From the outside the clerk appears like a cross between a chair and a secretary. Clerks prepare the agenda, do the necessary administration and guide the meeting through the items of business.

The clerk has to discern the outcome (often called 'the sense of the meeting') of each item and prepare a minute.

The final decision about whether the minute represents the sense of the meeting is the responsibility of the meeting itself, not of the clerk.


More support for clerks

    [QUOTE-START]

    The clerk needs to have a spiritual capacity for discernment and sensitivity to the meeting...

    - Quaker faith & practice 3.12

    [QUOTE-END]

    Advice

    Online meetings for worship for business

    While our meeting houses are closed, we cannot hold our business meetings or committee meetings by gathering together in a room. There is a new document giving additional advice on meetings for worship for business online (PDF) which we hope will be useful at this time.

    Resources

    Clerks update email

    Clerks update is a quarterly email newsletter for clerks and conveners of local, area and regional Quaker communities. The first edition was sent in March 2022. Below is an archive of the most recent messages that have been sent.

    Clerks update is sent by default to local and area meeting correspondents. You can subscribe using the form below if you would like to receive it.

    * indicates required

    Governance Gold

    Governance Gold comes with the clerks' monthly mailing and gives brief details of changes to practice or other governance matters of relevance to clerks of local and area meetings.

    The Directory of Meetings

    The Directory of Meetings is a publication produced by Britain Yearly Meeting giving details of meetings throughout Britain.

    It also includes details of contacts for central work carried out on behalf of meetings by Britain Yearly Meeting.

    Information includes location, addresses and dates and times of Quaker meetings. Copies are available from the Quaker Centre bookshop, 020 7663 1030.

    Right Ordering

    A handbook of business practice within the area meeting

    A useful resource created by Luton & Leighton AM about Quaker business procedures and responsibilities in the organisation of church affairs. An up-to-date version of Right Ordering is available on Luton & Leighton Area Meeting's website.

    Support

    General support

    The Church Government Adviser can help with general and specific enquiries about the Quaker business method.

    Area meeting clerks' cluster

    An email cluster provides a forum for area meeting clerks to share ideas and experience.

    To join please contact us by email on supportmeetings@quaker.org.uk.

    Data safety

    Information about data safety and information security for meetings, as well as links for guidance for area meetings regarding registering with the Information Commissioner's Office is available on the data safety page in the support for meetings section.

    Queries may be emailed to datasafety@quaker.org.uk.

    Contact details published in the Directory of Meetings are considered public information, Yearly Meeting staff may give these to an enquirer without asking for further permission.

    Simpler meetings

    The Simpler meetings project has resources which clerks may find useful. Visit the project webpage at www.quaker.org.uk/simplermeetings for more information.

    Appointments

    A copy of the minute of appointment for each clerk, assistant clerk, registering officer and Quaker Prison Chaplain should be sent with full contact details and dates of service to updates@quaker.org.uk so that we can keep our records up to date.

    We are pleased to receive minutes detailing any changes in membership - deaths, transfers etc. They can also be sent to updates@quaker.org.uk.

    Meeting records

    Advice on keeping your meeting records and archives is available in guidance for records custodians and librarians.

    Training and events

    Training courses for Clerks are arranged by Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre.

    Contact us

    Michael Booth
    Church Government Adviser
    020 7663 1023
    michaelsb@quaker.org.uk