Britain Yearly Meeting


Britain Yearly Meeting

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) is the umbrella body for the Religious Society of Friends in Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man). It is among the many yearly meetings of Friends around the world. It assembles and publishes the core British Quaker publication "Quaker Faith and Practice".

Britain Yearly Meeting, which until 1995 was known as London Yearly Meeting, grew out of various national and regional meetings of Friends in the 1650s and 1660s and has met annually since 1668.

BYM as an organisation

Britain Yearly Meeting corresponds with "Area Quaker Meetings" who in turn correspond with "Local Meetings" (that cover a small area). There are committees set up to deal with particular issues, long running committees consisting of representatives from all over Britain include Meeting for Sufferings, Quaker Life and Quaker Peace and Social Witness.

This correspondence means that Quakers in Britain have unified response on major issues. The organisation is in process of re-structuring, under the name of RECAST (Representation, Communication and Accountability in our Structures) [ [http://www.quaker.org.uk/Shared_ASP_Files/UploadedFiles/A467E876-D3F6-4306-A89B-1F76BFB78698_ConSupp2006web.pdf Report to Britain Yearly Meeting 2006 on Constitutional issues] ] .

BYM as an event

Currently, three out of four yearly meetings of BYM are held at Friends House in London, over a May Bank Holiday weekend. Once every four years, there is a week-long residential meeting in summer, usually on a university campus.All types of issues are discussed in the standard fashion of Quaker decision making. Among several lectures over the gathering, one of the highlights is known as the Swarthmore Lecture, relating to issues concerning Quakers. There is also an under 19's programme, with activities tailored to each age group.
* In 2005, a residential Yearly Meeting was held at the University of York, from 30 July to 6 August.
* In 2006, Yearly Meeting took place at Friends House in London over the second May Bank Holiday, 26-29 May, in the UK
* In 2007, Yearly Meeting took place at Friends House in London over the first May Bank Holiday, 4-7 May, in the UK
* In 2008, Yearly Meeting was held at Friends House in London over the second May Bank Holiday, 23-26 May, in the UK
* In 2009, a residential Yearly Meeting will be held at the University of York, from 25 July - 1st August. For the first time this will also encompass Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM), and will be a week-long joint event.

National Quaker Week

In 2007 BYM had its first National Quaker Week ( [http://www.quaker.org.uk/sing] ). With the aim to encourage Quakers to drop their traditional modesty and "to let their souls sing". [ cite web |url=http://www.quaker.org.uk/shared_asp_files/GFSR.asp?NodeID=107594 |title=Quakers break with tradition to celebrate first National Quaker Week |accessdate=2008-02-26 |date=2007-10-14 |publisher=Britain Yearly Meeting |format=Doc

] Across the country, local and monthly meetings put special effort into their outreach. One notable act was that of the London Quakers who placed prominent advertisements on London Underground trains sharing Quaker wisdom from the book ‘Advices and Queries’.

Junior Yearly Meeting

Junior Yearly Meeting (or "JYM") is an event for 15-18yr olds that takes place every Easter, currently at the Pioneer Centre, Kidderminster. It is followed by BYM Under 19's program, which takes place during Britain Yearly Meeting, and is an essential part of the Young Quaker calendar.

References

External links

* [http://www.quaker.org.uk/ Britain Yearly Meeting]


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