How we Work
The meetings of the Board and Executive are held in the manner of Friends, with quiet worship being the context in which discussion takes place and decisions are made. Decisions are minuted at the time, with some additional notes appended to minutes on occasion where a minute is not needed. The Board and the Executive each have Clerks to facilitate this process. Sometimes one person has Clerked both bodies, but more recently the roles have been divided. Our Treasurer is another key member of the Executive, with responsibilities for financial oversight, in consultation with other Executive members and the Co-ordinator.
The biggest part of our membership is composed of Friends (and some Attenders) appointed by Area Meetings as Representatives. There are four meetings a year for Representatives, taking place at different parts of the North, normally at Quaker Meeting Houses. A number of Area Meetings also appoint Deputy Representatives, ensuring fuller representation.
The role of Representatives can be summarised as:
- Being a two-way channel of communication between Area Meetings and NFPB
- Being aware of Friends’ peace concerns and guiding the direction of NFPB’s work.
- Serving in a range of capacities on various sub-groups and committees in partnership with the Co-ordinator to implement our work.
(more information on roles and responsibilities)
We co-opt some Friends to serve in addition to appointed Representatives. This is in order to help provide continuity in our work (a Representative may have completed their three-year term of service, for example, but still have much to give in a particular area of project activity), and to bring in particular areas of skill and expertise.
Charitable status and trustees
As with many other Quaker groups, NFPB was considered charitable through excepted status as part of the Religious Society of Friends. We became an independent charity in 1996 , registered in Scotland as Charity Number SC 024632. We report annually to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) (the equivalent of the Charity Commission with similar reporting and accounting requirements). There is not currently a requirement that we also register with the Charity Commission but do try to work within its requirements as well as those of OSCR. Our Executive Committee serve as our Trustees, and in their turn meet four times a year. Eight Friends currently serve on our Executive Committee, these being appointed for no more than two terms of three years. Financial administrative tasks are currently undertaken by an Administrative Assistant who includes this in one day per week of work.
In addition to the Board and Executive, we appoint sub-groups to undertake particular tasks. These range from our Nominations Committee to project groups. These report regularly to both the Board and Executive.
For information about our current projects
The Board’s current Co-ordinator and its Administrative Assistant work from an office in Bolton , Lancashire, in a town-centre Methodist building. This office is also used from time-to-time for meetings of sub groups. Rental for the office is less than the market-rate for a similarly sized space, reflecting the supportive nature of the landlord-tenant relationship. Executive Committee members undertake regular Health & Safety and Fire Safety inspections of the office and have been involved in practical assistance in the office from time to time.