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Meeting for Sufferings July 2012 Minutes, follow up letter and papers

Minutes of Meeting for Sufferings 7 July 2012

Follow up letter & relevant associated papers

Meeting for Sufferings Clerk's follow up letter (PDF 37kb - new window)
Paper 1 - An overview of the centrally managed work (PDF 19kb - new window)
Paper 2 - Working with BYM Trustees (PDF 33kb - new window)
Paper 3 - BYYM Trustees Terms of Refrence (PDF 35kb - new window)
Paper 4 - BYM Trustees Separated Minute to Meeting for Sufferings (PDF 20kb - new window)

At a Meeting for Sufferings held in London 7 July 2012

S/12/07/1: Worship

Section 26.08 of Quaker faith & practice has been read in our opening worship, and we have remembered former members of this meeting who recently died.

S/12/07/2: Membership

We welcome Friends to the first meeting of the new triennium. For this meeting, our assistant clerk Jeffrey Dean being prevented from attending, Meeting for Sufferings appointed Euranis Neale as assistant clerk

Representatives and alternates were appointed to the new triennium of Meeting for Sufferings by minute 32 of Yearly Meeting held 25-28 May 2012.

Since Yearly Meeting we have had the following further nominations to serve on Meeting for Sufferings until the rise of Yearly Meeting 2015:

Area Meeting - Representative - Alternate
Banbury & Evesham - Jane Burn - Susie Tombs
Chilterns - Janet May-Bowles - Nicholas Sims
Hardshaw and Mann - Elizabeth Rowland-Elliott - Sue Tyldesley
Mid Essex - Susan Garratt - Deirdre Haslam
Mid-Thames - Lucy Harding  
Swarthmoor (South West Cumbria) - Robert Straughton - Marie Hay  
York - Elaine Ross - Roger Pierce
Young Friends General Meeting - Rachael Swancott Boon - Rachael Harrison
Quaker Committee for Christian & Interfaith Relations - Jennifer Hodgkin
Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee - Julia Bush 

Release requests received:
Cornwall - David Falconer
Quaker Committee for Christian & Interfaith Relations - Jennifer Hodgkin
On behalf of Yearly Meeting we appoint the Friends named and thank those released.

Visitors invited to represent area meetings in the absence of appointed representative and alternate:
Ann Banks - Brighouse West Yorkshire AM
Robert Keeble - Leeds AM

Other visitors:
Jennifer Barraclough - Oxford & Swindon
Hannah Brock - Young Friends General Meeting
Selena Larson - Young Friends General Meeting
Ethel Livermore - South London AM
Helen Percy - Young Friends General Meeting
Enid Smith - North Somerset AM
Marigold Bentley - Assistant General Secretary, Quaker Peace & Social Witness
Suze Lidbury - Events and Committee Services Team Leader, Quaker Communication & Services

We ask Friends here today to remind their area meetings that if both the appointed representative and alternate are prevented from attending, the area meeting should inform the Recording Clerk's Office of the name of the Friend substituted.

S/12/07/3: Adoption of agenda

We have reflected on issues to be considered during our meeting and agreed to the agenda.
We have heard an oral report on how committees, departments and Meeting for Sufferings work together for Britain Yearly Meeting in an overview of the centrally managed work.

We have heard introductions to our Support Group by its previous convenor Enid Smith, and to our Arrangements Group by Euranis Neile, one of its members.

We are grateful to the members of the Handbook Group and Quaker Communication & Services Department for updating the Meeting for Sufferings handbook for our guidance.

S/12/07/4: The Quaker Business Method

We have heard an introduction to the Quaker business method by members of  Young Friends General Meeting, and thank them for this service.

S/12/07/5: The role of Meeting for Sufferings

We have heard how Meeting for Sufferings and area meetings communicate with one another, including appropriate sending of concerns.

S/12/07/6: Working with  Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees

The clerks of Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees have given us an overview of the work of Trustees and their relationship to Meeting for Sufferings, and drawn our attention to Quaker faith & practice 7.03. We heard of the duties of Trustees and how essential it is for both bodies to develop a relationship of trust, and to understand that situations can be very complex. Trustee listen to Meeting for Sufferings, and in some instances inform and at other times consult Meeting for Sufferings.

S/12/07/7: Small groups

We have spent time in small groups in order to share impressions and learn from each other.

S/12/07/8: Appointments

Central Nominations Committee
brings forward the names of the following Friends for service as indicated:

Representatives to other European Yearly Meetings

Finland Yearly Meeting to be held 14 - 16 October 2012:
Mark Millington - Luton & Leighton AM

Meeting for Sufferings Arrangements Group

To serve until 31 December 2014.
Peter Christy - West Scotland AM

Meeting for Sufferings Support Group

To serve until the start of Yearly Meeting 2015:
David Amos - Kingston & Wandsworth AM
Peter Bevan - Worcester and Shropshire AM
David Connal - Luton and Leighton AM
Elizabeth Gladstone - West Kent AM
Kate Green - North East Thames AM
Janet Grimwade - South East Scotland AM
Janet Harland - Oxford and Swindon AM
One name to come

Quaker Housing Trust
To serve until Annual General Meeting 2013 to fill a vacancy.
Christina Birch - Swarthmoor AM

Quaker Committee for Christian & Interfaith Relations
To serve until 30.4.13 to fill a vacancy
Matthew Biggs - London West AM

Quaker Life Central Committee
To serve until 31 December 2013.
Barbara Davey - East Scotland AM
Marion McNaughton - Manchester & Warrington AM

Swarthmoor Hall Project Group
Nominated to serve:
Alastair Milner - East Scotland AM

Yearly Meeting Agenda Committee
To serve until the rise of Yearly Meeting 2013.
Renominated (continuation of first term; appointed in the interim 2011):
Silas Machakaire - Sussex East AM
(This nomination was omitted in error from appointments at Yearly Meeting this year)

Yearly Meeting Treasurer: interim appointment on behalf of Yearly Meeting
To serve from 1 September 2012 until 31 May 2013, and ex officio as a Britain Yearly Meeting Trustee. Appointment will be on behalf of Yearly Meeting by the authority of minute 29 of Yearly Meeting held 25-28 May 2012.
Peter Ullathorne - Central England AM
The Friends named being willing, we appoint them accordingly.

Meeting for Sufferings Minute 36 Commitment Group (Sustainability)
In addition to Jill Green (Oxford & Swindon AM), Rachael Milling (Swarthmoor(South West Cumbria) AM) and Jamie Wrench (Southern Marches AM – convener) already appointed by Meeting for Sufferings, the following appointments have been made to this group by other bodies:
Laurie Michaelis - Living Witness Project
Rachel Berger - Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee
Jonathan Dale  - Economics, Sustainability & Peace Sub-committee of Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee
Barbara Windle - Quaker Life Central Committee
Maud Grainger - Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre
Rici Marshall -  Young Friends General Meeting

S/12/07/9  Between Meetings Procedure

The clerk of Meeting for Sufferings, after consultation with the Recording Clerk, the clerk of Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees and the clerk of Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee, using the between meetings procedure, agreed that the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain should be jointly named with Christian Aid on the Parliamentary Briefing Paper on 19th June 2012, which called for a ban on the import of Israeli settlement goods to the United Kingdom.

S/12/07/10: The current situation in Syria

Marigold Bentley, Assistant General Secretary, Quaker Peace & Social Witness     has spoken on the current situation in Syria, which is changing all the time.

We receive minute 12/44 of Leicester Area Meeting held 13 may 2012 (paper S/12/07/Ai), asking Meeting for Sufferings to make a statement or take this concern on Syria forward in another way.
We have considered making a public statement but have concluded that we should follow other ways of working.

We have no Quaker work in Syria at this time and rely on national news items. We would like to increase the level of our understanding and ask Friends with personal knowledge or personal contacts to share their knowledge, for instance through talks or articles.
We also ask Friends to make links with Syrian refugees in this country to support them and help them to tell their stories.

We ask Friends to write to their elected representatives to encourage the UK government to continue to press for nonviolent solutions. We ask Friends to hold the Syrian people in their prayers.

S/12/07/11: Clerk of Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees’ report

Jonathan Fox, clerk of Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees introduced the trustees attending today and Jennifer Barraclough who will be the clerk of Trustees from 1 January 2013. Jonathan has reported on the work of Trustees, specifically on the refurbishment of the Large Meeting House, and the relationship between Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees and Meeting for Sufferings. Trustees work to gain a clear understanding of an issue before consulting with Meeting for Sufferings.

Jonathan said that Trustees will bring to Meeting for Sufferings in the autumn matters arising from the review of Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) Geneva. Jonathan answered our questions.

Further to minute S/12/02/14bi we receive minute BYMT/12/03/23 of Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees held 9-11 March 2012 (paper S/12/03/CC4) responding to the minute from BYMT/12/05/14 (paper S/12/07/B).

S/12/07/12: Yearly Meeting 25-28 May 2012

Penny Vernon has given us a reflection on this year’s Yearly Meeting, held here at Friends House.

We have heard other reflections which have been noted by the clerk and will be fed into Yearly Meeting Agenda Committee in the autumn.

We note the minutes of Yearly Meeting held 25-28 May 2012.

S/12/07/13: Yearly Meeting Treasurer

Further to minute S/12/03/10, we receive minute 29 (Quaker Communications and Quaker Finance & Property Central Committees and Yearly Meeting Treasurer - paper S/12/07/C). The minute asks us to appoint the Yearly Meeting Treasurer on an interim basis from 1 September 2012 until Yearly Meeting 2014 and we pass this request to Central Nominations Committee which has already acted on it for the period until Yearly Meeting 2013.

We are also asked to bring to Yearly Meeting 2013 a proposed mechanism for the appointment of the Yearly Meeting Treasurer beyond 2014, and we ask Church Government Advisory Group to prepare a proposal for us to submit to Yearly Meeting 2013.

S/12/07/14: Minutes received not taken elsewhere

a) From committees

1. Following our February items on advocacy, we receive for information minute 12/36 of Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee held 18-20 May 2012 on the consideration of advocacy and campaigning in the work of Quaker Peace & Social Witness (paper S/12/07/CC1).

2. Further to minute S/12/03/13 we receive minute 12/43 of Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee held 18-20 May 2012: Dialogue with Big Business (paper S/12/07/CC2). The suggestions from Banbury & Evesham Area Meeting fit very closely with the work Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee has been doing for some years in partnership with the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, with work it does through membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative and in dialogue with supermarkets on the labelling and stocking of products from the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.  Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee welcomes the encouragement from Banbury & Evesham AM and asks its staff to provide them with further details about these aspects of their work. 

3. Further to minute S/12/03/13 we receive minute 12/43 of Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee held 18-20 May 2012 (The current situation in Iran) together with a copy of a letter to the clerk of Meeting for Sufferings from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. (papers S/12/07/CC3i and ii). Kingston & Wandsworth Area Meeting had asked for immediate response to the situation on Iran and this letter indicates how Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee has taken the matter forward through a letter from the clerk of Meeting for Sufferings to the Foreign Secretary.

4. We receive minute 12/49 of Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee held 18-20 May 2012 regarding a proposal from Quaker Action on Alcohol & Drugs (QAAD) that BYM publicly support an initiative to set up a new body or coalition to be called Gambling Watch UK (paper S/12/07/CC4). Quaker Peace & Social Witness works in partnership with QAAD on matters realted to alcohol and gambling, but QAAD may not speak on  behalf o Quakers in Britiani. Quaker Peace & Social Witness asks Meeting for Sufferings to agree that Britain Yearly Meeting give support to the move to set up an independent mechanism to question the present policy of support for the expansion of gambling in the UK and to propose alternative policies.

We agree to this request.

b) From Area Meetings

We receive minute 29/12 of Sussex East Area Meeting held 20 March 2012   suggesting consideration of a reintroduction of a quota on area meetings to fund central operational costs (paper S/12/07/MC1). This minute was sent to Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees for advice.

2. We receive minute 20/03 12 of Thaxted Area Meeting held 11 March 2012 forwarding its responses to A framework for action (paper S/12/07/MC2). This minute was sent to Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees for advice.

3. We receive minute 41/12 of Devon Area Meeting held 12 May 2012 from the area meeting held on 16/05/12 regarding funding the renovation of the Large Meeting House at Friends House (paper S/12/07/MC3). We forward this to Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees for response.

4. We receive minute 4 of Surrey and Hampshire Border Area Meeting held 21 May 2012 regarding the boycott of Settlement Goods from the occupied territories in Israel/Palestine. (paper S/12/07/MC4). This minute was sent to Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee for information and advice.

5. We receive a minute from West Kent Area Meeting held 17 June 2012 on the process on the refurbishment of the Large Meeting House relating to the Turrell Skyspace (paper S/12/07/MC5). This minute has been sent to Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees for information and advice.

S/12/07/15: Process for Public Statements

Further to minute S/12/03/5, the Recording Clerk has brought back proposals, as requested, to review our current policies on advocacy and speaking out. Paper S/12/07/D proposes the creation of a Meeting for Sufferings Speaking Out Group to undertake this review and provides draft terms of reference for it.

We agree to the proposal and the proposed terms of reference, as amended in this meeting, and ask Central Nominations Committee to bring in names of Friends to serve as defined in the terms of reference, including one to convene the first meeting.

Christine Cannon