Chapter 3 » 3.29
The ensuing chapters contain regulations governing procedure for our various meetings for church affairs. There will inevitably be cases not covered by a particular regulation, and meetings should seek always to appreciate the general principle behind the regulations. Meetings are counselled, however, against too easily admitting exceptions where circumstances do not warrant them, for these regulations are the fruit of the Society’s experience in its corporate life. Friends are encouraged to get to know the relevant regulations before taking an active part in meetings for church affairs.
In our meetings for church affairs an effective continuing life can be secured only if there is at least a strong nucleus of Friends attending with regularity, willing to accept responsibility and to give judgments based on informed minds as well as spiritual wisdom. There are few things which tend to destroy interest and loyalty in any business so easily as prolonged and unnecessary discussions on trivia: such discussions are very often provoked and kept up by those who do not trouble to inform themselves adequately of the facts, or who use their occasional attendance to re-open matters already decided. The meeting should expect and encourage its clerk to take firm action in such circumstances.