Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same god who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good.
(I Cor 12:4-7)
Having no formal priesthood, or rather believing that we all have it in us to be ministers to each other, Quakers appoint each other to certain roles for fixed periods of time, to get things done and make the community of a meeting possible.
Below are the roles in action at Stoke Newington, a little about what they do and, where appropriate, who is currently in those roles and how to get in touch with them.
Our Clerks are:
The meeting Clerk is the centre point of communication in the meeting. After Meeting for Worship the clerk welcomes visitors and newcomers and gives out information in the form of ‘notices’. The clerk also sits at the top table and records minutes at the meeting’s Meeting for Worship for Business. Quakers have a particular method for conducting business and the clerk plays a central role in that.
Our Elders are: Anna Sharman, Gemma Playford and Jonathan Whitson Cloud
Elders are responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of community members and the meeting as a whole. They are good people to talk to if you have a particular issue that you yourself would define as spiritual. Our Elders at Stoke Newington are also responsible for organising our bi-monthly Meetings for Learning and our annual Awayday. See the calendar for details of when these are scheduled to happen.
Our Overseers are: Lizzie Whitson Cloud, James Grant and
Overseers are responsible for the physical/pastoral wellbeing of community members. For example they arrange visits to the sick and others prevented from attending Meeting for Worship, and they can offer financial support for those in need and for those attending Quaker training or other events; they are good people to talk to if you have any trouble or need in your life. Overseers are also responsible for supporting any community members interested in becoming members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Membership of the Society is not required to be a full participating member of the community, but it is available as a path for those who are so led.
Nominations Committee (x3)
Our Nominations Committee is: Bruce, Anne and
The Nominations committee is responsible for ensuring that all the roles described on this page are filled. As the name implies they do not do the appointing but bring nominations (known as names) to the Meeting for Worship for Business where appointments are made.
Treasurer (and assistant Treasurer)
Our Treasurer is:
The Treasurer is responsible for the financial wellbeing of the meeting.
Children’s Meeting Convenors (x3)
Our Children’s Meeting Convenors are: Anne, Jesse and Sandi Finn
The Children’s Meeting convenors are responsible for the wellbeing of the Children’s meeting. For more about the Children’s meeting see the Children’s Meeting page.
Our Librarian is: tbc
The Librarian is responsible for there being fresh and appropriate literature available to the community. Quakers have been called ‘bookish people’ in the past and some trace of this remains in the quantity of Quaker literature produced annually. Another good place to find Quaker and related books is through the Friends House Bookshop.
Opening Up Rota Co-ordinator
Our Opening Up Rota Co-ordinator is: Precious Martini-Brown
The Opening Up Rota Co-ordinator manages the team of people (Opening-uppers) who have volunteered to ‘open up’ the meeting. At Stoke Newington this means being there to welcome visitors, newcomers and community members at the top of the stairs in Clissold House and guide them into Meeting for Worship. The Opening-uppers also close the Meeting for Worship with a handshake. If it is your first time at a Quaker meeting, let the person greeting you at the top of the stairs know and they will give you an essential guide to how it works (basically “sit down with us and wait!“) and might press some literature into your hand to read in the meeting.
Our Online Convenor is: Jonathan Whitson Cloud
The Online Convenor is responsible for the upkeep of this website and Stoke Newington Quakers’ participation online generally.
For more about the Roles in Quakerism and for some resources in support of them see the Britain Yearly Meeting website Quaker roles pages.
As you can see this is quite a long list of roles for a smallish community to fill, and we haven’t currently filled them all. If you find yourself spending time with us with any kind of regularity then do not be surprised if a member of Nominations Committee asks as to your availability …