Pan London Governance

Decision to Commit - Summary

The seven Area Meetings of London have responded to an Invitation to Commit to forming a single Area Meeting for London. All the AMs are ready to move towards creating a single AM for London, though they have varying senses of how fast this should happen. All seven are also willing to proceed towards creating a single charity, with a single trustee body, bringing together the AMs, with most also wanting to include London Quakers Property Trust and London Quakers. It is clear that there is much worship, threshing and discernment still to be done among all the Friends of London as we develop this proposal further.

A summary of  the seven Area Meetings' responses to the Invitation to Commit

These are only the parts of the minutes which record the main decision of each AM.  A paper containing these extracts plus some 'reservations' retrieved from the minutes can be downloaded from this web location.  A compilation of the complete minutes is also available - see next section below.


“We agree to commit to the formation of a London Area Meeting in principle, which would incorporate London Quakers Property Trust and London Quakers. However, we feel that more discussion is needed about the details of the scheme and feel that the implementation group is better seen as a development group to take things forward.....We feel that this could be an exciting way forward for Quakers in London if due care and attention is given to detail and if London Friends are fully involved in discussions on the way forward.”


“London West Area Meeting is ready to give its firm support and commitment to the set of proposals that have now been presented by the Pan-London Group.  We note that there are still many details to be worked out, around communications and fellowship, and in ensuring a seamless transfer of responsibilities from the current area meetings to the new body.”


“As an Area Meeting, we know we urgently need to make changes and simplify our structures as currently there are just too many roles with not enough Friends able and willing to serve. 

We are also clear that changing our structures is not just a practical question but a spiritual one. Today we heard we very much wish to be part of the spiritual change that needs to happen across London. 

We agree in principle to move forward. However, we do not feel we can agree to the draft minute as set out in Paper A for the following reasons: 

·     We feel that a single AM would be too large to build and maintain relationships that are the building blocks of Quaker worship and witness. Also, the relationship between one large AM and LMs could feel very distant, and it is not clear how clusters would fill this gap. 

·     The proposed timetable feels too pressured and is contrary to the recommendations of the change management consultants. 

·     The complexity of joining all 7 AMs, LQPT and London Quakers plus changing governing documents of many other London charities needs careful planning, setting up LQPT took 5 years of work. 

We would like to see a pan London charity, with a single Trustee body as a first step, with perhaps the 7 AMs joining together more slowly in 2 or 3 AMs initially.” 


“We now commit in principle to joining with the other Area Meetings in London,

London Quakers Property Trust and London Quakers to form a single area meeting

and charity.....We wholeheartedly support the Pan-London proposals and understand that next steps will be discerned at a meeting of the Pan-London committees on the 12th October.”


“We commit, without complete unity, to join the proposed London-wide area meeting.  We have reservations and questions and look forward to joining with Friends across London in resolving those together.”


“We now commit in principle to joining with the other Area Meetings in London, London Quakers Property Trust and London Quakers to form a single area meeting and charity.”


“We agree to the proposal for a Pan London Area Meeting.

We now commit in principle to joining with the other Area Meetings in London,
London Quakers Property Trust and London Quakers to form a single area meeting
and charity.”

Full AM minutes re Pan London decision July-September 2023

This paper can be downloaded from this web location


Table of Invitation to Commit papers issued June 2023

The papers accessed through the links in the Table below were approved at the Pan London Governance Steering Group meeting on 13th June 2023.

Friends who are members and attenders of one of the 7 London AMs were invited to read and study them in preparation for Area Meeting and so that they could come to a presentation of the papers on 15th July 2023 with Hearts and Minds Prepared.  

Part of the work leading to the invitation to commit was a study by consultants Practical Governance (PG) of how the changes discerned by the PLG Steering Group and Working Group could be implemented. PG prepared a helpful 98-page report which was carefully considered by PLG. Some of PG’s recommendations have been followed; others have not. It is not part of the Invitation to Commit papers, but Friends from the London AMs can see it by sending a request to


2022 Consultation

The Area Meetings sent in their responses to the 2022 proposals for the governance of the Quakers of London in October 2022. A short summary of their responses is available from the table of PLG papers below.

This consultation began on 31 March 2022, when the Pan London Governance group presented its proposals to an audience from all the Area Meetings of London.  A recording of the presentation talks by Helen Drewery, Clerk of the PLG Steering Group and Alan Smillie, Clerk of the PLG Working Group is available using this link.

Anyone who is interested may access the consultation papers using this link:

Papers from the PLG presentation meeting on 31st March 2022

The papers are:-

- Pan London Governance Group Options Paper v1.2 (in both pdf and docx formats)
- Minute 2 of Pan London Governance Steering Group & Working Group joint meeting held 2 February 2022 (in two forms - one embedded in the minutes of the meeting and one just showing the minute itself)
- The minute of record of the gathering for London Friends on 31 March 2022 to consider the proposals (in both pdf and docx formats)
- The slides and notes used in the presentation at the gathering (in both pdf and pptx formats)



Table of archive PLG papers from 5/4/2019 - 27/10/2022