Chapter 3 » 3.28
Yearly Meeting statements issued on behalf of Friends in Britain require the full discernment of Meeting for Sufferings or Yearly Meeting in session and will be recognised as carrying the full authority of the yearly meeting. Other public statements or comments may be called for at short notice in response to current events using the full range of media. In such cases, the Recording Clerk, in consultation with appropriate clerks of Yearly Meeting, Meeting for Sufferings or Trustees, is authorised by Meeting for Sufferings to issue such a message, as long as it is in line with an established and discerned Quaker position. Press releases publicising the yearly meeting’s core work are authorised by the Recording Clerk. At area and local meeting level it should be made clear whenever local initiatives relate solely to area or local meetings. Individual Friends or groups, such as those referred to in 13.19, must be careful not to claim to speak for Friends as a whole, but just for themselves or their group, unless specifically authorised to do so. Other forms of public action undertaken in the name of Friends should similarly be authorised by the appropriate meeting for church affairs.
Friends should be sensitive when participating in vigils or demonstrations to the possibility that they may be heard as speaking on behalf of Quakers, and should take care how they respond.
On occasion it may be necessary for the clerk of a meeting, or another appointed Friend, to take urgent action to correct misleading reports in the press or other misunderstandings in the public domain. This section is not intended to hamper such necessary action undertaken responsibly in the interests of a meeting or group.
Full guidelines and details of procedures, agreed by Meeting for Sufferings, are available from the Recording Clerk or online at www.quaker.org.uk/qfp. These cover the yearly meeting, area and local meetings, matters delegated to General Meeting for Scotland (5.03) or to Meeting of Friends in Wales (5.04–5.05), as well as other Quaker groups. A summary policy document for meetings and groups is also available. Additional support or guidance can be obtained from the Recording Clerk (offsite link).