Yearly Meeting Gathering postponed

Yearly Meeting Gathering 2020 has been postponed until 31 July to 6 August 2021

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has postponed the 2020 Yearly Meeting Gathering, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic ‘very sadly makes it impossible to bring 2,000 people together for this event’.

Clare Scott Booth, clerk of Yearly Meeting, recalled the words of Yearly Meeting in 1668: ‘We did conclude among ourselves to settle a meeting, to see one another’s faces, and open our hearts one to another in the Truth of God once a year, as formerly it used to be.’

She said: ‘We have met uninterruptedly in this spirit since that time, through times of war and pestilence. However, we find ourselves now in unprecedented times. We understand as never before the risks of transmission of disease; we also have access as never before to technologies which enable us to remain connected one with another as Friends in ways which early Friends might have envied.’

A Yearly Meeting has been held each year since 1668, with a larger triennial Gathering being held more recently. This larger event will now take place in 2021.

Clare Scott Booth added: ‘This decision was taken with sorrow, because Yearly Meeting is a high-point of the Quaker year. It’s when we come together to worship, to embolden one another in our actions in the world, and to build our community. Yearly Meeting, for me, is about recognising and celebrating God in each other.’

BYM said that it was looking at ways to hold a Yearly Meeting later in 2020 and plans are already in hand for moving the Gathering to 31 July to 6 August 2021.

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