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11 April 2008

Britain Yearly Meeting

Meeting for Sufferings - round-up - preview
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Long-term Framework makes it through Sufferings with minor but significant changes

It arrived at Saturday's Meeting for Sufferings facing an expected storm, but Friends debating the Long-term Framework progress report pulled unity from disunity to send the radical document to Yearly Meeting

  • The Long-term Framework (LTF) Group had identified seven priorities for Quaker work over the next six years: strengthening the spiritual roots in our Meetings and ourselves; speaking out in the world; peace; sustainability and the environment; being a welcoming community to migrants; criminal justice; and using our resources well
  • The document envisaged radical changes in our ways of working, with better networking inside and outside the Society
  • The Group's convener Margaret Peacock told Friends: 'Our remit was to find the visions and priorities of the Society as a whole
  • We read everything we received and from it produced the framework document you have before you
  • '

    Oliver Robertson

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    Peter Kennedy, 13 April
    As a member of both Meeting for Sufferings and the QPSW Grants Group I am disappointed that your reporter omitted to mention concerns raised at the recent Sufferings about the QPSW Relief Grants scheme. Much time and considerable thought has been devoted to this matter over the past few months and it is unfortunate that the report failed to provide any satisfactory closure on the matter.

    Truth is many sided and, as Quakers we should never be afraid to justify our actions and decisions, or to be transparent and held open to scrutiny. A decision was made in autumn 2007 that grants from the QPSW Relief Grants scheme should be limited to £6,000 per annum per application. This amount might not suit some people, for any number of reasons, but it was a decision of the group charged with distributing the funds, it was made in good faith, and as such it should be respected.

    Although, somewhere in the region of £32,000 will be distributed this year, since some applicants may come back for a second and third year of funding, along with new applications it is possible that subsequent years might see this amount substantially increase. Spending at some 2-3 times this year's amount would see the £400,000+ capital fund released in a relatively short time.

    These grants were advertised as being specifically for the relief of people who are suffering as a result of natural disasters, climate change, war or conflict, but not for immediate crisis relief; the projects should be time limited, or at least able to become financially sustainable by the end of the funding. Some of the applications received scored poorly on these criteria in that they could have become an open-ended commitment.

    QPSW Grants Group have a responsibility to ensure that the Relief Funds are used in the manner for which they were intended. They also have a duty to ensure that those receiving grants have fulfilled certain criteria.

    I note that Sufferings minuted it was happy to uphold the groups and committees which work on behalf of Britain Yearly Meeting.

    This thread was orignally submitted as a letter - but apparently is too long for that. Or is it that any letter pointing out a failure to report openly and honestly can only be published once it has been edited so its whole sense has been lost?!?


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    Meeting for Sufferings - round-up
    Oliver Robertson
    Our unique evolutionary path
    Terry Wood
    Roger Hill & Janet Quilley
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    The spirituality of running
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