Yearly Meeting and Meeting for Sufferings
Yearly Meeting delegates to Meeting for Sufferings, as its standing representative body (7.02-7.03) in the intervals between Yearly Meetings, deliberation, discernment and the oversight of our corporate religious life. Meeting for Sufferings also receives regular interim reports for information and consultation from the Britain Yearly Meeting Trustees.
Meeting for Sufferings is largely (7.06.a, b, c & d) appointed by Yearly Meeting in session, to which it reports annually. Yearly Meeting in session remains the final constitutional authority (6.12), to which Meeting for Sufferings is accountable.
Yearly Meeting also entrusts to Meeting for Sufferings the organisation and periodic revision of the structure of standing committees which oversee particular areas of the central work undertaken on behalf of Britain Yearly Meeting as a whole. However, it reserves to itself decisions affecting the existence and basic functions of Quaker Life (8.08) and Quaker Peace & Social Witness (8.09) as central committees. While Meeting for Sufferings may modify their composition and terms of reference, as for its other standing committees, the essential place of these two central committees and the work they represent in the yearly meeting organisation may not be altered without the approval of Yearly Meeting in session.
Other changes in the structure of standing committees through which Meeting for Sufferings works must be reported to Yearly Meeting (7.02); in such cases, any church government amendments proposed reflect decisions of Meeting for Sufferings already taken, and it is for Yearly Meeting to decide whether the proposed textual changes to our book of discipline accurately describe the new structure.
Meeting for Sufferings is entrusted with the general care of matters affecting Britain Yearly Meeting in its life and witness. It has a particular care for its central work organisation and church government, including the preparation of constitutional amendments for Yearly Meeting in session to consider.