A Quaker fellowship
- If you are a Quaker member or attender looking for a Quaker lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex community, we hope you will find the website helpful. We hope you will have the chance to attend a gathering with other LGBT+ Friends.
- If you are finding out about Quakers - welcome. We hope you will try a Quaker Meeting for worship, where you will be received warmly. To find out more about Quaker worship, where you can find a Quaker Meeting and more about Quaker faith and practice, please follow the link on the right to the main Quakers in Britain website.
Please feel free to let us have any ideas and suggestions in the comments box below.
Follow us on Twitter – qlgf_gb
The future role of the Quaker LGBT+ Fellowship
A more sustainable QLGF
What kind of organisation should QLGF be today? We welcome your views about how QLGF should go forward and invite Quakers to our AGM on 29 May. Can we thrive without a subscription fee? How important is QLGF for personal support – a place of belonging for LGBT+ Quakers? How important are occasional gatherings for worship, sharing, fellowship? What is the Quaker message for understanding and equality today? What can we learn from other LGBT faith groups?
A welcoming fellowship
QLGF has been an active national fellowship and campaigning group serving the needs of LGBT+ Friends for many years and as you know was named Community Group of the Year in 2013 by Stonewall. We have been building on this encouragement by pursuing our outreach to the LGBT+ community, including several successful recent Gatherings focussing on sexual ethics and on the experience of Transgender people. We still hope to pursue these themes further.
However, these activities need active Friends and the committee has shrunk. The committee have considered whether the time has now come for QLGF to evolve into a reduced but more sustainable form, capable of being run by a much smaller, re-shaped committee. This means that from the end of 2016, we would:
- maintain QLGF primarily as an online community, via our website, Twitter and Facebook;
- remove or minimise subscription fees, to be accessible for all Friends;
- form a small task force to undertake more limited activities;
- continue to produce a newsletter with Quaker oriented articles if it still proves sustainable;
- use our remaining resources to encourage Friends House to produce outreach and inreach materials for the LGBT+ community;
- support other organisations, for example Young Friends General Meeting in dealing with issues around sexuality and gender, and Sibyls, who work with trans people of faith;
- continue to support existing and new local groups in their fellowship and outreach roles.
Would this mainly ‘virtual’ presence, as primarily an awareness and information resource, be a more viable role for QLGF in the 21st Century?
National gatherings: many of us value the personal fellowship of national gatherings where LGBT+ Friends can meet face to face. However, these take a lot of planning and organising, and we hope we may yet organise more of them if and when people come forward to help organise them.
Regional and local events: For the present, and for a limited time at least, we may be able to continue to support QLGF members or local groups financially to run local or regional events.
The committee currently has no Gatherings or Publicity Officers, despite repeated advertising, and we are about to lose our Treasurer and one of our Co-Clerks. As a result, it is harder for QLGF to sustain an active national Fellowship, organising ambitious national Gatherings twice a year.
Come to the AGM at Friends House on 29 May
Quakers are invited to an unusually important QLGF Annual General Meeting, to help discern the right way forward, not just on the matters set out above, but on practical issues around subscriptions, membership, and the future of the QLGF newsletter.
It will be held at Friends House during Britain Yearly Meeting, on Sunday 29th May in Room Drayton B05, from 12.30-1.30pm.
This AGM may well turn out to be a key development in QLGF’s history, and we hope as many members as possible will join us, to help us to agree a viable way forward for QLGF. If you are not able to attend, please do write your views below.
Gill Coffin and Hugh Jones - Co-Clerks