Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) ran alongside Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) in London from 4th to 7th of May 2018 in London; JYM was largely held at Lee Valley YHA, a short journey away from central London. The atmosphere was overwhelmingly welcoming and friendly, helped by the ‘New to JYM’ session that helped newcomers, such as me, to feel welcomed and more at home. We were split into ‘Base Groups’ of around 12 people, guided by a member of the arrangements committee, which enabled us to build new friendships, discuss our thoughts and have some fun. On Saturday we travelled by tube to Friends House, Euston, where we took part in a Yearly Meeting session about deciding whether the time was right to revise the Book of Discipline. After lunch we joined BYM in the Swarthmore Lecture, led by a young artist and Quaker called Chris Alton who’d accidentally started a protest movement against the English Defence League called ‘English Disco Lovers’, which was both fascinating and humorous.
On the Sunday, JYM held its own Meeting for Worship for Business in which we concluded that it was time for us to revise Quaker Faith and Practice. I was among the 6 young people who were able to travel to Friends House again and attend the BYM Meeting for Worship for Business where our minute from Meeting for Business was read by our clerk. There was a feeling among many of the Quakers who spoke that the young people should have significant involvement in the revisions and it was eventually decided that the time was right to revise the Book of Discipline.
Throughout the weekend there were a series of fun activities, both in our base groups and as larger group, including a ceilidh on Sunday evening. Every day there was a Prologue in the morning and an Epilogue in the evening, both of which provided time for us to worship as a group. The Epilogues were particularly powerful and included guided meditation and writing about those who inspired us personally on paper leaves that were then handed out randomly at the next morning Prologue. Our final Prologue was incredibly touching and emotional with many people feeling moved to minister about things very personal to them, which resulted in us growing more closely together as a group.