the friend online
05 December 2008

Opinion

‘Yes, clerk’ – on being a Quaker ‘civil servant’ - preview

Marigold Bentley, a Quaker Peace & Social Witness assistant

Sir Humphrey: ‘It’s up to you, Bernard, what do you want?’

Bernard Woolley: ‘I want to have a clear conscience


  • Sir Humphrey: ‘A clear conscience


  • Bernard Woolley: ‘Yes


  • Sir Humphrey: ‘When did you acquire this taste for luxuries?’

    – Yes, Prime Minister


    I have recently moved house and subsequently have moved Meetings (the formal transfer of membership is in process)
  • In introducing myself to new Friends, I have found myself increasingly explaining my role and the work I do as being that of a civil servant to the Yearly Meeting
  • By that I mean that it is one of my primary roles in my professional life to ensure that Friends’ wishes and desires, as expressed through the Quaker committee process, become pieces of work, projects and programmes
  • These programmes may employ professional staff or be undertaken by committee members themselves
  • Through the life of programmes of work, I have to ensure that the work remains under the oversight of Friends in the various groupings
  • I have to spend time advising the relevant clerk
  • I also have to ensure that staff are treated appropriately, that employment law is complied with, that budgets are set and adhered to, that Friends and other funders are informed about progress and problems and that space is left to deal with emergencies and crises
  • (The latter requirements are common to most management jobs
  • )

    Marigold Bentley

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