This page provides an introduction to the Simpler Meetings Project and tells you how your meeting can benefit.

Simpler Meetings Project

This project aims to reduce the burden on key role holders. It should release time and energy for witness in the world, spiritual nurture, outreach and building our Quaker communities. The main focus is on area meeting clerks, treasurers and trustees, but many ideas can be used by local meetings – even small ones.

Latest developments

Updates on the project can be found attached to Trustees and Treasurers News, which you can find on the Treasurers page.

Ideas to simplify meetings

From discussions across Britain we have gathered a wide range of ideas that meetings can use to operate more simply. Topics include:

  • fundamentals: many possibilities and permission
  • making life simpler for role-holders
  • simpler area meetings in session
  • trustees
  • treasurers,
  • small meetings
  • grouping meetings differently
  • local meetings changing
  • simpler property management
  • alternatives to meeting houses
  • changing organisational structures
  • paying people to do tasks
  • using digital technology
  • and a poem


Please send your ideas and suggestions to Jonathan Carmichael (see below). Our ideas are growing and evolving.

Deciding to simplify

To explore how you could simplify, you could:

  • watch and discuss some of the videos above, perhaps with a group of role-holders
  • join with neighbouring area meetings or other local meetings to consider questions together
  • take part in sessions in the Patterns & Examples days in 2020
  • join a series of online meetings being planned for 2020
  • ask Jonathan Carmichael to visit your area meeting – he can visit a few each year
  • ask us to help you think through how you could approach the topics
  • have a session for your area meeting using some of the videos or with a speaker

If your area meeting or trustees are thinking about a big organisational change please contact Jonathan Carmichael. Find out how he can help you. He can also share your ideas and experience with other meetings.

Model policies and documents

The project will find and develop model documents. To avoid reinventing the wheel, area meeting trustees can adapt and adopt these. You can find the current model policies via the Area meeting trustees page.

Simplifying support to role-holders

The project will also work with Britain Yearly Meeting staff and others to simplify the support offered to role-holders. This is now linked with the new Support for Meetings Strategy being developed by Britain Yearly Meeting and Woodbrooke.

How the project is run

The project runs for three years until June 2021. It is funded by legacies. There is one worker, Jonathan Carmichael, plus a small budget for pieces of consultancy work.

Contact us

Jonathan Carmichael
Simpler Meetings Project Manager
0207 663 1066