Quaker Life support Quaker meetings, as employers, and their employees (often wardens). We offer advice and guidance on best employment practice and provide access to relevant sources of information.
An integral part of Quaker life, wardens are entrusted with paying attention to all those details that make for conditions conducive to worship and welcome. Many Quaker meetings appoint wardens, resident Friends, caretakers, managers on a paid or voluntary basis to manage or work in meeting house premises and grounds.
We arrange peer support and workshops on wardenship and being an employed in a Quaker setting but can not provide employees support and advice on specific issues. The advice and guidance in the following resources is to help Quaker meetings be the best employers that they can be.
Quaker Life does not offer legal advice on employment issues. The employers' resource meets or exceeds the legal requirement and sometimes makes a judgement about Quaker best practice. Where issues are of a technical nature, area meeting trustees may need to seek help from a legal professional.
Work which is rightly the responsibility of office holders and members of the meeting should not be left to wardens, and wardens should not be appointed to those offices which could give rise to a conflict of interest: clerk, assistant clerk, treasurer or managing trustee...
- Quaker faith and practice 13.37
Quaker faith & practice
Quaker faith & practice 13.33–13.40 concerns wardens, resident Friends and caretakers, who may be employees of the meeting. The latest (fifth) edition of Quaker faith & practice can be read on its dedicated site.
Meeting house handbook template
You can use this template to make a handbook for your local meeting. Simply edit and add your own instructions, records and information. By keeping everything in one place you can make life easier for those who help look after meeting houses, especially those new to the task.
Download the template for a meeting house handbook (Word).
Employment matters require confidentiality between the employer and the employee. It is not appropriate to for meetings to discuss matters relating to employment or specifically to employees in local or area business meetings. These matters are the responsibilities of trustees and decisions should be made at that level. Further information can be found in
Quaker Life's Confidentiality leaflet.
Employers' resource template documents
The employers' resource provides information for Quaker employers and employees, including key obligations, frequently asked questions and downloadable template documents.
Advice for meetings wishing to pay a children's worker
Click on the links below to access templates of a sample job advert plus recruitment advice and a role description. The contract for meetings to adapt and use when employing a paid children's worker is the written statement of terms and conditions (Contract) of employment above. These are guides so please edit and add your own information.
Coronavirus: advice and guidance for Quaker employers
This advice is issued to Quaker meetings in Britain. It is to give advice and guidance to employers on how to support employees as best as possible during the global coronavirus [Covid-19] outbreak in 2020.
Check www.quaker.org.uk/coronavirus as information is changing daily.
Area meeting trustees will be required to take decisions that may affect their employees. It is really important that you make these decisions quickly without rushing them. Each area meeting's response will be slightly different and will depend upon the resources available the meeting. Local meetings will need to liaise carefully with AM trustees to be sure that what is offered across each area meeting is consistent and fair to all employees and volunteers.
You do not have legal responsibility to volunteers in the same way as to employees. Do remember though that decisions you take may have a significant effect on some volunteers, in particular if they have accommodation tied to their role. Be mindful of how you can support people during this time.
Taking care of your employees
It is really important that during this time you communicate well with colleagues and volunteers that work for your meeting. For an employee the uncertainty about ongoing employment or the status of their role may be more unsettling than the personal effect of the virus.
Be aware that you may need to issue advice more regularly than you would usually expect to. Area meeting trustees may need to be more readily available to deal with requests and issues that employees have at this time.
There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for all employees so be sure to treat people fairly, and in comparable roles equally.
Many people will be experiencing raised levels of anxiety at this time. As an employer you try to be sympathetic towards employees and requests that they make of you. Try to accommodate people where possible and most of all treat people fairly and with love and tenderness.
You may find it helpful to put in place a support group that can be available by phone or video for employees to seek pastoral support. Consider other ways that you can support employees, volunteers and role-holders.
Being isolated can be damaging to people's wellbeing. Be aware of role where people may now find themselves isolated. If you are closing your meeting house and you have a residential warden think about how you can keep in touch with them and avoid them becoming separated from the community.
Useful contacts and links
Online Quaker specific information
Online non-Quaker information
Coronavirus: template briefing for Quaker employees
Quaker Life offers telephone support, advice and information to Quaker employers. Please see the 'contact us' section below for details.
Wardens, resident Friends, caretakers, volunteers, employers and all who are concerned with wardenship are invited to join an email group that allows members to share ideas and information. To join the conversation to give and receive support please
subscribe to the wardenship e-group.
Quaker Centres' Facebook group
This online space for staff and trustees of Quaker Centres in Britain enables them to share information with one another, explore problems and celebrate successes. Visit the
Quaker Centres' Facebook group to find out more.
Training and events
Managing our Meeting Houses
This is an annual course provided by Quaker Life in partnership with Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. Email:
email@example.com or phone 0121 472 5171 for more information.
Managing our Meeting Houses event takes place at Woodbrooke, Friday, 4 to Sunday, 6 December 2020.
Wardens (and other Quaker workers) Talking
Quaker Life offers a monthly video conference for anyone who works in a Quaker setting. It is an informal way to hear about each other's experience of working for Quakers and to explore some of the joys and challenges of it. Contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org, for details of how to join this online community.
We are also hosting a one-day face-to-face gathering on Wednesday, 15 January 2020 at Edinburgh Meeting. There is no charge but you will need to get yourself to and from the venue. To book fill in the
wardens talking online booking form.
Working with Friends
This introduction to working in a Quaker organisation is provided by Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in partnership with Britain Yearly Meeting. For more information, visit
www.woodbrooke.org.uk, email email@example.com or phone 0121 472 5171.