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New Chair for OBC

Search for a new Chair for Oxford Bridge Club
The AGM is fast approaching (Wednesday 2nd December 2020 at 6.00pm).

For members who have been involved in the club for a long time you will know the format, a report from the chair, the annual accounts, the election of the eight ex-officio trustees, three directly elected trustees, three officers and the awarding of trophies.

Pat Lewis, the current Chair, has served over three years in post, the refurbishment is complete, finances are pretty good, and the new governance is in place.

We are looking for a new Chair who can take us forward and continue to provide bridge for everyone who is interested, whether new to the game or old hands.

Any member of the club can be nominated for any of the ex-officio posts. I have listed them below, and highlighted posts that must be filled this year, all posts are re-elected at each AGM. If you would like to be nominated for any of these positions please notify the secretary at asap.

Ex-officio trustees – re-elected every year

Post Current holder Prepared to continue
(see Job Description below)
Pat Lewis (since 2017) No
Treasurer Steven Bliss (since 2020) Yes
Secretary Ursula Bowler (since 2019) Yes
Tournament Secretary Liza Furnival (since 2017) Yes
Education Secretary Susan Fletcher (since 2020) Yes
Premises Officer Julie Anderson (since 2020) Yes
Conduct Officer Mary Bennett (since 2019) Yes
Communications Officer
(see Job Description below)
New Post  


Directly elected trustees (DETs) – will continue in post as they were elected in 2019, these roles are for three years.

In addition to the Trustees, holders of the following posts are re-elected every year. Following the recent changes made to the Constitution and Articles of Association these officers are no longer ex-officio Trustees.

Officers Post holder Prepared to continue
Chief Tournament Director Martin Illingworth Yes
Membership Secretary Matthew Wilkinson Yes
Social Secretary Susan Smith No

The trustees believe that a rotation of members is good for the club, bringing fresh ideas, new expertise and a variety of skills to the management of the club. This is a benefit for all of us, keeping OBC CIO an expanding and improving bridge club. I have attached short job descriptions for the Chair and Communications Officer to give you an indication of the work and time commitment required. If you would like an informal chat about any of these posts, please contact


Job description and person specification: The chairman

Main responsibilities

  • The accountable officer – ‘the buck stops here’
  • Chairs, and helps plan and run, trustee meetings and members’ meetings (and may, rarely, have to give a casting vote at trustee meetings)
  • Takes the lead on ensuring that meetings are properly run and recorded
  • Takes the lead on ensuring that trustees comply with their duties and the charity is well governed
  • The prime spokesperson for the charity
  • Takes the lead on planning the club’s strategy and planning for the future generally
  • Takes the lead on creating the right sort of culture at the club and among trustees, and should be available to be approached by all members
  • Manages conflicts, between trustees and members, as necessary

Desirable experience and qualities

  • Some general management experience is desirable
  • Must be a member of the club and a reasonably experienced bridge player
  • Must know, understand and follow relevant Charity Commission guidance
  • Must be both patient and determined, able to handle difficult people and situations where necessary
  • Should be capable of creating the club’s vision and culture
  • Must be able to devote the time needed
  • Must be an effective spokesperson for the club
  • Good listener without necessarily reacting

Main working relationships

  • Will work closely with the other trustees and chairs of committees within the club
  • Available for contact with members, and will make contact where appropriate (e.g. to thank people)
  • Will have some contact with the chairs of other bridge clubs, with the county bridge association and with the EBU (although this is sometimes delegated)

Time commitment

This varies considerably from week to week – on average about a day a week, but can be more at busy times. Apart from meetings, much of the work can often be done at times to suit the chairman.

Job Description: Communications Officer

This document is a draft, as the post is new and not fully defined. The postholder will need to develop it, adding and changing things as required.

Committee membership

Is a member of the Membership and Communications Committee

Is normally expected to Chair the Membership and Communications Committee (though someone else may take on this role).

Is responsible for reporting between the Trustees’ and the Membership and Communications Committee.


Overall responsibility for ensuring that the club communicates effectively with its members and beneficiaries.

Editorial control of news bulletins.

Overall responsibility for external club communications.

Control of the club’s social media accounts.


Ensuring that the club’s bridge and education activities are promoted effectively via a wide range of marketing pathways, including the club website, external websites, flyers, posters and social media.

Ensuring that information about the club and its activities presented on the club premises, on our website and and on external websites is kept up to date.

Public relations: liaison with mass media outlets (eg radio/TV/local press), press releases.


May have some responsibility for the club’s website, IT functions and infrastructure. [This is not confirmed and might depend on the skill-set of whoever takes the post]