Quaker Life supports Quaker charities and the Friends in roles such as trustees and treasurers who look after them. We produce guidance and other documents to enable them in the service of their communities

Support for Quaker charities


    Handbook for Trustees of Quaker meetings

    This handbook focuses on trusteeship in a Quaker context, primarily Quaker meetings.

    Published May 2024.

    Trustee Declaration of EligibilityTrustee Declaration of Eligibility[QUOTE-START]

    Trustees must be well-grounded in the life and concerns of the meeting for which they act. […] Just as they care for the life of the meeting, the meeting should support and uphold them and their work.

    - Quaker faith & practice 15.07


    Area meeting report and accounts

    All area meetings and certain other bodies within Britain Yearly Meeting should send their annual report and accounts to Quaker Life, supportmeetings@quaker.org.uk, ( Qfp 4.10m)

    The following documents are available to help Quaker trustees produce their reports:

    Memorandum of Understanding

    Trustees from across the yearly meeting, together with BYM staff, have written a memorandum of understanding which helps to set out our governance obligations to each other. This document was endorsed by Meeting for Sufferings at its meeting in October 2023, and has been sent to Area Meeting Trustees to minute their agreement to entering into it or ask for further conversation if this is not possible. A final version of the memorandum of understanding is available at this webpage and will be updated as necessary.


    Area meeting trustees are responsible for safeguarding in their local meetings, and at area meeting events. It is essential to have a lead trustee for safeguarding (otherwise this falls to the clerk of trustees), and an annual report to trustees about safeguarding. Each area meeting appoints a safeguarding coordinator, and many have a deputy. Support and resources are available on the safeguarding coordinator page, and the Safeguarding page which contains new model documents. Each area meeting is strongly encouraged to take out membership of Thirtyone:eight (formerly known as the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service), who provide support Quaker meetings with expert advice and resources. They also offer a service to review the area meeting's safeguarding policies and procedures (see contacts on the main Safeguarding page). The Safeguarding page now contains the new model documents for area meeting safeguarding coordinators.

    Governance Update

    Keep up-to-date with advice and information for trustees (and treasurers), including upcoming training courses provided by Woodbrooke, by reading Governance Update. This is emailed to clerks of area meeting trustees on publication via the Friends House database. If other interested trustees would like to receive the news, please subscribe on the Role Holder updates page.

    Charitable registration

    Area meetings have to register with the Charity Commission when their income rises above £100,000 a year (unless their income is over £100,000 for one year only due to exceptional circumstances).

    Those with an annual income under this figure will have to register before 2031. We will publish the government's schedule for registration here when it is made available.

    Documents in the list below are available from Quaker Life (contact details at the bottom of this page) or through the link given;

    Charity schemes

    Area meetings that register as charities should also set up a scheme to combine the area meeting with its various trusts, including property trusts ("specie" land). This means that the accounts from these trusts can be included in the area meeting's accounts as restricted funds. It is also an opportunity to update some aspects of old trusts.

    If an area meeting is considering selling some property, then it should check whether the property is specie as the Charity Commission needs to be consulted. If an area meeting is planning to change the use of some property it should check whether the deeds allow this. Contact Quaker Life (details at the bottom of this page) to arrange for someone to check property deeds held by Friends Trusts Ltd. If the use of the property laid down by the deeds is no longer practicable then the Charity Commission is usually very helpful.

    We are having to reconsider Scheme clause 9(5) relating to Friends Trusts Ltd. If you are working on a scheme, please do not finalise it until we have sorted this out. Please contact Quaker Life (contact details below) if this affects you so we can keep you up-to-date with developments.

    Trustees and treasurers conferences

    15 October 2022

    Laura Soley and Jamie Huard from Bates Wells Solicitors talk through the presentation linked above about changes the Charities Act 2022 brings and when they are expected to come into force. Pressing play on the video below will set a third-party cookie. Please see our cookies page to find out more.

    29-31 March 2019

    Links to handouts, etc, following the Trustees and Treasurers Conference, held 29-31 March 2019.

    Policies for area meetings - models and examples

    Some of these are models, offered for area meetings to adapt and adopt. Where examples are given, these are to provide ideas: no assurance of their quality is offered by BYM.


    These model policies form part of the Employers' resource and template documents, on the employers and wardens page:


    Advice on drawing up an area meeting reserves policy (pdf) and Reserves policy presentation (pdf) given at Annual Conference of Treasurers 2017.

    Examples: Central England 1, Central England 2, West Weald, Wirral and Chester


    See BYM's ethical investment policy on the BYM Trustees' page. This could be adapted for an area meeting.

    Examples: East Cheshire, Ipswich and Diss, Central England, Leicester, Sussex East

    Data Protection

    A model Data Protection Policy and a Privacy Policy is on the Data Protection page


    New model safeguarding documents are on the Safeguarding page


    Here is a model complaints policy and procedure (Word) and notes on establishing a complaints policy and procedure for area Quaker meetings (PDF), agreed by Quaker Stewardship Committee February 2021.

    Conflicts of Interest

    See the advice in the Trustees Handbook.

    Examples: West Kent, Northumbria


    An advice sheet on managing risk is being prepared.

    Model meeting house risk assessment, Model employment risk assessment

    Examples: York, Southern Marches, Glasgow,

    Other documents of interest to trustees

    Available through the link given:

    Training and events

    Header image © Richard Oliver 2014