Quakers believe there is that of God in everyone, that everyone’s life is sacred. We stand against violence in all its forms. We grieve for those in Israel and Palestine who have lost precious lives. We pray with those waiting for the return of loved ones and those living under siege and bombardment.

Quakers have a long history of providing humanitarian assistance and leading efforts to build peace in situations of conflict. British Quakers coordinate the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) on behalf of 16 churches and NGOs. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide a protective presence to vulnerable Palestinian communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace. EAPPI also campaigns for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through an end to the occupation, respect for international law and implementation of UN resolutions. It shares a vision for a future without military occupation of Palestine when both Palestinians and Israelis can live in freedom and security and with full human rights.

We are shocked and deeply saddened by the escalation of violence, the enormous death toll of civilians, and the destruction of homes and hospitals. We denounce Hamas’ killing and abduction of innocent people on the 7th of October 2023. We condemn Israel’s continuing bombardment and blockade of Gaza. Such indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and hostage-taking both violate international law. This destruction and siege has intensified a humanitarian crisis for the vast numbers of people displaced by the conflict.

We recognise that these cycles of violence must be understood in the context of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and Hamas’ commitment to the destruction of Israel. The past year has seen record levels of attacks on Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and a sharp increase in human rights violations. These include demolition of homes and schools, repression of non-violent protests and mass-arrests.

We acknowledge the failure of the international community to effectively engage with any meaningful peace process in Palestine, and emphasise that a lasting peace with justice for all requires the underlying causes of the conflict to be addressed.

We urge the UK government and international leaders to call for an immediate ceasefire and to ensure access to humanitarian aid. We call for the immediate release of hostages and those detained.

We appeal to the international community to acknowledge and start to address the root causes of the violence, to engage in diplomacy and to work ceaselessly for an end to the military occupation of Palestine and for peace, justice and equality for all in Israel and Palestine.

This is a statement on behalf of Sheffield Quakers.

How to Prioritise and Organise Topics for Your Meeting


Effective meetings are essential for productive collaboration and decision-making within teams. One key aspect of successful meetings is the careful prioritisation and organisation of topics to ensure that time is well-spent and objectives are met. In this blog post, we will explore strategies for prioritising and organising meeting topics, enabling you to conduct more efficient and focused discussions.

Understanding Meeting Objectives

Before selecting topics for a meeting, it’s crucial to clarify the objectives. Determine what you aim to achieve and the outcomes you expect. Understanding the purpose of the meeting will help guide topic selection and ensure that discussions align with the desired goals. Consider the specific goals, such as problem-solving, decision-making, or project updates, and use them as a foundation for topic selection.

Assessing Attendee Needs and Interests

To make your meetings more engaging and relevant, it’s essential to consider the needs and interests of the attendees. Seek their input and feedback to gain a deeper understanding of their expectations. This can be done through surveys, pre-meeting questionnaires, or informal conversations. Tailoring topics to match the interests and concerns of the participants will encourage active participation and increase the overall value of the meeting.

Prioritising Topics

Not all topics hold the same level of importance or urgency. To ensure that you cover the most critical issues, it’s vital to prioritise topics effectively. One method is to use the Eisenhower Matrix, which categorises tasks based on their urgency and importance. Apply this concept to your meeting topics by classifying them into four categories: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important. This approach helps you allocate time and attention to the topics that truly matter.

Organising Topics

A well-organised meeting agenda is crucial for maintaining focus and productivity. Consider grouping related topics together and creating a logical flow that enhances the discussion. You can organise topics by theme, department, or timeline, depending on the nature of your meeting. This structure allows participants to follow the progression of the discussion and helps ensure that all relevant points are covered.

Facilitating Effective Discussion

The role of the meeting facilitator is crucial in guiding discussions and maintaining productivity. Set clear expectations for participation and encourage active engagement from all attendees. Ensure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute their ideas and perspectives. Additionally, manage time effectively by setting time limits for each topic and gently redirecting the conversation if it veers off track. By facilitating effective discussions, you can achieve meaningful outcomes within the allocated time frame.

Encouraging Collaboration and Brainstorming

Meetings provide an excellent opportunity for collaborative idea generation. Encourage participants to contribute their thoughts, insights, and suggestions freely. Implement brainstorming exercises or activities that foster creativity and teamwork. Create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. Collaboration not only enhances the quality of discussions but also strengthens team dynamics and promotes a sense of ownership in the decision-making process.

Recap and Action Items

As the meeting draws to a close, take a moment to summarise the key points discussed. Capture any action items and decisions made during the meeting. Clearly define responsibilities and deadlines for each action item. By documenting and sharing this information with the participants, you ensure that everyone understands the next steps and their role in implementing them. This practice promotes accountability and prevents miscommunication.

In conclusion, prioritising and organising meeting topics is vital for conducting efficient and productive discussions. By understanding meeting objectives, considering attendee needs, prioritising topics effectively, organising them in a logical flow, facilitating meaningful discussions, encouraging collaboration and brainstorming, and capturing action items, you can maximise the value of your meetings. Implement these strategies in your next meeting and experience the positive impact on productivity and outcomes.

3 Tips for Running a Successful Hybrid Meeting

sheffield meeting room hire

Hybrid meetings, which combine in-person and remote participants, are becoming increasingly popular in today’s digital age. To ensure the success of such meetings, effective planning and execution are crucial. In this blog, we will discuss three key tips for running a successful hybrid meeting.

Tip 1: Utilise the Right Technology

Selecting the appropriate technology is paramount for a smooth hybrid meeting experience. There are numerous tools and platforms available that facilitate hybrid meetings, such as video conferencing software and collaboration tools. When choosing technology, consider factors like ease of use, compatibility with different devices, and robust features like screen sharing and recording capabilities. Popular and reliable tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet offer excellent options for hybrid meetings. It is also important to test and familiarise yourself with the chosen technology beforehand to avoid any technical glitches during the meeting.

Tip 2: Set Clear Communication Guidelines

Clear communication guidelines are essential to ensure effective interaction and minimise misunderstandings in hybrid meetings. Communicating across different locations and time zones can pose challenges, so establishing ground rules is crucial. Some tips for effective communication during hybrid meetings include:

  • Establishing ground rules for speaking order and turn-taking: Clearly define the order in which participants can speak to avoid interruptions and ensure everyone gets a chance to contribute.
  • Encouraging active participation from both in-person and remote attendees: Prompt remote participants to engage by asking questions, sharing their thoughts, and actively participating in discussions.
  • Utilising visual aids and gestures: Visual aids like slides or screen sharing can enhance communication. Additionally, using gestures and non-verbal cues can help convey meaning and maintain engagement.
  • Collaboration tools like shared documents and virtual whiteboards can also support communication in hybrid meetings by allowing participants to collaborate in real-time.

Tip 3: Foster Engagement and Inclusion

Engagement and inclusion are vital aspects of running successful hybrid meetings. Here are some strategies to foster engagement:

  • Allowing remote attendees to contribute and ask questions: Create opportunities for remote participants to actively engage by encouraging them to share their opinions, ask questions, and provide feedback.
  • Facilitating virtual networking opportunities: Organise virtual networking sessions where participants can connect with each other, exchange ideas, and build relationships despite the physical distance.
  • Utilising breakout rooms for small group discussions: Breakout rooms enable participants to engage in focused discussions in smaller groups, simulating the benefits of face-to-face interactions.
  • Balancing attention between in-person and remote participants can be challenging, but it is essential to ensure that all individuals feel included and valued. Equal opportunities for participation and decision-making should be provided, regardless of whether participants are present physically or virtually.

Running a successful hybrid meeting requires careful planning and implementation. By utilising the right technology, setting clear communication guidelines, and fostering engagement and inclusion, you can enhance the effectiveness of your hybrid meetings.

Embrace these tips to create a collaborative and inclusive environment, where both in-person and remote participants can contribute meaningfully.

Elevate your hybrid meetings to new heights and reap the benefits of seamless collaboration and communication.

When you book a meeting room at Sheffield Quaker Meeting House, we can provide you with hybrid meeting equipment. Make your enquiry today.

Children and young Peoples Meeting (September 22)

The Children and Young People’s Meeting happens every Sunday in term time and all children are welcome. If your child or children have any additional needs please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate them. You might prefer to speak to someone before you come, to find out more about how this Meeting works. If so, please ask for details using our contact page.

Normally, the children and young people join the Meeting for Worship downstairs for about 10 minutes at the end of Meeting. We are all together for social time after Meeting.

The first meeting for the 2022/2023 academic year is on Sunday 11 September. There is a welcoming circle from 10.25am which parents/carers also join. There are suggested separate groups for pre-schoolers and school-age children but there is flexibility to suit individual families’ needs. Parents stay with pre-schoolers but parents of school-age children may join the main meeting if they wish. Families are welcome to come along at any time of the year and we also have occasional social meet-ups at other times.

Guidance on returning to face-to-face Children and Young People’s Meetings (starting 3rd October 2021)

We are delighted to be able to welcome our children and young people back to meeting at last! Face-to-face Children and Young People’s Meetings will be held every first and third Sunday of the month, starting with Sunday 3rd October. We can’t wait to see you!

Booking a place

  • We can have a limited number of people in the upstairs space (up to 23 people of all ages) so everyone who would like to join us needs to have registered for a place. You will need to register for your children and young people, as well as the adult(s) accompanying them, even if the adults are only staying for the Welcoming Circle. Please use this Eventbrite weblink to register by 5pm on Saturday at the latest:

  • When you follow the link you will be asked whether you want to book for the Adults’ Meeting – Ground Floor, or the Children and Young People’s Meeting – Upstairs. We recognise that many of you might like to stay upstairs with your children, after such a long break from children’s meeting. However, if you would like to join the main Meeting for Worship downstairs after the Welcoming Circle, then you will need to book a separate place for this, in addition to the place booked for the Children and Young People’s Meeting (i.e. a place for the Adults’ Meeting – Ground Floor as well as a place for the Children and Young People’s Meeting – Upstairs). This is so that numbers for the main Meeting for Worship are not exceeded.
  • If you join the main Meeting for Worship, please find your way to a seat that is distanced from those already in attendance.

Arriving at the Meeting House

  • You and your children and young people can arrive at the Meeting House from 10.15am. When you arrive, please go straight upstairs. We ask that everyone washes their hands for the recommended 20 seconds before the start of the Children and Young People’s Meeting. As there can only be one family group in the toilets at any one time, we recommend arriving as close to 10.15 as you can so that there is plenty of time for the hand washing. If you are running late, please bear in mind that the entrance to the Meeting House will be shut from 10.40am.
  • On entering the building, we would encourage adults and young people of secondary school age to wear a face mask if they are able to do so. This is also encouraged when you are moving about within the building, for the Welcoming Circle, and if you are joining the main Meeting for Worship.

The Children and Young People’s Meeting

  • We will start at 10.25am with a Welcoming Circle. After this, Helen will provide fun activities and stories for our younger children, and there will also be an activity session for older children and young people. Sessions will be planned on the basis of the number of children and young people in each of the two age groups, with the largest group staying in the social space and the smaller one moving into Room 2 (where the limit on numbers is up to 8 adults and children).
  • There will be hand sanitiser available to use at any time in the social space and in Room 2, and there will be bins for face masks in both rooms too.
  • Windows will be open to aid ventilation in both Room 2 and the social space.


  • If you have been in the main Meeting for Worship then you will be able to collect your children and young people at 11.30am from upstairs. Please be mindful of the other adults and children already upstairs, and those making their way up for social time.
  • You are very welcome to stay for the social time. Room 1 will be opened up at this point, so that we can give each other plenty of space. There will be drinks and snacks available from the kitchen hatch. We recommend that you collect refreshments for younger children in order to protect them from hot drinks. You are also welcome to bring your own refreshments.
  • Please be ready to leave the Meeting House by 12.30pm at the latest.

Keeping each other safe

Please do not come to meeting if you or your children and young people have any of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste
  • new or persistent cough
  • headache
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • repeated sneezing

If in doubt as to whether the symptoms are a typical winter cold or Covid, please err on the side of caution.

In the event of you or your child having a positive PCR test for Covid within 48 hours of being at the Meeting House, you will need to contact us as soon as possible please phone the Meeting House on 0114 275 7390.

Sheffield Quakers declare a Nature Emergency

Quakers in Sheffield Central Meeting declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency in 2019. Today (21st May 2021) we are joining with other groups and individuals for Sheffield in declaring a Nature Emergency. Nature Recovery Sheffield has been set up to help restore local nature and wildlife. Asking groups to make this declaration is the first step in its plan to encourage everybody to take action for nature in Sheffield. 

Liz Ballard, Chief Executive of Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, says: “Nature is in trouble – we are losing our wildlife at a faster rate than ever before. In fact, one in four species in the UK are now at threat of extinction. People, including David Attenborough, are calling this the 6th global mass extinction.

“The UK is one of the most ‘nature depleted’ countries in the world. And it’s happening right here on our doorstep in Sheffield. We rely on nature to provide us with clean air, water, food and space to enjoy and breathe.We need to declare a Nature Emergency and take action for nature’s recovery.”

Quakers say:

We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life. Rejoice in the splendour of God’s continuing creation.

Advices and queries 42

More on Quaker climate activism nationally here