‘Yes we claim to be friendly, nice people. But these dynamics are more subtle than that.’

Body building: Derrick Whitehouse says Friends should give some thought to how groups work

‘If everything in our local meetings is welcoming, dynamic, friendly and joyful then why are we not growing?’ | Photo: by Melissa Askew on Unsplash.

I recently gave a presentation on Quaker Meeting houses. When researching it I discovered that there were many more than I expected, dating back to when, in some parts of the country, it is said that ten per cent of the population worshipped as Friends of Truth. I have read that when the Wesleys came along allegiance slipped away, towards the more open hymn-singing approach. But I am not convinced that this is the whole story about our numerical decline. In brief, I am persuaded the loss was about poor, ineffective management.

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