QiS news

Intro | The task | Updates | Contact us


    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. A full history of this work is detailed here. A two-page preparatory paper Becoming QiS in Scotland gives a shorter summary.

    The task

    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 online. 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.


    JUNE 2024

    • A set of questions posed by the Community Group is being considered by local meetings, reports expected by the end of June.
    • A draft Memorandum of Understanding about Property matters is close to being agreed after consultation with property committees and others, the latest version is being circulated now. It is acknowledged that there is overlap with arrangements for employment and finance, and these will be returned to.
    • The Treasurers Group continues to consider ways of working as a single organisation.
    • The draft Governing Document has continued to be adapted in response to feedback. A meeting with SCVO to review legal aspects is being arranged.
    • The core QiS group also continues to work on questions around possible transition arrangements, and how and when to develop more detail on common policies, employment and working arrangements.
    • A special GM on April 6 considered the QiS project (see GM page for Minutes). Analysis from breakout groups will be published here soon.
    • At GM in September there will be a further update, and proposals for next steps.
    • Area Meeting nomination committees might begin to consider who could be suitable as Foundation Trustees for a new charity (2 per AM). Foundation trustees would be required to apply to OSCR to register a new charity, though the new body would not be active until at least one AM had joined.

    MARCH 2024

    • Area Meetings are considering progress in advance of a special General Meeting to be held on 6th April.
    • An updated but still draft Governing Document, dated 21 March, is now available.
    • A detailed account of the history of this work, Where did it all begin?, is also published.
    • Consultation sessions were held on March 18 and 20th. A short preparatory paper Becoming QiS in Scotland summarised information in advance of that.
    • The draft Property MOU is being considered by Property Committees.
    • The Community group is now established and planning first meetings. Meetings of the Treasurers group continue.

    FEBRUARY 2024

    • After consultations at online meetings and by direct correspondence, involving trustees and others interested, a draft governing document (pdf file, 180kb; link updated to retrieve a further modified March version) 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.

    Contact the QiS coordinating group

    Members of the QiS coordinating group are

      Pam Brunt (East, and Dundee Property Trust)
      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)