Ian Kirk-Smith reports
The announcement of a new recording clerk for Britain Yearly Meeting was the first, and much anticipated, item on the agenda of Meeting for Sufferings (MfS) held at Friends House on Saturday 4 December.
There was a good turnout of Friends, despite the terrible weather conditions that had so disrupted transport services across Britain, and the announcement of Paul Parker (right), of Thaxted Area Meeting, to the position met with the approval of those present.
Paul addressed the Meeting and said that Quakers were people who took their faith out ‘into the world’ and who ‘live it’: he stressed that there were many challenges and opportunities facing Friends today in doing this.
He said: ‘As Friends in Britain we are facing tough times together. I have a sense that our testimony to equality is to be soundly tested in the next few months and years, in our local communities, nationally and internationally, and we need to be ready for that. The environmental situation poses profound challenges to our testimonies to peace and simplicity.’
‘Only by speaking our truth loudly, plainly and clearly,’ he added, ‘will we be able to help change the world for the better as Friends have so often done before.’
Paul lives with his wife in Essex. He is currently assistant head teacher of Barnwell School in Stevenage and is a teacher of languages. Paul was co-clerk of the Yearly Meeting Gathering in York in 2009, where Yearly Meeting made the historic decision to treat same-sex and opposite-sex marriages in the same way. He added: ‘I am deeply committed to our shared Quaker process and its role in discerning what love requires of us in the world. I am looking forward to serving the Yearly Meeting, this Meeting, and our trustees by being the link between our collective discernment and the centrally managed work, which helps to make that vision a reality.’
You need to login to read subscriber-only content and/or comment on articles.