For most Quakers, the local meeting is their worshipping community. Local meetings are grouped into area meetings; we are part of Oxford & Swindon Area Meeting (OSAM).
About area meetings
The role of the area meeting is to develop and maintain a geographical community of Friends. Area meetings work in slightly different ways from place to place, according to their needs and resources. General responsibilities include:
- overseeing and supporting local meetings, ensuring each has access to opportunities for fellowship, spiritual development, and spiritual and pastoral care
- appointing people to positions of responsibility
- conducting Quaker marriages, recording deaths, employing staff, owning property and managing finances
- providing the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures for the area, and supporting its implementation by local meetings
- appointing a Children and Young People’s Work Advocate, who helps meetings to develop their work with children and young people, and to include them in the life of the meeting
All area meetings are charities as well as worshipping communities.
OSAM comprises the following local meetings:
Witney Meeting was laid down in March 2021; Friends are now worshipping at nearby Meetings.
OSAM normally meets on alternate (odd-numbered) months on the Saturday following the first Sunday of the month. Member meetings take it in turns to act as host. The morning is taken up with area business, and the afternoon is for spiritual nurture: for example, an invited talk or activity session.
Local meetings beyond OSAM
Oxford lies on the eastern boundary of OSAM. Here is a list of local meetings within 30 miles of Oxford that belong to other area meetings:
Further information about Quaker organisation
- Quaker Faith & Practice, Chapter 4 provides detailed information on the composition and function of area meetings and local meetings
- Our Structure on the Quakers in Britain website outlines the overall organisation of Britain Yearly Meeting.
Parts of the text on this page have been adapted from these sources.