The Quakers in Scotland (QiS) Coordinating Group (QiS-CG) has been tasked by General Meeting (23/09/08 and 23/11/11) with
- Bringing draft documents to GM for the decision on having a single charity, following liaison with the six trustee bodies
- Bringing wider options on how best our meetings might evolve, if they wish, and be grouped together
- Suggest how we could improve common ways of working together, such as for eldership and pastoral care, and for learning and growth
This work follows on from the Options for Scotland second group (OfS2) report, which recommended that we form a single charity for Quakers in Scotland. A proposed way of working towards this was described, and QiS-CG was established with the objectives described above. This page describes the task and how we are doing. A FAQ page responds to some common questions.
The group was asked to focus first on outlining what a single charity for Quakers in Scotland would look like. This body could, if agreed, take on a good part of the work undertaken by AM trustee bodies and some of the work undertaken by AMs. An important further question is how or whether this organisational change should be accompanied by other changes in how we meet as a Quaker community and organise our activities. Several subgroups are running, with members from across Scotland. Groups aim to work with Friends from all AMs, GM, and Dundee Friends Property Trust (DFPT) to:
- Agree what a single charity would look like, and take steps to be ready for one.
- Agree a governing document (constitution) with Friends that can be taken to the charity regulator OSCR. This work is advanced. Answers to some common questions (FAQ) about the process are being created. Updates below.
- Consider how all the related business of QiS can be done. How much can be done centrally and what should be delegated. Establish groups to consider:
- How finances would be managed by meetings across Scotland within a single organisation. Discussions are under way.
- Issues around property management with a single organisation. Discussions are under way. MOUs for each property or set of properties should describe where responsibilities lie for maintenance, letting, etc.
- Other things that area meetings do, and whether any of these might be organised differently. These discussions are just beginning. Current patterns would continue unless or until Friends felt they should change. Examples include Eldership, Nominations, Membership applications and transfers, funerals, marriages.
- After consultations at online meetings and by direct correspondence, involving trustees and others interested, a draft governing document (pdf file, 180kb) has been sent to Area Meetings, GM, and DFPT. In general, issues raised have concerned wording rather than principles. This is not surprising, as the document is closely based on equivalent documents from Area Meetings. Some questions are soon to be discussed with the charity regulator, OSCR, and will then be scrutinised by lawyers before coming back to Friends for approval. Comments continue to be received. Advice is also being sought from SCVO. A webpage covering Frequently asked questions has been created.
- The Finance group continues to meet regularly. Treasurers from all six of our charities are included in this group.
- The Property group has extended its remit to encompass staff questions, as most staff roles are around property. The group has participants from existing property committees (or equivalents; names vary). A draft MOU is ready to circulate to property committees.
- The Community group, covering other questions, is recruiting more members with a range of experience from area meetings.
Members of the QiS coordinating group are
Pam Brunt (East, and Dundee Property Trust)
Peter Christy (West)
Nigel Dower (North)
Kate Gulliver (West)
Edmund Holt (North)
Ken Jobling (South East)
Martin Pippard (East, and Dundee Property Trust)
Lesley Richards (convenor)
Neil Turner (South East)
How to get in touch
- Contact group members from your AM at any time
- Where you are responding to a message or document from a subgroup, such as finance, property, or community, please reply to that. Usually only one or two participants in each subgroup are from the QiS-CG.
- For any other Qs, or for comments on these webpages about QiS-CG, please contact neilturn [at] gmail.com (subject: %20QiS from web)