Role of Area Meeting Trustees
SELAM is a charity but is not yet registered. This is expected to happen by 2021. Meanwhile we act in accordance with requirements to prepare for registration.
A number of documents need to be in place and we work our way pragmatically through them. Many do not fit the pro-forma examples (provided by Friends' House via the Stewardship Committee) because of the differing situation in London. We continue to liaise with LQPT and last year the Memorandum of Understanding between the two trustee bodies was completed and signed.
Trustees also have responsibility for policies. We are hopeful that the Simpler Meetings initiative at Friends House may produce useful examples for outstanding policies.
We have produced a pamphlet explaining why Quakers need money, how it is used, how to give via the schedule and how to include Gift Aid.
Employment is another focus and we ensure that we comply with employment law and good practice.
Annual Reports and Accounts
It is Trustees' responsibility to produce the Annual Report and Accounts and we have established a calendar to do this in the necessary time frame. Whilst AM still receives and accepts the Accounts it is Trustees' work to check them and submit them to AM as theirs. This greatly simplifies the work of AM.
The Report has to show how we function as a charitable organisation. We now have a format which makes the writing of the report simpler but its production is still time consuming. Many Friends have found the Reports interesting, informative and a good representation of the work and life of SELAM so we consider the time spent worthwhile.
SELAM appoints between 5-15 Trustees. Currently we have six.
We meet prior to Area Meetings six times a year and the Meetings are generally experienced as productive and positive. We aim to complete meetings in 90 minutes. The work of Trustees supports and upholds Area Meeting and can efficiently deal with matters which do not require wider discernment. Ideally we strike a balance between Trustees and AM Clerk with input from Elders and Overseers to manage administration and decision making appropriately and simply.