QUAKERS FROM ACROSS Britain have held their annual meeting in London, from Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May, to discuss important business and come together as a community.

As an inclusive faith, the Quakers’ Yearly Meeting includes people of all ages, so while adults were holding their sessions, children and other adults met elsewhere in the building, and in Hemel Hempstead. They enjoyed age-appropriate activities exploring the theme of truth and joy, which included reading, drawing, dancing and roaming around Friends House in Euston and surrounding parks.

On Sunday morning, all those attending Britain Yearly Meeting in person came together in worship, joined online by individual Quakers and 82 Quaker meetings across Britain. And on Monday afternoon, children and young people up to the age of 15 presented Yearly Meeting with a record of the activities and decisions in their five different groups.

Earlier in the weekend, Quakers had heard the epistle, or message, from Junior Yearly Meeting of Quakers aged 15-18, which was held 1-4 April.

New Shoots, aged 0-2, told the meeting: “We took the toy food in and out of the box, played with playdough and read stories […] We enjoyed the magic balloons over the air conditioning unit.”

And the Fox Cubs, aged 2-5, reported: “We read our favourite story again and acted the bit where our enemies were kept outside the wall, but then we let them in for the tea and biscuits. We love them all.”

The children and young people were present for the reading of the epistle, or letter summarising Yearly Meeting.This asked: “Are we open to all voices, and how can we develop structures to engage all Friends through active listening? Ensuring true access for all in our community is a work of love.”

In this spirit, the concluding session of Yearly Meeting 2023, to be held online and in person on Saturday, 1 July, will be an all-age event with children welcome.

* Read Yearly Meeting Epistle here or view on YouTube here.

Source: Quakers in Britain