Quakers in Yorkshire
Quakers in Yorkshire is a regional gathering of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain (Quakers in Britain). It provides spiritual fellowship and pan-Yorkshire services to members and attenders in its constituent local and area meetings. It covers Local Quaker meetings in West, East, South and most of North Yorkshire. (Please look at our map.)
The Yearly Meeting is the final constitutional authority of Quakers in Britain. Under the Yearly Meeting are regional gatherings, area meetings and local meetings. In the Quakers in Yorkshire region there are 39 local meetings and seven area meetings. The area meetings provide the office-holders, trustees and volunteers for Quakers in Yorkshire activities. The seven area meetings are:
- Brighouse West Yorkshire;
- Central Yorkshire;
- Craven & Keighley;
- Pickering & Hull;
- Sheffield & Balby;
Quakers in Yorkshire is a registered charity (Number 1139514).
There are a group of trustees, one from each area meeting plus a Clerk of Trustees and the Treasurer of Quakers in Yorkshire. The trustees are appointed by, and report to, the quarterly meetings of Quakers in Yorkshire with names coming from the Area Meetings. There are two Co-Clerks of Quakers in Yorkshire who organise the business and clerk the quarterly meetings.
The object of Quakers in Yorkshire is the furtherance of the general religious and charitable purposes of the Religious Society of Friends in the region encompassed by the seven area meetings and beyond. It does this by work such as:
- outreach and the care and nurturing of children and young people;
- providing for relief in need for those who are Friends or Attenders of participant meetings;
- promoting the education of children of Friends and Attenders in good standing of local meetings in Yorkshire who attend a secondary school officially connected to Britain Yearly Meeting;
- assisting in the erecting, maintaining, repairing or improving of Quaker meeting houses;
- overseeing the governance of Bootham School, York and The Mount School, York;
- supporting the charitable objects of Glenthorne Quaker Centre;
- making trustee appointments to Breckenbrough School and The Retreat, York;
- administering and maintaining the organisation of Quakers in Yorkshire.
Here is a copy of the Constitution or Governing Document.
Annual Report and Accounts
The Annual Reports and Accounts are filed with the Charity Commission and can be found by clicking this link
Quakers in Yorkshire can trace its history continuously back to 1665 when the first recorded minutes exist of Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting. Quakerism started in Yorkshire and North West England in 1651-52 when George Fox and other founders discovered a faith that they had been seeking. The early years were ones of rapid expansion, religious fervour and considerable persecution of Friends. In the 1660s George Fox established a hierarchy of meetings to provide networks and support. The Preparative (now Local) Meetings fed into the Monthly (now Area) Meetings which fed into the Quarterly Meetings which reported to London Yearly Meeting.
Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting has met quarterly since 1665 and played an active part in the life of Quakerism both regionally and nationally. Outreach work was important in the 20th century. A special committee to do outreach was formed called the 1905 Committee which became the Yorkshire Friends Service Council in 1928 and Quaker Outreach in Yorkshire in the 1980s. As needs changed, this was recently laid down and replaced by an Outreach Projects Committee. Activities for young people have also been important. In the 1930s the Yorkshire Friends Holiday School was established and has met annually since then. The 1905 Committee also began annual family weekends at Easter-time and ‘Easter Settlement’ continues to this day, now held at Cober Hill Guesthouse at Cloughton, near Scarborough.
In 1966 Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting became Yorkshire General Meeting as part of a simplification of the administrative structure of the yearly meeting. In 2005 the name was changed to Quakers in Yorkshire. In 2007 the regional gatherings ceased to be part of the administrative structure of Britain Yearly Meeting. In 2010 Quakers in Yorkshire became a separately registered charity.