Accessible Language (YFGM Minute)

This is a minute of Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM), as discerned in session at YFGM February 2010 in Croydon. This minute was sent to Meeting for Sufferings.

10/08 Accessible Language

Helen Percy has shared with us her concern over Friends’ publications, many of which are accessible only to people of a relatively high educational level, or for whom English is a mother tongue. We feel that this does not sit well with our testimony to equality, nor wish to speak plainly.

We recognise that Quakerism is a path which values the living word over the written word, and that no book can be placed on a pedestal for us. However we recognise that many of us find the Quaker Faith and Practice useful and we must make it useful to as many people as possible, and not allow “words to become barriers between us.”

We ask that Britain Yearly Meeting through the Quaker Faith and Practice publications Group and other groups considers the use of simplified English in future redrafts of Quaker Faith and Practice and supporting documents so that documents being currently produced are more easily understandable to people of a lower reading age, or for whom English is a second language. We recognise that this will be a challenging task and simplification of Quaker language does not mean that the message becomes simplified or diluted.

We ask that this minute be sent to Meeting for Sufferings to pass on this concern to the Quaker Faith and Practice Publications Group and other groups producing material on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends.

Cait Gould, Siobhan Haire
Co-clerks