Jane represented FYM in Britain Yearly Meeting

Britain Yearly Meeting 4-7.5. 2018. Held in Friends House, Euston Road, London What an amazing contrast to be in both Finland Yearly Meeting and Britain Yearly Meeting within a week. Our own YM with 17 Friends including Alvin aged 4 and Britain YM with over 1000 Friends and 6 groups for children and young people: New shoots (0-2) Fox Cubs (3-6) Penn Friends (7-9) Spiritual Adventurers (9-11) Young People’s Program (11-15) and Junior Yearly Meeting (16-18). But yet, the similarities seemed more striking than the difference in numbers might suggest. I took with me the quality of the Worship and Spirit that I experienced in Ilkko at the end of April and I found the same depth of Spirit in the gathered silence among the many of us worshiping in Friend’s House central London. The final ministry from our Sunday morning worship in Ilkko brought us the message of how Quaker structures and ways of service have changed as Friends have learned to see what was not obvious to them before. Britain YM spent the whole weekend considering whether the time is right to revise the ‘red book’ Quaker Faith and Practice in Britain YM; not change for the sake of change, but because the world has changed, and Quaker experience has changed, and the new book needs to reflect this; not least because there is a new generation of younger Friends and more coming. We were asked to treat younger Friends as ‘the now’ and not ‘the future’. All the children’s and young people’s groups addressed the same question in their sessions and all sent their response to...

Epistle from Britain Yearly Meeting

Epistle from Britain Yearly Meeting, held at Friends House, London on 4 – 7 May 2018   To Friends around the world: Loving greetings from Britain Yearly Meeting 2018, gathered in glorious sunshine in and around London from 4 to 7 May. We have rejoiced in the voice and witness of Friends of all ages. Our diversity has been enriched by over 40 Friends and visitors from around the globe, with whom we have shared stories. We have experienced different traditions of worship, created art, sung, and danced together. The sequence of annual Yearly Meetings in Britain has been unbroken for 350 years. This year our focus has been to discern whether we are led to revise our book of discipline, which we adopted as ‘Quaker faith & practice’ in 1994. This follows four years of work by our Revision Preparation Group, and study of Quaker faith & practice by many Friends and local meetings. Periodic revision of the book of discipline is an essential part of our witness, recalling the past and looking to the future. Encouraged by the voices of younger Friends among us, we have united joyfully, to embark on a Spirit-led process of revision from much-loved foundations. We know that this will take time and energy. We are clear that we have the resources to undertake this, while continuing our witness in the wider world. Many voices, experiences and identities are missing from our current book. Since the last revision, our Quaker community and the world around us have changed. We need a book of discipline that reflects more closely who we are now, and...