Quakers and Business Group
Promoting Quaker values in Business and the Workplace

News Update - November 2014

On Tuesday 4th November 2014 fourteen members of Quakers and Business (Q&B)management committee met at Friend's House Euston. A dreich day in one small room and the scene was set for another round of Q&B discernment and decision making.

Treasurer Paul Whitehouse began by delivering the treasurer's report. A few clarifications were sought, the report was received and accepted and Paul reassured us that with prudent management the accounts remained comfortable and will continue to be so.

Following on from money matters, a request from Meetings for Sufferings (MfS) was discussed at length. MfS are working on a Long Term Framework for Quakers in Britain and have invited Q&B to respond to the following four questions by the end of January:

  • What is distinctive about Quaker work and witness, to us (Q&B) and to others?
  • What is your vision of the ministry that Q&B are called to, now and in the future?
  • What are we led to do together?
  • How could Q&B/Quaker structures and networks help Quakers in Britain to flourish?

Friends may be aware of these through their own local meetings who have likewise been asked. We agreed that we would very much like to send in a submission and the next question was how to do it in the relatively short time frame. A balanced response was required vis-a-vis our existing policies, mandates and constitution. The membership's in-put is also to be sought. It was decided that a survey shall be sent out to the membership ASAP, with responses requested in good time for collation and discernment. From which a report will be written, for which committee consensus will hopefully lead to a timely and meaningful submission.

Q&B's pastoral and mentoring roles were also considered in the meeting. It was noted that the Spiritual Accompanier path had receded somewhat into the background. Decision was made to make this a clearer opportunity through its presence on our website, messages put out and alongside the business mentoring opportunities that concurrently run.

It was with great pleasure that the committee then heard about co-clerk Mark Lockwood's upcoming presentation and workshop in Melbourne, Australia. As part of Australia's yearly gathering he will be delivering a days worth of content on Quakers and Business. We wished him all the best and look forward to hearing more about our antipodean Ffriends' experiences of business.

Next to take the floor was the Quaker Finance Trust (QFT). John Lovatt ably explained how the QFT was now in discussion with Quaker schools and local meetings about investing. A leaflet is available to help spread the word, so take note all treasurers and trustees of local meetings, this may be just the investment fund you're looking for. Do contact Friend John Lovatt or anyone else involved in the Quaker Finance Trust for more information. QFT was seeded and incubated in Q&B's Development Working Group. Do you have an idea that you would like developed? If so support is available. All you need to do is submit an enquiry to Eoin McCarthy, and find out what Q&B can do to help your idea flourish too.

Q&B's Academic Research Working Group then took to the stage. Andy Fincham and Nicola Sleap are both doing very well in their research. Under the discerning and encouraging eye of Ben Pink Dandelion they are each uncovering historical Quaker approaches to business. The intention behind each of the projects is to give insights into current Quaker practice in business, through looking back through our histories.

We were reminded that the 2015 Spring Gathering and AGM will be on the 18th April at Northampton Quaker Meeting House. The title is ‘Making Quakers Citizen Journalists’.

And finally, it is with great pleasure that we welcome Ian Cunningham both as a Trustee and into our Communications Working Group. With his on-line acumen and enthusiasm for LinkedIn we're very excited to have him on-board. Would you also like to play your part in Q&B? If so, speak-up! We are currently looking for an assistant clerk to support our co-clerks in their work. It will be a learning and a training role and is the ideal opportunity for anyone who would like to also get on board, help us grow and nurture Q&B. Do please be in touch with Paula Kingston if you would like to help.

Zemirah Moffat
Friday 7th November 2014
Glasgow Quaker Meeting