BYM moves forward with Vibrancy plans

Britain Yearly Meeting moves forward with Vibrancy plans for more local development workers

The joint Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM)/Woodbrooke project to radically reshape support for Quaker communities took what it described as ‘a significant step forward’ this week with news of more local development workers and a key hub office in Leeds.

According to a statement from BYM, the Vibrancy pilot and the first stages of the subsequent local development project ‘have shown support works well when staff walk alongside Friends, working with them to tailor help to whatever Friends discern they need to thrive and grow as Quaker communities.

‘Building on this experience, the project will go on to place a local development worker in reach of every Quaker community within five years’.

The next group of local development workers will cover: Scotland; Yorkshire; North-East England and North Cumbria; and East Anglia. They will also consider how to engage with, support and nurture non-geographic Quaker communities. Timing will depend on public health measures in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

BYM said: ‘A pilot hub office will be a base to experiment with having BYM and possibly Woodbrooke staff outside London and Birmingham in an office suite connected to Carlton Hill Meeting house in Leeds.’

Sandra Berry, director of Woodbrooke, said: ‘The world we are living in now looks very different to the one in which decisions were made to take the pilot project to the next stage. Whilst both organisations are having to take steps to ensure we are able to weather the difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, we remain committed to working together to support Quaker communities.’

However, a group of Quakers approached the Friend saying that they think any further work on the regional workers and Vibrancy strategy should be put on hold until the financial implications both of that strategy and COVID-19 have been clarified, and the priorities for BYM’s work reviewed in the light of the pandemic.

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