The Arts Society Bury St Edmunds is managed by a small committee which meets four times a year. Members of the Committee normally hold office for a period of three years. In addition, there are a number of volunteers who assist in keeping the society operating smoothly. They include the tea and catering teams, web manager and assistant to the technical advisor.

If you would like to offer your services either as a committee member or as an assistant, please contact any member of the Committee. Alternatively, send an email via this website: go to 'Contact Us' and complete the enquiry form.

Committee Members and their roles:

Chairman: current holder, David Payne

The Chair’s principal role is to see that The Arts Society Bury St Edmunds continues as a successful society within The Arts Society movement. To achieve this, he relies on the support of elected committee members who have specific responsibilities, and a number of assistants. He chairs the four committee meetings per year and welcomes members to the monthly lecture meetings. He ensures that the Society follows correct procedures, which uphold the constitution, and he is the figurehead of the Society.

Vice Chairman: current holder, Rob Williams

Principal role is to support the Chairman and stand in for the Chairman when necessary.

Honorary Secretary: current holder, Virginia Dean

The Honorary Secretary is the principal administrative officer of the Society. The Secretary provides clerical support for the Chairman as required and has the following specific responsibilities:

  • Committee Meetings. Prior to the meeting the Secretary agrees the agenda with the Chairman and sends it to Committee members, takes the Minutes of the meeting - which are subsequently agreed with the Chairman - and distributes them to Committee members.
  • Annual General Meeting. The Secretary assists the Chairman in the preparation of the relevant papers and distributes them to Committee members, takes Minutes of the meeting, presents a draft of the Minutes at the next Committee meeting and files them for approval at the AGM the following year.
  • Annual Programme Card. The Secretary prepares draft text for the Annual Programme Card for approval by the Chairman and Committee, sends the approved text to the Printers, in time for the finished Programme Card to be ready for distribution by the Membership Secretary in August.

Hon Treasurer: current holder, Paul Leake

The treasurer is the principal financial officer of the Society and has the following responsibilities:

  • Receipts and Payments. Receive and bank all payments received.
  • Pay all approved suppliers’ invoices on a timely basis.
  • Be prepared to pay lecturers the fee agreed on the day of the lecture.
  • Reimburse Committee members for purchases made on behalf of the society, on receipt of properly supported expense claims.
  • Records. Maintain a cash book and other appropriate records, and produce a Receipts and Payments Summary when required. Reconcile the cash book with the bank statement on a regular basis.
  • Maintain an up to date record of authorised cheque signatories with the bank.
  • Reports
    • Prepare Annual Accounts for examination by the Society’s appointed accountants.
    • Prepare an annual budget from input provided by the Committee members.
    • Provide a financial analysis of visits, study days and any other events, as required.
  • Assist the Membership Secretary in the preparation of Gift Aid returns and claims (subject to HMRC approval).

Membership Secretary: current holder, Claire Rose

The Membership Secretary is the primary means of communication between the Society and the membership, with responsibility for:

  • All administrative and event communication with members, by post and email.
  • Maintaining up to date membership records and systems in the detail required, and processing applications for membership of the Society.
  • Progressing membership renewals at the end of the Society year, including the preparation and distribution of all necessary paperwork, forwarding payments to the Treasurer and pursuing late subscriptions.
  • Procuring membership cards for the beginning of the Society year and distributing these and the Annual Programme Card to all members.
  • Recording the attendance of members and guests at the monthly lecture meetings, using a swipe-card system for members.

Programme Secretary: current holder, Penny Turner

The principal role of the Programme Secretary, is to arrange the annual programme of monthly lectures. Responsibilities include:

  • Using The Arts Society Directory as the primary source of reference, to consider potential topics and lecturers with members of the Committee.
  • Contact each lecturer to agree title and content of lecture, nature of audio/visual aids to be used, fee and travel expenses. Arrange overnight accommodation if required. Complete a booking form with the details agreed upon and send it to the lecturer with a sae. Retain and file the returned copy.
  • After confirmation of the programme with the Committee, prepare text for the Annual Programme Card for printing by the Honorary Secretary.
  • Provide the Web Site Manager with synopsis of each lecture, profile of the lecturer and suitable picture, for inclusion on the Society’s web site.
  • Liaise with Technical Advisor over audio/visual requirements, or put lecturer in direct contact. At least six weeks before the event, contact the lecturer to confirm the arrangements made. Confirm arrival time to allow for participation in the pre-lecture lunch. Establish if the lecturer needs to be collected from the station and make the appropriate arrangements. Welcome the lecturer on arrival, look after them during their stay and introduce them and their subject to the lecture audience. Ensure the Treasurer has a cheque for the lecturer on day of lecture. Obtain feedback on the lecture from Committee and other members and complete and send off a lecture review form to The Arts Society HQ.
  • Attend The Arts Society Annual Directory Meeting and Area Programme Days (if applicable).

UK Visits Organiser: current holder, Stephen Haylock

The role of the Visits Organiser is to arrange day visits to places of cultural interest. The choice of venue will include historic buildings, galleries, exhibitions and theatre performances. There is no set number of events in a year. The Organiser prepares a shortlist of potential visits for Committee consideration. Once agreed, an information sheet giving all the essential details for a particular event is drafted for production and distribution by the Membership Secretary, who processes replies and payments and provides administration for members and guests participating in the visit.

Overseas Tours and Extended UK Visits Organiser: current holder, Sue Leake

The Tours Organiser is responsible for researching and proposing visits of up to a week either in the UK or abroad, to places of notable and varied, cultural interest. There is normally one event a year. Having agreed, in conjunction with the Committee, on the outline for a tour, the Organiser contacts appropriate agencies to discuss details and negotiate terms. Final details of the tour are presented at a subsequent meeting of the Committee. The Organiser is involved in the preparation of literature designed to promote the tour to members, and this is distributed by the Membership Secretary. The Organiser establishes a list of participants, detailing contact names and addresses, mobile and home telephone numbers and email addresses, together with any special, eg dietary, requirements. During the tour, the Organiser takes an active interest in assessing the wellbeing of the group, and encourages feedback upon return, which can provide invaluable guidance for future events.

Technical Advisor: Current holder, Jeff Paine

The main role of the Technical Advisor is to meet the projection and sound needs of the visiting lecturers. This involves the purchase of suitable equipment, its updating and maintenance, setting it up for each lecture and its removal and storage when the lecture is over. He also creates the in-house pre-lecture PowerPoint presentation and maintains and updates as necessary, the swipe card system  in conjunction with the Membership Secretary.

The Technical Advisor has a volunteer assistant who provides support in monitoring the sound amplification and audio/visual presentation equipment during lectures. Two assistants are required, to cover for absences and holidays.