Project Team #
A project may be proposed by one or two individuals with ambitions to achieve certain outcomes. However, it is usually better for a small group of people with a wider range of skills, interests and experiences to work together to make the project a success. It is advisable that the project is not the direct responsibility of an existing committee such as the PCC as that will usually have many other commitments and structured ways of operating; the team will need flexibility to plan the work and establish ways of working that will achieve the outcomes intended.
Appointing the Project Team #
Project Leader #
The tower authority should appoint a project leader. Previous experience of managing projects may be helpful whether professionally or voluntarily but is not essential. Interest, a logical approach plus time available are probably most important.
Importantly, the leader should be willing to work with others whether volunteers, contractors, those consulted and giving advice, and other stakeholders. The leader need not to be “the best ringer”, tower captain or steeple keeper, but should have some knowledge of ringing and bell installations.
The leader’s terms of appointment should be agreed ideally in writing, outlining the scope of their responsibilities, what is to be achieved, timescales and any constraints.
TOP TIP: Project Leader is a responsible and important role, not to be undertaken lightly.
Team Members #
The leader should have the authority to appoint a small team, after consultation with the tower authorities, to assist with various aspects of the project. Team members may be allocated a specific role such as Project Secretary or Treasurer, consistent with their skills, interests and time available. What they agree to do should be set out in writing. Importantly, the team should be able to provide continuity if key individuals are unavailable.
Offers of help should be valued and accepted but not every volunteer needs to be a full team member, for example, someone may be willing to contribute to a certain activity or for a certain period but not involved otherwise.
Team members need not all be bell ringers; they may be able to contribute in other ways and will certainly gain new experiences. Volunteers may subsequently become involved in church activities and ringing, having not been involved previously. Young people helping will learn a lot and potentially help their careers! For those under 18, parental consent is essential. Safeguarding arrangments must be in place for all young and vulnerable helpers.
Team Working #
The team should discuss and agree how they intend to operate, share workload and activities, distribute information and maintain records. The team will need to meet periodically to discuss and agree key matters, supplemented by frequent electronic communications.
As team members get to know each other, they will build a rapport enabling them to work together through the project. There will be high and low points, frustrations and successes; socialising together will help!
TOP TIP: Match roles to the team of people available.
Team Members and Roles #
The following are examples of roles that may be required. Note that several roles may be combined or may not be necessary, depending on the scale of the project and interests of those involved.
|Visionary, charismatic champion for the project, key influencer, well connected, spokesman
|High profile engagement with local dignitaries, official bodies
|Determination, completer finisher, planner, team worker, eye for detail
|Bell and Ringing Advisor / Tower captain (may be two people)
|Bell ringer, engineer, technical knowledge, contract insights
|Good writing / language skills, meets deadlines
|Fund Raising Lead
|Local and wider knowledge of opportunities
|Administrator, attention to details
|Stakeholder relations Lead / Public Relations
|Good communicator, designer, artist, author, social media and web user, charismatic, flair, imagination
Team supporters #
Supportive volunteers, whether from the church or local community, may offer a wide range of skills and experience. If helping professional contractors such as bell hangers, then this must be agreed in advance with the companies concerned and the volunteers must follow guidance and instructions from the relevant professionals. Bell hangers may agree as part of the contract to reduce the price of the work if volunteers agree to help with aspects of the work.
Young people under 18 (with parental consent in accordance with safeguarding requirements) can be encouraged to assist according to their age, maturity and interests. They will have a great experience, learn a little about bell installations, and contribute enthusiastically. Even younger children enjoy helping, for example, carrying just small items from a van to the church door.
Some people will be technically minded, but many with other skills will contribute:
- IT, computing – website, blog, project tools, presentations, brochure layout
- historians – a history of the bells, past ringers, ringing events in the context of the local town or village locations
- craftspeople and tradesmen – painting, woodwork, metal work associated with the project, with contractors or small additional items of use, or for sale. Perhaps using items recycled from items removed from the tower as part of the project
- musicians – the music of bell ringing, handbells in concerts, schools, fund raising events
- artists and designers – artwork for displays, presentations posters, grant applications, website, brochure
- photographers – record of project, imagery for website, blog
- building owners – venues, parking for events
- chefs, caterers - events and fund raising
- volunteer labour - working under guidance of the professional contractors, clearing items, lifting, carrying, moving, sweeping and cleaning
…… there is potential in everyone!
Volunteers may be able to assist with:
- Donation or loan at no or reduced cost - equipment, tools, scaffold, fork lifts
- Heavy lift and transport of bells to and from bell hangers premises
- Dismantling components and removing them from the tower
- Cleaning, preparation and finishing in the tower
- Carrying materials and components back into the tower
- Frame assembly and painting
- Installing fittings and components
- Installing new flooring, ceiling, furniture, wiring
- Painting, decorating ringing room and other space
- Installing external sound control and ensuring good internal acoustics
- Provision of overnight accommodation, washing and changing facilities, refreshments
- Hosting visitors, running errands
Recognition of Project Team #
A nice touch is to provide public recognition of at least the main members of the project team, perhaps by a plaque in the ringing room (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Recognition for the project team at Horton Kirby, Kent
Image Credits #
|Lunch for bell hangers and volunteers during the project at Calstock, Cornwall – pasties of course! (Photo: Andrew Mills)
|Recognition for the project team at Horton Kirby, Kent (Photo: Nick Wilkins)
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, neither contributors nor the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers can accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any activities undertaken based on the information provided.
Version 1.0, May 2023
© 2023 Central Council of Church Bell Ringers