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

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

Arrangements for meetings

The dates of forthcoming meetings are available on the Working with Meeting for Sufferings page.

Papers are sent out around two weeks before each meeting. You will also receive information about registering to attend.

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

Before the meeting

  • Register your intention to attend at
  • Read the documents in advance
  • Discuss agenda items with Friends in your Area Meeting if possible
  • Contact Graham Spackman if you would like to join other representatives and trustees for a meal on the evening before the meeting (meet at reception at 6.45pm). Graham can be contacted directly at
  • 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, the toilets are on the right-hand side
  • The Hilda Clark room is used for refreshments. Find it on the first floor, through the doors on the right-hand side of the staircase (the north side of the building)
  • 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 the cloakroom, located in the Marjorie Sykes room
  • If you need assistance, a member of the support group will be in the Abraham Darby room, also on the first floor, until 9.50 a.m.
  • Printed papers (if you need them), together with any later additions and leaflets, will be available at the front of the Sarah Fell room. This is also the place to leave your expenses form and receipts before you leave
  • If you're late, the doorkeeper will show you to the George Bradshaw room for worship. You'll be able to join the main meeting at 10.30 a.m., just before the start of business
  • The wi-fi code at Friends House is @BritishQuakers.

In the meeting

  • Please leave the ends of the rows free for those arriving late
  • Maintain silence in the room during shuffle breaks. If you wish to talk at these times, please go out through the double doors onto the landing
  • Try to minimise disruption to those around you. Only use electronic devices for documents related to the meeting, and make sure the sound is turned off. Please turn off your mobile phone, or set it to silent
  • The members of the Support Group are responsible for eldership and oversight. They can be recognised by the yellow spot on their badges. 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. Please share what you have heard with your local and area meetings.

Who's who


The clerk of Meeting for Sufferings is Anne Ullathorne of Central England Area Meeting. 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 the work of Meeting for Sufferings. It advises the Clerks on the agenda and keeps the conduct of the Meeting under review. It also monitors the implementation of actions and advises on the timing of any formal consultations.

The Support Group

The Support Group provides eldership during Meeting for Sufferings, and oversees some of the practical arrangements.

The members of the Support Group are:

  • 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

Please contact Graham Spackman if you would like their contact details.

Agenda mailing – can you help?

We would appreciate any offers of assistance in mailing out the papers for Meeting for Sufferings (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 if you can help.

Contact us

Graham Spackman
Communication and Services Administrator
020 7663 1021