Now that the minute has been accepted I can freely write about it. The minute can be read here.
On Friday morning there was a large turnout, as to be expected. We sat quietly whilst the Clerk read out the draft minute. I was amazed at the beauty of the minute: the clerks had so clearly discerned the feeling of the Meeting. There were changes and clarifications but the minute was not changed much at all.
Those who read this blog and are not familiar with the Quaker practice may be surprised to learn that Friends do not vote on such matters – we wait until the meeting is in unity, and the clerks discern when this has happened and what the feeling of the meeting is. It is an incredible process and the most incredible thing about it is that it works. I feel blessed to be part of that process. As I said later, I have never said more fervently, “I hope so”. (to quote wikipedia: ‘during a meeting for worship for business, when the clerk asks those present if they agree with a minute, Friends will usually say “I hope so” rather than “yes”. It is meant in the sense of “I hope that this is the true guidance of the Holy Spirit” ‘)
The news was carried to the media somehow (oh, I checked that I had said nothing in my blog!) and peter Eccles was on radio 4 saying that it was ‘almost certain’ that the word marriage would be used.
So, Quakers now will witness the marriage of same sex couples, in line with our testimony to Equality. It is, as some Friends said, about time.