Ulster Quarterly Meeting February 2011 Report (Members Area)


Ulster Quarterly Meeting has undergone a change in its structure. This is the result of over 18 months of discussion and consultation. The new format was presented to UQM last September and it was agreed to try out the new format for a period of three years. This February was the first Meeting in the new way.

As Clerk, it was important that the Business was completed in only 1 ½ hours and I knew I had to keep the momentum up: perhaps not the best way to do business. However, as some of the usual business was absorbed into our new committees, there was less to do.

We began on Saturday morning in South Belfast Meeting House at 10.30. with a worship period of half an hour and then refreshed ourselves with tea and coffee. This gave me time to race home and collect some papers I had forgotten, so you can imagine that by the time the Business Meeting began there was more than enough adrenaline flowing around my system!

I am supported by a cool, calm assistant clerk who, probably unbeknownst to him until he reads this, succeeded in easing my frayed nerves. It is amazing how having another person beside you is so supportive.

The business included the Annual Statistical Returns, a report from the Archive Committee, Triennial Nominations to UQM and Ireland Yearly Meeting Committees and , for me, the highlight, a Report by the Principal of Friends’ School Lisburn. Elizabeth Dickson, principal, gave a Powerpoint presentation on the many and varied activities of all the pupils at Friends’. The school’s aim of “Excellence in a caring community” was well demonstrated. As well as academic, musical and sporting achievements, some pupils go out to local schools to teach science and languages and a few were volunteers at Quaker Cottage last summer.

After a shared lunch, the brand new Testimonies and Social Witness Committee challenged us all with the help of Eco-Quakers Committee to consider the queries of the FWCC Global Change Consultation. The responses of the group discussions will form part of a report to that FWCC committee.

The day ended at about 4.30. and was attended by about 40 Friends. I hope Friends left the meeting feeling stimulated and enthusiastic. I can only imagine the work that went into organising the day by the Testimonies and Social Witness Committee, but I think their labours were well rewarded.

Quarterly Meeting in Grange, June, will feature the Outreach and Ministry Committee. I look forward to that and urge anyone who has never been to QM to give it a try.
Margrit Grey Ulster Quarterly Meeting has undergone a change in its structure.  This is the result of over 18 months of discussion and consultation.  The new format was presented to UQM last September and it was agreed to try out the new format for a period of three years.  This February was the first Meeting in the new way.

As Clerk, it was important that the Business was completed in only 1 ½ hours and I knew I had to keep the momentum up: perhaps not the best way to do business.  However, as some of the usual business was absorbed into our new committees, there was less to do.

We began on Saturday morning in South Belfast Meeting House at 10.30. with a worship period of half an hour and then refreshed ourselves with tea and coffee.  This gave me time to race home and collect some papers I had forgotten, so you can imagine that by the time the Business Meeting began there was more than enough adrenaline flowing around my system!

I am supported by a cool, calm assistant clerk who, probably unbeknownst to him until he reads this, succeeded in easing my frayed nerves.  It is amazing how having another person beside you is so supportive.

The business included the Annual Statistical Returns, a report from the Archive Committee, Triennial Nominations to UQM and Ireland Yearly Meeting Committees and , for me, the highlight, a Report by the Principal of Friends’ School Lisburn.  Elizabeth Dickson, principal, gave a Powerpoint presentation on the many and varied activities of all the pupils at Friends’.  The school’s aim of “Excellence in a caring community” was well demonstrated.  As well as academic, musical and sporting achievements, some pupils go out to local schools to teach science and languages and  a few were volunteers at Quaker Cottage last summer.

After a shared lunch, the brand new Testimonies and Social Witness Committee challenged us all with the help of Eco-Quakers Committee to consider the queries of the FWCC Global Change Consultation.  The responses of the group discussions will form part of a report to that FWCC committee.

The day ended at about 4.30. and was attended by about 40 Friends.  I hope Friends left the meeting feeling stimulated and enthusiastic.  I can only imagine the work that went into organising the day by the Testimonies and Social Witness Committee, but I think their labours were well rewarded.

Quarterly Meeting in Grange, June, will feature the Outreach and Ministry Committee.  I look forward to that and urge anyone who has never been to QM to give it a try.

Margrit Grey