Friendly Assistance Policy

Concord Friends Meeting

Friendly Assistance Policy

It is laid upon overseers …  to advise Friends who are in financial difficulty or who need help with education or training of their children about ways of obtaining assistance; to ensure that financial help is available, where this is needed, to enable Friends to attend meetings for church affairs and to accept appointments connected therewith;…[1]

Philosophy:   As a Meeting, we wish to make it known that we will help support both the spiritual and physical needs of our community.   We realize that for many in our community, it may be hard to ask for financial assistance because of a sense of pride or shame.  Recognizing the asymmetry of knowledge and finances that there may be amongst members of our community and not wishing to intrude unnecessarily in the lives of our community, we hope that our community will ask for assistance when led to.  We offer the queries below to help in discerning support for those needs.

  •   Is this a long-term need?
  •   Can we help with finding other financial resources?
  •   Could the Meeting take a special collection on your behalf?

If a request for an event:

  •   Would attending this event help you in your spiritual growth?
  •   Would you not go to this event without financial support? 
  •   Would it be a hardship for you to attend this program or perform this service without some financial support?
  •   What would you need to enable you to attend this event?
  •   Could you contribute a portion of the cost?

Process:  A Friend may request assistance (for themselves or on behalf of a Friend in need) from the presiding clerk of Meeting or the clerk of Ministry and Counsel.  For amounts less than or equal to $100 these clerks will discern amongst themselves whether to give the requested amount or whether to ask a Clearness Committee to help them discern.  For amounts greater than $100, the clerks will ask for the support of a Clearness Committee.  This committee will be appointed by Ministry and Counsel.

Funding:  Funds will come from a designated (restricted) fund that is outside the budget.  It will begin with $1,000 from unrestricted reserve funds.  Usage of this restricted fund will be visible in the Financial Statement given monthly at Business Meeting.  It will be replenished by designated donations and/or action by the Meeting.

1. Quaker Faith & Practice : the book of Christian discipline §12.13n (The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, 1995)