Quaker worship can be held in person in all parts of Britain. We can also hold events such as weddings, funerals and social activities which are part of the life of Quaker communities. All legislation in Britain has been removed.
However, we still need to make sure that Quaker meetings are safe spaces for those who attend that are most at risk from the virus.
We hope this suggested guidance gives Quaker communities the flexibility to open up at the pace they are comfortable with. There are also some ideas below about different ways of worshipping and being a community which may help more people to feel safe.
Your community might still wish to:
- Limit numbers where possible.
- Maintain some level of social distancing.
- Wear face coverings where possible.
- Wear face coverings when giving ministry.
Your community should still:
- Carry out a specific Covid risk assessment, either as a section of an overall risk assessment or as a stand-alone document.
All three nations are encouraging broadly the same things which are:
- Get the vaccine or the vaccine booster.
- Use lateral flow tests (LFT) while you have access to them – especially before mixing with other people or visiting a hospital or care home.
- Wear a face covering if and when required.
- If mixing with others, try to gather in small groups only.
- Wash your hands regularly and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing.
- Open windows when meeting indoors.
- Mix home and office working where possible.
We still need to continue with caution and care for our communities. The emphasis from the Governments is that we need to think of how we can be supportive of others in our choices to keep everyone safe.
We can look to our Quaker advices and queries when thinking about our options and actions. This might help us to consider if our choices are for the benefit of others in our Quaker communities, or for our own benefit.
Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) is continuing to take a measured approach for all staff. Friends House, Quakers in Britain Yorkshire Office and Swarthmoor Hall will continue to have protection measures in place as venues for work, worship and lettings. Staff who meet with Quakers will be following guidelines to keep themselves safe, as well as those they meet with.
Britain Yearly Meeting staff are at work. If you need advice please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holding in-person children's meeting for worship
- Risk assessment for children's meetings (Word)
- Guidance for children's meetings in England (Word)
- Guidance for children's meetings in Scotland (Word)
- Guidance for children's meetings in Wales (Word)
Funerals and weddings
Funerals and weddings are no longer restricted in any part of Britain.
What else can our Quaker community do?
Quaker Life's local development team have been working closely with Quakers in their regions to help them explore what the pandemic has meant for them.
Find out more about local development work, how it is being rolled out across Britain and how you can get in touch with your Local Development Worker.
Advice and guidance for Quaker meetings as employers
Visit the ACAS coronavirus website (offsite link) to find the latest advice and guidance.
The work of Britain Yearly Meeting
BYM staff are all at work. Some staff are working from home, some in Friends House, the Yorkshire Centre and Swarthmoor Hall. All staff can be contacted by their usual e-mail address and phone number.
In-person meetings must be arranged in advance, please do not visit without making an appointment.
Some committees and other work is being done in person, following good health and safety practices.
National Quaker events
BYM is following public health advice. Many events and committees are being held online.
- See the Quaker events page for details of BYM events.
- Woodbrooke is running a range of learning opportunities online.
- Committees meetings are mainly taking place online. Committee secretaries will keep committee members updated.
- Some staff, such as the local development workers, are doing a limited amount of face-to-face work.
Image of meeting house: © 2019 Mike Pinches