New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

About Permanent Board

From 1985 Faith and Practice, 1985 pp 229-230

The Permanent Board represents the Yearly Meeting between the Annual Sessions. It acts on behalf of the Yearly Meeting in cases where the interest of Friends may render action advisable.

The Yearly Meeting appoints the Permanent Board consisting of not more than fifty members with each quarterly meeting represented. One fifth of the Board is appointed each year to serve for a term of five years. Annually it appoints a clerk for the care of its business. The Board meets at such times and places as the YM may designate or upon its own adjournment. Special meetings may be called by the clerk and shall be called upon the request of five members. Ten days notice of special meetings must be given in writing to all members, and the business to come before the special meeting must be stated in the call. At least one fourth of the total mumbers is required for the transaction of business. The Board keeps a record of its proceedings and annually presents a summary to the Yearly Meeting. During the Sessions of the Yearly Meeting the Board attends only to such business as that body shall refer to it.

The Permanent Board shall nominate the Yearly Meeting clerks annually. The YM in Sessions acts on these nominations. When approved by the Yearly Meeting, the clerks take office at the close of the YM Sessions and hold office until their successors are appointed and assume office.

The Permanent Board makes recommendations to the YM for hiring staff and provides oversight of personnel as needed between Yearly Meeting Sessions. 

The Board inspects and perfects, when necessary, titles to lands and other estates belonging to any meeting. It attends to the appropriation of charitable legacies and donations except when these are cared for by persons appointed for the purpose.

It extends such advice and assistance to persons suffering for their Christian testimonies as their cases may require and may petition the government or persons in authority on behalf of such sufferers. 

It considers appeals forwarded to it by the quarterly meetings. It examines memorials of deceased members transmitted to it from quarterly meetings and in exceptional cases may recommend them to the Yearly Meeting for publication.

A Friend with a concern to be carried beyond the Yearly Meeting limits shall present the concern to the Permanent Board. If the Permanent Board unites with the concern, it will provide a travel minute. (See Appendix 2, C.)

The Board may authorize the Treasurer of the Yearly Meeting to pay the necessary expenses incurred in carrying out its duties

From the Nominating Committee Guidelines:

Policie​s Related To All Committees

  1. Members of committees who resign during the year are urged to inform their Clerk in writing with a copy to the Clerk of the Nominating Committee. Likewise, Committee Clerks are urged to inform the Clerk of Nominating Committee of any resignations that occur during the year which they find out about on theiir own.
  2. If a committee feels that its work is suffering from resignations of its members, it can ask the Nominating Committee to recommend replacements for appointment by the Permanent Board in the middle of the year. Committees may also co-opt members on their own initiative if they feel it would be helpful

Permanent Board appoints through its internal monination committee:

  • Clerks Nominating Committee to name Yearly Meeting Clerks
  • Internal Nominating committee to name:
    • the at-large members to the Yearly Meeting's Nominating Committee
    • the Clerk of the Permanent Board
    • the members of the subcommittees of the Permanent Board:
      • Office Facilities Oversight Committee to set Office policies
      • Personnel Committee which oversees Yearly Meeting Staff
      • Search Committees for new staff when needed.

From the Finance Committee Guidelines

The Finance committee also considers concerns and recommendations received from a wide range of Friends and others regarding New England Yearly Meeting financial matters; recommends various policy changes and budget adjustments to the Permanent Board as needs arise; and reports its major decisions to the Permanent Board, welcoming further discernment and alternative responses.

Staff Salaries

The Personnel Committee (of the Permanent Board) makes recommendations to the Finance Committee on salary matters.

Unrestricted gifts...

...of $5000 or more will be reviewed by the Finance Committee Clerk and after consulting with the donor, recommendations will be made to the Permanent Board for allocation to either the current operating budget or to the Investment Fund (so that large gifts meant for the operating budget are allocated to the operating budget and other special large gifts are allocated to the Investment fund). The Finance Committee reports to Permanent Board annually on the appreciation of the Investment Funds, and recommends distribution of this appreciation as appropriate.

From the Personnel Manual 

(Permanent Board is mentioned 34 times in the manual)


      A. General

Employees of the Yearly Meeting are called to a variety of ministries in which they are supported financially by the Yearly Meeting. They are concerned with the growth of the Christian fellowship and of furthering the work of the Religious Society of Friends in New England and other places. The Personnel Committee provides technical adminisrative oversight of the work of Yearly Meeting employees. Supervision of employees is ultimately the responsibility of the Permanent Board, which delegates operating responsibility to the Staff Advisors, Personnel Committee and other committees with designated concerns for the work of the employees.

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]