Chapter 3 » 3.09

Participation in meetings for church affairs

It is not expected that any Friend should attend every meeting or sit upon innumerable committees. Decide what is within your physical and spiritual capacity, and be responsible in your attitude to what you do select. Be as regular, faithful and punctual as possible in your attendance.

All members are entitled to attend their local, area and general meetings, which are the units of Britain Yearly Meeting’s regional organisation, and Yearly Meeting itself. You are encouraged to do so as regularly as you are able, because our business method depends on the widest possible participation by our members. Friends may be appointed to attend area and general meetings in order to ensure that enough Friends will be present but this does not excuse or prevent others from being there. It is recommended that those appointed be asked to report back to their own meetings.

When you are appointed to attend a meeting, you attend with local knowledge which may be of assistance: you are not there as a delegate with an inflexible brief to put over on behalf of another body of Friends which is not itself going through the exercise of the meeting.

On taking your seat, try to achieve quietness of mind and spirit. Try to avoid having subcommittees or conversations just as the meeting is about to begin. Turn inwardly to God, praying that the meeting may be guided in the matters before it and that the clerk may be enabled faithfully to discern and record the mind of the meeting.

For regulations on attendance of non-members at meetings for church affairs see 4.08 for area meetings, 4.32 for local meetings, 5.03 for General Meeting for Scotland, 5.04 for Meeting of Friends in Wales & 6.15 for Britain Yearly Meeting.

See also 11.28 for sojourning membership

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