Simpler Meetings Project
This project aims to find ways 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. Many ideas can be used by local meetings – even small ones.
Updates on the project can be found attached to Trustees and Treasurers News, on the Treasurers page.
Ideas to simplify meetings
From discussions with Quakers across Britain we have gathered a wide range of ideas that meetings can use to operate more simply. There are many possibilities to chose from, and meetings have more permission to innovate than people sometimes think. Topics include making life simpler for role-holders, trustees, treasurers, simpler property management, paying people for some tasks, and alternatives to meeting houses. Further topics cover small meetings, holding area meetings, and grouping meetings together differently. There are many ways that area meetings can work together more, whether as co-operative neighbours or with structural changes like mergers or having a single charity and trustee body for several area meetings. All these topics are covered in a series of short videos and an accompanying document in the Resources section below.
- watch short videos about Simpler Meetings on YouTube
- Simpler meetings - what is possible (PDF) which accompanies the videos, with questions to consider
- download A Menu To Choose From for simpler meetings (PDF)
- download Small Quaker meetings – what could be simpler?! (PDF)
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 and documents above, perhaps with a group of role-holders
- have a session for your area meeting using some of the videos or with a speaker
- join with neighbouring area meetings or other local meetings to consider questions together
- ask Jonathan Carmichael to visit your area meeting or group of areas – he can visit a few each year
- take part in sessions in the Patterns & Examples days in 2020 (currently being planned)
- join a series of online meetings being planned for 2020 (currently being planned)
- have a conversation to help you think through how you could approach the topics
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 is also working with Britain Yearly Meeting staff and others to simplify the support offered to role-holders. This is 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.