The Tower Handbook

7.3: Roles in the Tower

Eight separate roles are listed below with their basic responsibilities. They do not all have to be done by separate people, and most towers combine several of them. Alternatively you could divide a role further. For example if you have a lot of weddings you could have a wedding secretary to deal with the bookings, organise the bands, find extras from other towers when short, and distribute the money. This would leave the secretary to do the non wedding jobs. Different combinations suit different bands.

Role Description Responsibilities to individuals Responsibilities to the band Responsibilities to the church
Tower Captain The leader and figure head of the tower. The ringers' representative to the outside world. Need not be the most able ringer, but should value quality ringing. Ensure each feels valued as a member of the band. Talk to them. Encourage them. Show appreciation for their contribution. Introduce them to the wider ringing community [62]. Encourage a team spirit and resolve differences when needed. Represent the band's views, aspirations and needs outside the tower. Ensure that the bells are rung when required and that conduct is orderly. Ensure the band remains viable. Set appropriate safety standards and ensure they are adhered to.
Ringing Master Run the ringing on practice night, for services and any other special occasion. Give each a fair share of the ringing time available. Give each opportunity for 'prime rings' [63]. Manage the ringing so the band can progress and feel proud of the ringing produced. Ensure that ringing is always of adequate quality. Ensure safety is not compromised in pursuit of other objectives.
Secretary The tower correspondent and general organiser. Keep relevant records (minutes of tower meetings, records of peals and quarter peals, attendance records - if used, etc) Ensure each is informed of things that affect them. Correspond with the local association, publicise meetings etc. Liaise with parish officials about special ringing, weddings etc. Deal with requests from visiting ringers. Inform the congregation (eg through the parish magazine).
Instructor Train recruits (from bell handling to learning methods). Help determine the timing and number of recruits. Ensure trainees receive advice (while ringing and not ringing). Help ringers to develop effective ways of learning for themselves. Help the Ringing Master to maintain a balance between the needs of trainees and other ringers. Help provide competent, motivated members of the band. Ensure trainees are fully aware of safety issues.
Treasurer Look after tower funds and other monetary transactions. Ensure anyone incurring expense on behalf of the tower is promptly reimbursed. Manage tower funds to provide appropriate security, availability and interest. Distribute wedding payment if appropriate. Provide accounts. Review finances, recommending change if appropriate. Account for, and predict future need for, the use of church funds. Provide audited accounts if required to do so.
Steeple keeper Maintain the bells and fittings in a safe working order. Inspect them regularly to forestall failures. Recommend any necessary action beyond routine maintenance. Acquire any skills needed to do the job. Respond to individual concerns, eg rope lengths or adequacy of boxes. Ensure the bells are reliable and go well, that ropes do not break, and that the belfry, stairs and ringing room are clean, tidy and safe. Maintain the bell installation cost effectively. Help train others to do the work in future. Warn of any impending problems or need for expenditure. Do other jobs by local custom eg wind the clock or put up and take down the flag.
PCC representative This role is not in your gift, but ideally you want your interests represented to the PCC. Keep the PCC informed of ringing matters and the ringers informed of PCC issues. Play an active role on the PCC.
Social Secretary Organise all non ringing events, eg tower dinner, possibly outings or tower holidays, nights out, fund raising events. Respond to individual wishes and suggestions. Draw on individual talents. Ensure all know what is happening and no one feels left out. Seek to organise events that will engender support and create a team spirit. Judge the balance between not enough and too much. Involve other members of the church whenever possible, eg participating in a quiz night.

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