Why this guide?

My own experience is of British or mainland European Quaker meetings. Yes, even with those there are cultural differences, but many of the issues are common to all clerks. This resource is here for you, whether you are just beginning a period of service for your local meeting, a regional or yearly meeting, or maybe a committee meeting such as trustees, or a one-off meeting where Friends have decided they need the structure of a clerked discussion culminating probably in an agreed minute. This is popularly known as the Quaker Business Method among British Friends.

Throughout the pages on this website there are some personal reflections on aspects of clerking. These are provided by several experienced clerks in Britain and I am very grateful for their individual insights.

This guide is intended for those about to embark on a new part of their lives – that of serving as clerk to Quaker business meetings, usually referred to these days as Meetings for Worship for Business. There are several other highly-readable publications on the topic but most of them are discursive in style. The aim of this one is more like a manual, the sort in which you aren’t clear how to do something, or why something seems hard or troubling, and you require some immediate help. It’s not an instruction book as there are many ways of doing things right when it comes to clerking, but there is guidance, suggestions, tips, and some how-to offerings based on the lived experience of clerks in the unprogrammed tradition. There is more further on in this site if you are interested in more extensive reading about the principles of clerking a Quaker meeting for church affairs. Go to the ‘further reading’ menu.

This Guide derives from my own experiences of clerking in various Quaker contexts, and of supporting those new to the role. My motto has always been “cherish all clerks!”
Judith Roads

The material on this website may be freely shared, copied or translated for private or charitable use, but not for commercial gain.

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