Chapter 7 » 7.07
Advice to area meetings as to nominations
In nominating Friends to serve on Meeting for Sufferings, area meetings are reminded of the variety and weight of the business which comes before that meeting, which must have the spiritual authority to speak in the name of Quakers in Britain.
A responsible sharing in the exercise of the meeting is essential. Britain Yearly Meeting requires Friends to serve on its behalf who are diligent within their own areas in the attendance of meetings both for worship and for church affairs, and able if occasion arises to interpret sensitively the views and judgment of their own area meetings to Meeting for Sufferings.
More important, however, is the duty of members to the meeting itself; if it is to reach right judgments it must be served by Friends of spiritual maturity and with a good grasp of our testimonies and structures.
Area meetings are therefore encouraged to nominate representatives who are well versed in Friends’ business methods through participation at local level. It is also important that sufficient numbers of representatives are able and willing to act as trustees of Britain Yearly Meeting if asked to serve in that capacity. In making nominations, area meetings should bear in mind the need to balance experience and continuity with the value of fresh insight and wider involvement of the membership and the importance of reporting back as part of the communication between Meeting for Sufferings and area meetings (4.17).
Area meetings should bear in mind minute 27 of Yearly Meeting 2000 concerning the service of former members of staff: ‘that care be taken to ensure that adequate time has elapsed between the ending of their employed service and the commencement of committee service, particularly where the work of the committee is directly related to their former work. We understand that “adequate time” should normally mean a minimum of one year, or longer in the case of Friends whose work was closely related to that of the committee concerned’.The Yearly Meeting commended this policy as good practice to area meetings in respect of their nominations to serve on Meeting for Sufferings.