The Tower Handbook

7.1: Objectives

a: What is our band trying to achieve?

Have you ever asked this fundamental question? You should from time to time. Wherever you want to go, it helps to agree before you try to get there. Producing good ringing for church services [57] and other special occasions should be your primary objective, but you may have others as well. You will have objectives the whole band shares, and you may each have individual objectives too.

Other objectives will contribute towards the main objective. For instance sustaining the band so ringing in the future will also be assured. That in turn implies objectives of recruiting and training new ringers, developing individual skills and developing a team spirit to retain the ringers you have.

Rather than just have vague aims, you can break each objective down into specific targets that you intend to achieve this year, this month or whatever.

b: What if we disagree about our objectives?

From time to time some of you will. This is normal in any group, but you won't know whether you agree or not unless you discuss things (this can be more difficult than it might seem). Try to reach a consensus on most important things, but this may need some give and take [58]. There may be areas where you have to agree to differ, which is fine so long as the dissenters do not prevent the others achieving something. Ideally you would be democratic about these things, but since everything is voluntary, you need at least passive consent anyway.

c: Should our objectives only be concerned with ringing?

Ringing is naturally the main focus of all your efforts, but a healthy band will have wider interests as well. Your band has a place in the church and the wider community. With this come responsibilities. You need to interact with other groups, especially in the church. It helps things run smoothly if you have a set of regular contacts, and if people outside the tower also know which of you to contact for what purpose (eg who arranges bands for weddings, who deals with maintenance).

d: Should we publicise our objectives?

You can post a list of 'this year's objectives' on the notice board. This helps keep them in people's minds rather than being forgotten.

Make sure such targets are achievable and specific, eg 'recruit and train two new ringers in the autumn', 'ring a quarter of Surprise this year', 'paint the frame before next winter'.

If you decide to adopt any controversial objectives and state them explicitly, make sure they are acceptable to your parish priest and churchwardens. This is easier if one of them chairs your AGM at which you discuss your objectives.


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