shouldn't have let them ring on the Sunday if that were the case, c.) training, induction and different lines of accountability aren't going to fix structural issues.

But I don't see how it can relate to working practices (e.g. people not signing in, double-handed ringing, inadequate supervision of learners etc) if the external consultants haven't had any contact with the ringers to find out what their working practices are! And anyway they've also explicitly said (in the linked letter) that they've no problems with the current ringing master's leadership.

I agree with you that H&S is important. That's why it's despicable when H&S gets used to cover up other underlying issues.

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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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Chamois
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The same sort of thing happened to my bell-ringing group a few years ago. The vicar wrote a very rude letter to our tower captain giving her the sack (I saw a copy as it wasn't marked confidential). In our case there had indeed been an argument between the tower captain and the vicar, but it wasn't an argument that had anything at all to do with the ringing. I believe it had something to do with how the general church finances were being managed. In any event, none of the other ringers knew anything about the argument until after the sacking.

The sacking of our tower captain almost destroyed our band of ringers, disrupted the teaching of several learners and mightily pissed off rather a large number of ringers who used to visit our popular weekly practice. The vicar certainly had the right to sack the tower captain, but I don't believe he or anyone in the church hierarchy had any conception of just how bad it made the church look to outsiders. The ringing chamber is one of the gates to the church, where non-church goers meet the church. We had a Muslim ringer at the time: what impression of Christianity did she get from this incident? Nothing good, I'm sure.

I don't know anything about the specific situation in York but as the policy seems to be being applied across all groups of volunteers I would guess it also doesn't have anything directly to do with the ringing. York Minster is a very high-profile tower in ringing circles, probably visited by any ringer passing through York. And now it's shut. Another public relations disaster for the CofE.

The clergy are very quick to tell the laity that it's our responsibility to invite and encourage non-believers to come into the church. But many of them want that invitation to be issued on THEIR terms and the entry to be under THEIR control. Very few of them seem to be capable of thinking, "We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for ringing every month, isn't that great!"

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Very few of them seem to be capable of thinking, "We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for ringing every month, isn't that great!"

"We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for Weightwatchers every month, and at least they have the decency to pay us a booking fee."

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Forward the New Republic

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Moo

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If this really is a safety issue, the ringers should be allowed in the tower to bring the bells down into a safe position.

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Very few of them seem to be capable of thinking, "We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for ringing every month, isn't that great!"

"We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for Weightwatchers every month, and at least they have the decency to pay us a booking fee."
...

...

I assume that was parody.

--------------------
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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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This part I think is entirely plausible - if an external consultant told the Dean that there were immediate issues then she really had no choice but to act immediately.

It's the part I find implausible to be honest. I don't believe the H&S issues are structural (e.g. cracks in the tower), because a.) you couldn't carry out a structural survey without the ringers noticing, b.) as stated in the letter she shouldn't have let them ring on the Sunday if that were the case, c.) training, induction and different lines of accountability aren't going to fix structural issues.

It may not be structural, but it could be due to access to the tower. I've not visited the tower at York, bu I have been to a few cathedrals where access to the belfry involves using very high and narrow walkways with inadequate barriers, if any at all.

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"May you get to heaven before the devil knows you're dead" - Irish blessing

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Very few of them seem to be capable of thinking, "We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for ringing every month, isn't that great!"

"We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for Weightwatchers every month, and at least they have the decency to pay us a booking fee."
...

...

I assume that was parody.

I'm being slightly Devil's Advocatey, but why would you assume it's a parody?

Bellringing - a private club using church premises free of charge - and getting an income through the church for ringing at weddings? Sounds like a good deal to me.

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Forward the New Republic

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Ricardus
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That's a fair comment in the situation where the church doesn't actually want bells but is stuck with them along with the Victorian kitsch in the stained glass and the box pews. Which admittedly isn't unknown, but not the norm.

Otherwise, it's ignoring the hours of service that the ringers put in for the benefit of the church, using a skill that itself takes years to develop. Which is itself the sort of attitude that sours relationships between the tower and the PCC.

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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
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'Benefit of the church' is a quantifiable condition.

What does having a peel of bells in a church bring to the church? Does it bring in extra money for the church's upkeep (pace the Purgatory thread)? Are the bellringers, in the main, part of the congregation? Does it attract people to come to that church?

In my experience (in a village Anglican church with two churches and two peels, where my dad was a church warden), they were neither contributing nor attending. The third question is moot, I admit, as it's impossible to tell.

Yes, traditionally, bellringers have been part of CofE church life and worship, but with the cost of it falling on a dwindling congregation below, then perhaps it's time for a reappraisal.

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Forward the New Republic

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Ricardus
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Well, if the congregation wants the bells, then one presumes the congregation is deriving some benefit from them.

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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
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And at the point where they no longer want or can afford the bells? It becomes the church's spiteful response to loyal volunteers.

I'm not saying that's what's happened at York, but I'm also reasonably certain that the bells are run at a loss in a building which is struggling financially.

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Ricardus
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York Minster clearly do want the bells, otherwise they wouldn't be talking about recruiting, training and inducting a new team.

As for running at a loss, I imagine the altar cloths, Eucharistic ministers, clergy vestments, and flower arrangements are also run at a loss.

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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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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
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.

I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to the specifics of how churches interact with ringers etc. but the above is one of the first things I think about now when I hear that a church's leadership is acting mysteriously. They could be assholes, of course, but ...

The case that blew us out of our old parish was very much this kind of thing. Our main accuser/aggressor was a man (a couple, really) who were a danger to the people around them and who needed to be dealt with ASAP for the sake of others--but very large chunks of the story were under pastoral confidentiality, and even to hint in that direction was to blow the whole thing wide open. So we were forced to look like assholes to a large part of the congregation while keeping our mouths shut about crucial information which would have turned the whole situation completely upside down and saved Mr. L his job. Which sucked.really.hard.

I can imagine that a possibly-criminal issue might have arisen among one of the volunteer groups that caused the leadership to feel they had no choice but to take these drastic measures immediately--and yet confidentiality would make it basically impossible to explain why. My first guess would be some form of sexual assault. Which is a health-and-safety issue in the broad sense (not like inadequate lighting, I mean) but would also impact things like leadership of groups, vetting members, who gets keys, and etc. and etc. And if it happened in a single volunteer group, would likely result in a tightening of control across all groups. With no explanation given.

[ 15. October 2016, 16:18: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
It's the part I find implausible to be honest. I don't believe the H&S issues are structural (e.g. cracks in the tower), because a.) you couldn't carry out a structural survey without the ringers noticing, b.) as stated in the letter she shouldn't have let them ring on the Sunday if that were the case, c.) training, induction and different lines of accountability aren't going to fix structural issues.

I don't follow your point (a) as I'm pretty sure you could conduct a structural survey without the bellringers knowing.

I don't know about point (b), but it is possible the report arrived between the Sunday and the Dean taking action.

True re: (c) although the H&S issue may have been some combination of the building and the behaviour of bellringers - for example it might have had some issues which would only be safe to use with training. And if the bellringers had been previously shown not to take much notice of the H&S instructions, then the Dean may have felt like the only option to have them take notice was to stop all bellringing so they have no alternative but to take notice of her if they want to continue doing it.

quote:
But I don't see how it can relate to working practices (e.g. people not signing in, double-handed ringing, inadequate supervision of learners etc) if the external consultants haven't had any contact with the ringers to find out what their working practices are! And anyway they've also explicitly said (in the linked letter) that they've no problems with the current ringing master's leadership.
I don't know and I don't think that you do either. We can both make up crap about what we think might have happened, but I'm not sure it helps to get closer to the truth.

quote:
I agree with you that H&S is important. That's why it's despicable when H&S gets used to cover up other underlying issues.
I'm not convinced it is being used as cover. It might be, it might not be.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

I can imagine that a possibly-criminal issue might have arisen among one of the volunteer groups that caused the leadership to feel they had no choice but to take these drastic measures immediately--and yet confidentiality would make it basically impossible to explain why. My first guess would be some form of sexual assault. Which is a health-and-safety issue in the broad sense (not like inadequate lighting, I mean) but would also impact things like leadership of groups, vetting members, who gets keys, and etc. and etc. And if it happened in a single volunteer group, would likely result in a tightening of control across all groups. With no explanation given.

Possible, but impossible to know. I'm not sure we should imply that anyone has done (or could have done) anything illegal here when we've got absolutely nothing to base it on.

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arse

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Lincoln Imp
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Very few of them seem to be capable of thinking, "We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for ringing every month, isn't that great!"

"We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for Weightwatchers every month, and at least they have the decency to pay us a booking fee."
...

...

I assume that was parody.

I'm being slightly Devil's Advocatey, but why would you assume it's a parody?

Bellringing - a private club using church premises free of charge - and getting an income through the church for ringing at weddings? Sounds like a good deal to me.



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There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds. (Tennyson)

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Lincoln Imp
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quote:
Originally posted by Lincoln Imp:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
Very few of them seem to be capable of thinking, "We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for ringing every month, isn't that great!"

"We've got up to 50 people coming into our church for Weightwatchers every month, and at least they have the decency to pay us a booking fee."
...

...

I assume that was parody.

I'm being slightly Devil's Advocatey, but why would you assume it's a parody?

Bellringing - a private club using church premises free of charge - and getting an income through the church for ringing at weddings? Sounds like a good deal to me.


This is exactly the type of pig-ignorant and gratuitously offensive comment by someone who has absolutely no idea of what they are talking about.

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There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds. (Tennyson)

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

I can imagine that a possibly-criminal issue might have arisen among one of the volunteer groups that caused the leadership to feel they had no choice but to take these drastic measures immediately--and yet confidentiality would make it basically impossible to explain why. My first guess would be some form of sexual assault. Which is a health-and-safety issue in the broad sense (not like inadequate lighting, I mean) but would also impact things like leadership of groups, vetting members, who gets keys, and etc. and etc. And if it happened in a single volunteer group, would likely result in a tightening of control across all groups. With no explanation given.

Possible, but impossible to know. I'm not sure we should imply that anyone has done (or could have done) anything illegal here when we've got absolutely nothing to base it on.
Not implying anything, except that it would be wise as well as charitable to refrain from harsh judgement.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by anne:
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.

I have been to several weddings that have taken place, by Special Licence, in college chapels. Precisely none of the parties would have had a hope of proving a "strong worshipping connection" with the chapel, as none of them were regular worshippers anywhere.

They were all recent graduates of the college, and so had a strong connection to the college, but had very little connection to its chapel. It seems to me that ringers at the Minster have at least as strong a connection. It seems to me that if the Minster was to support the application of one if its ringers to marry there by special licence, then it would be unlikely to be denied.

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Lincoln Imp:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Bellringing - a private club using church premises free of charge - and getting an income through the church for ringing at weddings? Sounds like a good deal to me.

This is exactly the type of pig-ignorant and gratuitously offensive comment by someone who has absolutely no idea of what they are talking about.
Would you care to point out where I'm factually incorrect? I'm always interested to learn more about things like bellringing after being married to a bellringer for 25 years.

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BroJames
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There are separate rules for getting married in a school or college chapel which are different from other places of worship. They are more like the Qualifying Connections based on residence for weddings in a parish church.
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If the problem were a structural one, the remedy would be to fix the structure, not sack the ringers.

If the problem were one of Health and Safety, the remedy would be to do a risk assessment and put in place appropriate mitigate for any risks found.

Neither of those would involve sacking the ringers: it might require ringing to be suspended temporarily and then resumed by the same people.

The problem is evidently neither of these. I suggest it's than one group of people thinks the others group is a set of cunts, and possibly vice versa.

I'm a (volunteer) director of a heritage railway that's run almost entirely by volunteers. We have health and safety coming out of our ears and the Railway Inspectorate and ORR on our backs, but we still manage to operate with largely volunteer labour. There is absolutely no reason why volunteers cannot comply with H&S.

Our HR policy would not permit us to arbitrarily sack groups of volunteers. We can only sack people on grounds of misconduct, and that would have to be proved for each person individually and they would each have a right of appeal.

We could, of course, cease to do certain activities - guided tours, for example. The volunteers involved would still be welcome to volunteer for other duties and, of course, the question of replacing them with another group of people would not arise.

Surprisingly, the first step forward in modernising the way the Minster works seems to be to treat the existing staff as if it's still 1730. And I don't mean half past five.

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I don't follow your point (a) as I'm pretty sure you could conduct a structural survey without the bellringers knowing.

If someone is up in the belfrey taking measurements, it is absolutely essential that the tower captain is made aware of it. This is to avoid even the possibility of the situation in which the ringers' first indication of the presence of someone in the bell-chamber above them is the blood dripping through the rope-holes when they start to swing the bells. This really is a health and safety issue.

[ 15. October 2016, 21:10: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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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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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Lincoln Imp:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Bellringing - a private club using church premises free of charge - and getting an income through the church for ringing at weddings? Sounds like a good deal to me.

This is exactly the type of pig-ignorant and gratuitously offensive comment by someone who has absolutely no idea of what they are talking about.
Would you care to point out where I'm factually incorrect? I'm always interested to learn more about things like bellringing after being married to a bellringer for 25 years.
I would have thought that categorising ringing teams as "members of a private club", whilst being arguably factually correct, is, indeed, gratuitously offensive, implying, as it does, that the ringers have no commitment to the wider life of the church. If I were a ringer, which I am not, I would be pretty offended that my offering would be so regarded. Are altar servers, Lay Readers, flower arrangers, banner groups, housegroups and other volunteers who enrich the life of the church, also best categorised as "members of a private club"?

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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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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Pulsator Organorum Ineptus:
If the problem were a structural one, the remedy would be to fix the structure, not sack the ringers.

They haven't been sacked. Bellringing has stopped and anyone who wants to continue will have to jump through hoops to show the authorities that they're suitable.

You can't sack volunteers - but you can change the prerequisites needed to gain the privilege of volunteering.

quote:
If the problem were one of Health and Safety, the remedy would be to do a risk assessment and put in place appropriate mitigate for any risks found.
That depends on the nature of the health and safety problem. The Dean has instigated a remedy: nobody does any bellringing until such time as everyone proves that they are suitably trained to do that activity.

quote:
Neither of those would involve sacking the ringers: it might require ringing to be suspended temporarily and then resumed by the same people.
They're not sacked. Why are you using this emotive language? They're not employees, they haven't been summarily dismissed and they are free to apply to continue volunteering in this way providing they meet the criteria set down by York Minster for their volunteers.

quote:
The problem is evidently neither of these. I suggest it's than one group of people thinks the others group is a set of cunts, and possibly vice versa.
Right. Of course, the expert has spoken!

quote:
I'm a (volunteer) director of a heritage railway that's run almost entirely by volunteers. We have health and safety coming out of our ears and the Railway Inspectorate and ORR on our backs, but we still manage to operate with largely volunteer labour. There is absolutely no reason why volunteers cannot comply with H&S.
Nobody said that there was a reason why volunteers cannot comply with H&S.

But imagine a scenario where the volunteers on your heritage line had been continuously working in a dangerous way for 20 years, that your warnings had been falling on deaf ears and that you got an official warning from the Railway Inspectorate that if you didn't change practices you'd be shut down. In that circumstance, I suggest to you that you may indeed decide to stop doing what you are doing until such time as that you've sorted out the problem.


quote:
Our HR policy would not permit us to arbitrarily sack groups of volunteers. We can only sack people on grounds of misconduct, and that would have to be proved for each person individually and they would each have a right of appeal.
Volunteers can't be sacked. So for a start I'm not sure you're as familiar with your own volunteering policy as you think you are.

And second, I'm willing to bet that there are circumstances when you'd shut down the railway and retrain all of the volunteers.

I don't see why you are being so high-and-mighty here. If volunteers on a railway didn't follow the H&S, eventually you'd ask them to stop volunteering until they'd shown sufficient nouse to be safe.

quote:
We could, of course, cease to do certain activities - guided tours, for example. The volunteers involved would still be welcome to volunteer for other duties and, of course, the question of replacing them with another group of people would not arise.
Well this isn't that situation. If you are bellringers, you're not going to want to join the embroiderers. So that's got absolutely nothing to do with it.

quote:
Surprisingly, the first step forward in modernising the way the Minster works seems to be to treat the existing staff as if it's still 1730. And I don't mean half past five.
Volunteers are not staff. Most organisations have distinct volunteering policies that are different to their HR policies for this very reason.

Yes, volunteers should be respected, but this notion that they're somehow "employees" is utter bollocks.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
I would have thought that categorising ringing teams as "members of a private club", whilst being arguably factually correct, is, indeed, gratuitously offensive, implying, as it does, that the ringers have no commitment to the wider life of the church. If I were a ringer, which I am not, I would be pretty offended that my offering would be so regarded. Are altar servers, Lay Readers, flower arrangers, banner groups, housegroups and other volunteers who enrich the life of the church, also best categorised as "members of a private club"?

If it is indeed true that the bellringers create their own clique without any - or much - other interaction with anything else that happens in the church, then calling it a "private club" seems entirely appropriate.

And I don't know about those other groups in every church, but in every one I've ever been aware of, they're engaged in the worship and life of the church.

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arse

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Nightlamp
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# 266

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At best this is a lesson in how not to manage volunteers. At worst it is a travesty which will undermine the ministry of the entire work of the Cathedral. Sadly Cathedral Chapters seem to be able to able to make a pigs ear of a lot of things and it me of Lincoln Cathedral back in the 90's

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
implying, as it does, that the ringers have no commitment to the wider life of the church.

In my (admittedly not universal) experience, this has been the case.

If everyone is happy with the situation - the bells are rung and that's the important thing - then it'll all bimble along. But the ringers have to acknowledge that they're allowed to ring at the sufferance of the priest, the PCC and the congregation. They have no 'right' to access the tower and the bells, which is someone else's property and someone else's liability.

It's certainly not beyond the Dean and Chapter to make a complete arse of things. But neither is it beyond them to be competent and correct.

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Forward the New Republic

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Nightlamp
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

It's certainly not beyond the Dean and Chapter to make a complete arse of things. But neither is it beyond them to be competent and correct.

The evidence at the least suggests it has been mismanaged as it is the press. I would have expected a series of recorded meetings to deal with the issues causing the problems before this particular pass was reached.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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Jolly Jape
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# 3296

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
I would have thought that categorising ringing teams as "members of a private club", whilst being arguably factually correct, is, indeed, gratuitously offensive, implying, as it does, that the ringers have no commitment to the wider life of the church. If I were a ringer, which I am not, I would be pretty offended that my offering would be so regarded. Are altar servers, Lay Readers, flower arrangers, banner groups, housegroups and other volunteers who enrich the life of the church, also best categorised as "members of a private club"?

If it is indeed true that the bellringers create their own clique without any - or much - other interaction with anything else that happens in the church, then calling it a "private club" seems entirely appropriate.

And I don't know about those other groups in every church, but in every one I've ever been aware of, they're engaged in the worship and life of the church.

And are not the bell ringers engaged in the worship and life of the church? Part of the Captain's complaint is that the ringers' desire to be more engaged in the life of the church was frustrated by the D & C's unwillingness to engage with him or his group.

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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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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
There are separate rules for getting married in a school or college chapel which are different from other places of worship. They are more like the Qualifying Connections based on residence for weddings in a parish church.

Fair enough. Then we're looking at this paragraph:

quote:
Applicants for a Special Licence should have a genuine and longstanding demonstrable link to the church building (and its congregation/worshipping community) where they wish to be married, which is sufficiently strong to justify the issue of a Licence. As part of this, applicants for a Special Licence will usually need to show a worshipping connection, over a period of time, with the church where they hope to marry.
It seems to me that being a regular ringer is a "genuine and longstanding demonstrable link", and if such a ringer were to be described by the Dean as a longstanding member of the Minster community, then a licence would almost certainly be granted.

The implication of the news reports is that the Minster decided that it wouldn't even support an application for a special licence.

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BroJames
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I suspect the problem may come with the second half of
quote:
genuine and longstanding demonstrable link to the church building (and its congregation/worshipping community)
if the ringers have become a group who ring but do not attend worship.
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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
if the ringers have become a group who ring but do not attend worship.

If they are ringing the bells every week to draw the community in to worship, that is a connection with the worshipping community, even if what they do is ring the bells, then go for a pint.

As opposed, for example, to someone who has a connection to the building because he's chained his bicycle to it every day for the last few years.

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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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If the goal is to chase away a few more people from Christianity, I can't think of a better way. By all means, chase away any people who show up voluntarily to provide service, and make sure you do it as coldly and rudely as possible, all the while throwing in some sop about "discover God’s love". Huh. This administration wouldn't know God's love if they received it via a celestial french kiss.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Nightlamp
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# 266

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quote:
Originally posted by Nightlamp:
I would have expected a series of recorded meetings to deal with the issues causing the problems before this particular pass was reached.

apparently there were no pre meetings or warnings about issues just a meeting withdrawing them from the role of volunteers.

So even if the Dean and Chapter were right in principle they were wrong because there was a failure to communicate what the problems were.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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anne
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# 73

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
if the ringers have become a group who ring but do not attend worship.

If they are ringing the bells every week to draw the community in to worship, that is a connection with the worshipping community, even if what they do is ring the bells, then go for a pint.

As opposed, for example, to someone who has a connection to the building because he's chained his bicycle to it every day for the last few years.

But however these rules are being interpreted, they are not being implemented by the Dean and Chapter, but by Lambeth. If there has been a change, it is unlikely to be one that the Cathedral authorities have any influence over. Certainly locally we have seen a significant tightening up over the eligibility to marry in closed (Conservation Trust) churches under Archbishop's Special Licence - and of course the flack when the decision is 'No' comes back onto the local church, rather than the national decision-makers.

Many ringers are also regular congregants - but in my experience, most are not. In one church where the ringers stood within the sanctuary, the start of worship was marked by the ringers, with 2 exceptions, walking the length of the building and out of the door.

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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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Penny S
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# 14768

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I have been wondering why I am so wrapped up in this case, since I am not a bellringer, not do I attend a CofE church. There is an interest in an injustice, but my interest has been greater than that could allow for.

And then I realised that it has echoes from my past. I have seen it twice. In my secondary school and in my college, where in both cases, the head/principal who had been of the tradition of Miss Beals and Miss Buss with their dedication to the education of women was replaced with women who weren't. Both replacements had obsessions with order, both had difficulties with staff appointed by their predecessor, and both made some mistakes in dealing with things they wanted to change, and found it impossible to view things from other people's position.

And because I somehow didn't hit it off with these women, to my serious detriment, I am seeing something similar here. Possibly wrongly, and I do hope it isn't a female thing, because the last thing that needs to happen is for the sort of men who think women shouldn't be Deans to be able to say that they told us so. (I have heard of men doing similar things, though.)

And I am now puzzled by one comment BTL in the York Press, in the piece about how she was regarded at Leicester, which says she studied for an MBA. Surely that course of study should include teaching people that they should familiarise themselves with the work their employees carry out before wringing changes out of them? Total refusal to do so would seem to be stupid.

[ 16. October 2016, 10:45: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:


And I am now puzzled by one comment BTL in the York Press, in the piece about how she was regarded at Leicester, which says she studied for an MBA. Surely that course of study should include teaching people that they should familiarise themselves with the work their employees carry out before wringing changes out of them? Total refusal to do so would seem to be stupid.

FFS, they're not employees! Volunteering is not the same as being employed.

I don't understand why this is so hard to understand.

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arse

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Penny S
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# 14768

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No, they aren't employees, but the point about familiarising with the work carried out should still apply, shouldn't it? And volunteering means you can be treated like a Victorian farm labourer does it?

A request by one to go in and ring down the 3 tonne tenor, made to one of the canons, has been refused because 'he doesn't have the authority.' This is a serious H&S issue, that the bellringers know about and no-one else seems to care about.

[ 16. October 2016, 11:01: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
No, they aren't employees, but the point about familiarising with the work carried out should still apply, shouldn't it? And volunteering means you can be treated like a Victorian farm labourer does it?

A request by one to go in and ring down the 3 tonne tenor, made to one of the canons, has been refused because 'he doesn't have the authority.' This is a serious H&S issue, that the bellringers know about and no-one else seems to care about.

The problem is that in the vast majority of cases volunteers are a cost to an organisation and very often have a very warped idea of their position within the whole scheme of things.

For example, I have seen on two occasions now volunteers getting upset because a charity decided to close the shop they were volunteering in. In both cases the charity was losing money - the shop wasn't even paying its way.

The volunteers got very upset, said that the charity should respect their years of volunteering, made all sorts of angry comments and so on.

All of which made zip difference because the decisions to close the shop was an economic one and the charity wasn't just there to provide volunteers with something to do with their time.

Now, clearly York Minster doesn't have to have bells pealing. And it has no obligation to ensure that bellringers have access to the bells that they want to ring. It is not an obligation, it is a privilege that the Chapter allow volunteers to enter the cathedral and engage in an activity they enjoy.

Well, they don't any more. Hard cheese.

And if there is a H&S issue with the bells, we can now be sure that the Dean is fully aware of it and if anything happens it is on her.

That's really now got nothing to do with anything.

[ 16. October 2016, 11:10: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by anne:
But however these rules are being interpreted, they are not being implemented by the Dean and Chapter, but by Lambeth.

Not necessarily. An application for special license requires the support of the clergy in charge of the church - in this case, presumably the Dean. It's entirely possible (and is implied by the wording of the article) that the Dean refused to support an application for a special licence, rather than that a sensible-looking application was rejected by Lambeth.

This isn't explicit in the article, so you could be right and it's a change in behaviour from Lambeth, but it could equally be coming from the Dean.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Not necessarily. An application for special license requires the support of the clergy in charge of the church - in this case, presumably the Dean. It's entirely possible (and is implied by the wording of the article) that the Dean refused to support an application for a special licence, rather than that a sensible-looking application was rejected by Lambeth.

Funny how you're suddenly an expert on this even though on the previous page you knew nothing about it.

The whole process of obtaining special licenses has been tightened up in Cathedrals because of the major inconvenience it causes to everyone to have a service in the Nave.

Do you know that Lambeth considers a bellringers wedding to be "sensible"? No. Do you know if Lambeth told the people at York Minster that they'd not get a license if they applied for one again? No.

quote:
This isn't explicit in the article, so you could be right and it's a change in behaviour from Lambeth, but it could equally be coming from the Dean.
I just don't understand this: bellringing in the Minster is a privilege and getting married in the Nave is an extremely rare privilege. Why the blazes should the Dean support the major inconvenience of someone who only turns up to do bellringing getting married in the Minster?

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arse

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Chamois
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Originally posted by mr cheesy:

quote:
The problem is that in the vast majority of cases volunteers are a cost to an organisation and very often have a very warped idea of their position within the whole scheme of things.

For example, I have seen on two occasions now volunteers getting upset because a charity decided to close the shop they were volunteering in. In both cases the charity was losing money - the shop wasn't even paying its way.

The volunteers got very upset, said that the charity should respect their years of volunteering, made all sorts of angry comments and so on.

All of which made zip difference because the decisions to close the shop was an economic one and the charity wasn't just there to provide volunteers with something to do with their time.

You are demonstrably someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

quote:
Now, clearly York Minster doesn't have to have bells pealing. And it has no obligation to ensure that bellringers have access to the bells that they want to ring. It is not an obligation, it is a privilege that the Chapter allow volunteers to enter the cathedral and engage in an activity they enjoy.
Your argument fails on its own terms. The Dean is not proposing to stop the ringing on cost grounds. She is proposing to replace the current band of ringers (100% volunteers) with a new band of volunteers plus a PAID manager. So her new arrangement is going to cost the cathedral more money than the current arrangement.

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
You are demonstrably someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

You've obviously the kind of idiot who thinks costly projects should continue just because it keeps volunteers entertained.

quote:
Your argument fails on its own terms. The Dean is not proposing to stop the ringing on cost grounds. She is proposing to replace the current band of ringers (100% volunteers) with a new band of volunteers plus a PAID manager. So her new arrangement is going to cost the cathedral more money than the current arrangement.
And you know that it is going to cost more, how exactly? How do you know that this new arrangement would not be able to bring in more money (I've no idea how) to the Minster?

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arse

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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The problem here seems to be that the CofE has acquired two roles: one is religious, the other involves maintaining a certain heritage for enthusiasts who may have very little interest in religion.

It's unsurprising that the resulting tension should sometimes burst out into the open, but you have to hope that good manners and respect will resume quickly.

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