Registration for this special Area Meeting has now closed. Arrivals from 10am, the meeting will begin at 11am.
A special all-age Area Meeting for all members and attenders will be held at Woodbrooke (and online via Zoom) on Saturday 21st May to consider The Future of Central England Quakers: What does love require of us?
Individuals are asked to register by 4th May. Local Meetings are asked to prepare by reading the background information, and reflecting on the queries provided. Any minutes or reponses should be forwarded to AM clerks by the end of April.
There will also be a programme for children and young people run by Peacemakers.
You can read the background information below, or download it as a leaflet.
At Area Meeting (AM) last November we were asked “whether the time has come to consider our aims and objectives, to review our priorities and the right use of our resources. Trustees Finance Committee is willing to facilitate a special meeting in the New Year to consider these matters. We ask our Co-clerks in 2022 to arrange this.” [Min 2021.091I]
This brief paper provides a Yearly Meeting context and sets out what our AM currently does, as well as inviting your involvement in discerning the future. We hope all Friends in the AM will participate in this process, through consideration in local meetings and by attending the special AM.
Quakers in Britain have adopted six themes in Our faith in the future. These offer a simple and clear point of reference, a touchstone for Friends which we will want to keep in mind:
- Meeting for worship is the bedrock of living as a Quaker;
- Quaker communities are loving, inclusive and all-age;
- All Friends understand and live by Quaker discipline;
- Quaker values are active in the world;
- Quakers work collaboratively;
- Quakers are well known and widely understood.
What Central England currently does
What do you think our AM’s priorities might be as Central England helps local meetings in a number of ways from property issues to supporting elders and overseers and the work of children and young people. We have branches such as Peacemakers and Peace Hub which are part of the AM charity and concerned Friends also support work at the Woodlands Care Home, Ecobirmingham, and chaplaincy work in various settings on behalf of AM.
What we have and what we might do
We have substantial resources of property and finance though a dwindling membership stretches our human resources to the limits. We have been thinking prayerfully about how we manage this imbalance and we need to continue this as we consider what our ministry might be in the future.
We are at a time of change within the AM. We have just appointed a Principal Officer who will “manage the work of the charity, implementing the strategy and decisions of the trustees and provide support and inspiration to Quakers in the various AM voluntary appointments and staff”. Also, thanks to the Yearly Meeting, we hope to have in place soon a Local Development Worker who will be shared with Staffordshire AM and Worcestershire and Shropshire AM. Their role is to make sure that our Quaker communities are able to thrive.
Preparing for the special Area Meeting
We hope that, in preparation for the special AM local business meetings will spend some time reflecting on these issues and suggest the following queries to stimulate discussion:
- Do you have a sense of how we might discern God’s call for us now and into the future?
- What do you think our AM’s priorities might be as we face the future together?
- Are there any major financial implications in what you suggest?
Responses to these queries could be in a formal minute from your business meeting, individual responses from Friends or anything in between. Please send them by the end of April to email@example.com Thank you! AM trustees and their finance committee are seeking a clear vision, prayerfully discerned by Area Meeting, to enable the management of our physical assets to support our community. More detailed papers will be sent out nearer the date.
Please come to this meeting which is open to all Friends. It is free of charge but registration is essential. Please send the completed registration form, to arrive at the AM office by Weds 4 May. If you are able to help please indicate this on the form at the end. Thanks very much!
Co-clerks of Central England Area Meeting: Vic Grainger, Stella Roberts, John Sheldon firstname.lastname@example.org