We have a group of around 8 Friends, appointed as Overseers, to care for the pastoral needs of the meeting. They are appointed for 3 years, initially, though often serve a second term of a further 3 years.

The responsibilities of Overseers include:

  • to encourage attendance at meeting for worship and to make sure newcomers are welcomed
  • to encourage attendance at business meetings and take part in them
  • to make opportunities for Friends and attenders to get to know each other
  • together with elders, to take care of the needs of inquirers and attenders
  • together with elders to exercise care over the children and young people of the meeting
  • to give advice and information about how to apply for membership
  • to encourage caring friendship within the Quaker community
  • care and concern for the elderly and sick, if they can no longer attend meeting
  • to respond to the needs of the bereaved, to provide comfort and sympathetic listening.

There are other duties too: it’s a considerable task in a large meeting. Though of course, we hope all Quakers will be caring for each other too.

Overseers are selected by a specially appointed Nominations group (for that work only). They are appointed by the Area Meeting (ie. Balby and Sheffield) rather than by Sheffield Local Meeting.