This page offers an introduction for Friends serving or about to serve on Meeting for Sufferings.

The latest Meeting for Sufferings Handbook updated in May 2018 (PDF) contains information to help representatives and alternates. Hard copies of the updated version will soon be available from Graham Spackman.

Papers for meetings are sent out about two weeks before each meeting. Each time, you will be sent information about registering. Dates for each meeting are available of the Working with Meeting for Sufferings page.

Please contact Graham Spackman if you have any questions about practicalities.

The clerk is Anne Ullathorne of Central England Area Meeting, and the assistant clerk is Margaret Bryan of York Area Meeting. They are assisted by the Deputy Recording Clerk.

The Arrangements Group

The Arrangements Group facilitates and simplifies the working of Meeting for Sufferings. It advises the Clerks on the forward agenda, keeps under review the way information and papers are presented to the Meeting and the general conduct of the Meeting, monitors implementation and advises on the timing of any formal consultations.

The Support Group

The Support Group provides eldership during Meeting for Sufferings, and oversees some practicalities.

A checklist for Meeting for Sufferings

A warm welcome from your Support Group!

Before the meeting

  • Register your intention to attend at forms.quaker.org.uk/sufferings
  • Read the documents in advance
  • Discuss items with Friends in your Area Meeting if possible
  • Contact Graham Spackman if you would like to join the group of reps, trustees etc for a meal on the Friday evening (meet at reception at 6.45pm). Graham can be contacted directly at grahams@quaker.org.uk.
  • Please take the time to read the Meeting for Sufferings Handbook (PDF). Check the diagrams on page 11 to make sure you know how to hold the microphone so that you can be heard.
  • Remind yourself of Advice 13 (offsite link)

On the day

  • Most of our meetings are held in the Sarah Fell room on the first floor, accessible by lift or stairs. You will be notified if it is somewhere different.
  • Once you reach the first floor, toilets are on the right hand side.
  • The Hilda Clark room through the right (north) doors is used for refreshments.
  • The Sarah Fell room is located through the doors on the left (south) and at the far end of the corridor.
  • Follow the corridor round for Marjorie Sykes (cloakroom)
  • Abraham Darby can be used to contact someone in the support group (until 9.50am)
  • In the front area of Sarah Fell, collect printed papers if you wish and any later additions and leaflets. This is also where to leave your expenses form and receipts at some point before you leave
  • If you're late the doorkeeper will show you to the George Bradshaw room for worship and you'll be able to join the main meeting at 10.30, just before the start of business.

In the meeting

  • Please leave the ends of the rows free for those arriving late.
  • Maintain the silence in the room during the shuffle breaks. If you wish to talk at these times go out and through the double doors onto the landing.
  • Use electronic devices only for the documents related to the meeting and make sure the sound is turned off. Try to minimise any disruption to those around you. Make sure your mobile phone is off or on silent.
  • Support Group members are responsible (among other things) for eldership and oversight. Group members can be recognised by the yellow on their badge. Two elders sit to the right of the clerks' table during the meeting.

When you return to your own meetings

We hope you will have had an inspiring and enriching experience during Meeting for Sufferings and that you will be able to enthuse and stimulate your meetings back home.

General information

The Wifi code at Friends House is @BritishQuakers.

Agenda mailing – can you help?

We would appreciate any offers of help in preparing the Meeting for Sufferings agenda mailings (collating and envelope-stuffing). All travel expenses are paid and a free three-course lunch in the Friends House Restaurant is provided. Please contact Graham Spackman.

Contacting the Support Group

Please contact Graham Spackman for contact details of:

  • Chris Bullard (co-convenor), Kendal & Sedbergh AM
  • Liz Eddington, Lancashire Central & North AM
  • Deirdre Haslam, Mid Essex AM
  • Julia Lim, South Wales AM / CCR De Cymru
  • Sam McNair (co-convenor), Pickering & Hull AM
  • Ruth McTighe, Central Yorkshire AM
  • Simon Risley, London West AM
  • Jenny Routledge, Norfolk & Waveney AM

Contact us

Graham Spackman
Communication and Services Administrator
sufferings@quaker.org.uk
020 7663 1021