Resignation statement from the RW Chairman

The Ringing World Ltd is facing a number of significant challenges.

Responding to the demographic changes apparent among ringers and to the context of publishing, transformed by digital communications, the Ringing World Board is identifying practical and creative long-term strategies for meeting the Ringing World’s charitable purposes while ensuring financial resilience.

The impact of the Covid pandemic on ringing has been enormous, providing the Board with further significant demands, not only financial but also in how matters are discussed and agreed. This has added considerably to the task of Chairman. Chairing the AGM was particularly difficult, for example, as the Zoom process required facing an invisible wall of silence, rather than the conventional visible presence and visibility of a live meeting.

I have been privileged to be a member of a Board made up of experienced, wise and creative members, committed to grappling with the present and future challenges, as well as many related routine tasks. Holding this together is a Chairman’s role, and I value the support the Board has given me to fulfil that.

However, an additional challenge has been the tirade of angry abuse and hurtful criticism, launched deliberately by a now ex-board member, including foul language during and after board meetings, and more recently, using every possible means to vilify the Chairman and Board. This has consumed a massive amount of time and energy, to the extent that I no longer have the personal resources or the motivation to make the time to continue as Chairman, despite the significant wide-ranging support I have received.

I am deeply disappointed to stand down, as during my time as Chairman, we have made important steps for the future, appointing a new and talented Editor, an Assistant Editor, a Digital Assistant, completed the process to replace (after four years of talking about it), enabled staff to remain paid and working through the pandemic, avoiding redundancies, as well as developing relationships with other ringing bodies.

I hope that Ringing World readers and members will appreciate the considerable experience and skills the current Board members are contributing, and be aware of how costly and destructive personal criticism can become, however easy it is to write it. I am sure the Board will welcome those who feel they have skills and gifts to offer to ensure The Ringing World flourishes now and in the future.