Trustees' Reports - Treasurer's Report 2017

Guild membership, as measured by those paying subscriptions during the year, decreased slightly in 2017, as there were a significant number of members paying their 2016 subscriptions a little late. The total paying their subscriptions last year was 510, against a revised 2016 figure of 551, the drop in numbers being fairly well spread throughout the Guild. At the time of preparing the accounts the Guild’s paying membership in 2017 was split thus:-

District Senior Junior Total Towers
Coventry District 125 3 128 21
Rugby Deanery 102 8 110 14
Warwick Archdeaconry 254 14 258 37
Unattached 4   4  
Totals 485 25 510 72

There are also 6 active Life Members resident within the Guild taking the resident membership to 516. My grateful thanks go again to George Wrycroft, Gerald Trevor and Sally Idle for their invaluable help in the collecting and recording of your subscriptions over the last 12 months. If you have not paid your subscription for 2018 by the time you read this (adults £10; juniors £2) I would urge you to send the money to one of these three as soon as possible.

This year the General Fund, despite increased expenditure on training and officers’ expenses, ended up with a surplus of over £1,100. There was less expense involved for newsletters and the Youth Team and no one-off amounts spent and the £5 element from subscriptions for the Bell Repair Fund came to £2,635. The Guild has reserves of £11,593 which is roughly equivalent to 3 years income, which the Trustees regard as acceptable. This amount covers for any unexpected falls to income or years in which expenditure is above the norm.

The Bell Repair Fund brought in over £4,000 during the year, largely due to the element of adult subscriptions collected during the year, and the excellent surplus (£540) from this year’s Draw Club – thanks to Joy Pluckrose and Chris Worley for running this over the last 12 months. In 2017 £7,100 was donated to two towers, including the highest amount we have donated thus far - £6,500 to Pillerton Hersey. The news received at the beginning of 2018 that a large sum of money left in a legacy with the Diocesan Trustees, the income from this being available for use by the Guild Bell Repair Fund, means that very meaningful donations can now be given to churches considering work on their bells and fittings in future years.

The Bell Repair Fund has reserves of £27,825. These have benefitted from the decision by the members to raise the annual Guild subscription and allocate the increase to the Fund. The very nature of the Fund means that the donations it makes to churches vary from year to year according to repairs, maintenance issues, and enhancements that occur and qualify for support. The donations made from the Fund vary from a few hundred pounds to several thousand according to the work needed. In simple terms with over 100 towers with bells in the Guild the Fund is equivalent to less than £300 per tower. The Trustees realise the level of the Fund is dependent on its income from the Coventry DG and its income is dependent on the number of subscribing members. The Trustees regard the current level of reserves as adequate but note that any exceptional demands for support could quickly deplete them.

Thanks must go to David Leafe for examining this year’s accounts and for his advice to the Guild trustees. Finally if anyone else is interested in looking after the Guild’s finances please say so as it really is time that someone else took over – after all I’ve been doing this for 38 years now!

Simon Rogers – Hon Treasurer