Friends House is owned by the Trustees of Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) – Charity No. 1127633. This policy describes the principles and procedures for letting rooms in Friends House.
Trustees delegate to the Directors of Friends House (London) Hospitality limited (Quiet Company) – Company No. 06204129 – the responsibility for implementing the lettings policy and for setting the Terms and Conditions and hire charges. Management Meeting is responsible for determining the discounts for Quaker bookings.
For Friends House to be a place of Quaker worship, the national home of Quakers in Britain and a uniquely attractive and sustainable venue for all who meet, worship and work here.
For Friends House to be recognised as:
- The principal venue to host Yearly Meeting and other meetings of the national Quaker church (Quakers in Britain);
- An active spiritual home for Quakers worldwide;
- An inviting and accessible venue for Quakers and others to meet, work, build community and explore their faith and action to challenge peaceably what they think is wrong in the world;
- A showcase for Quakers past and present, bearing witness to the Quaker testimonies to peace, equality, truth and simplicity; and
- An exemplar of Quaker business operations, generating profit whilst acting with integrity, always respecting people and the planet.
The letting of rooms in Friends House is undertaken to raise income and to help pay the running costs of the work of Quakers in Britain. It is also a means of introducing Quakerism and Quaker work to a wider audience.
The hirers of rooms are expected to:
- Respect the Quaker commitment to truth, equality, simplicity, peace and sustainability.
- Respect the long-held Quaker belief in the importance of people coming together to hear each other’s opinions.
- Respect the aim to manage and operate the building in the most sustainable way.
Friends House is the headquarters of Quakers in Britain and lettings to outside bodies are therefore made in such a way as not to interfere with worship, meetings or other activities of Quakers in Britain.
Procedure for hiring rooms
Any organisation or individual may make a request to hire any part of Friends House normally available for lettings. New clients will normally be asked to provide details of their aims and policies so that an assessment can be made to verify that the organisation, topic and speakers accord with the principles set out above. New clients will normally receive a response within one working week.
Details of the booking procedure are set out in the Friends House Terms and Conditions of Booking.
Grounds for refusal or cancellation
A booking may be refused if:
- The aims and policies of the organisation or individual or their speakers are not in accord with the principles set out above.
- The potential reputational damage to Quakers in Britain is considered to be too high.
- Violence or the encouragement of violence at a meeting may reasonably be expected.
- Gambling, alcohol, or other forms of addiction are promoted by the topic, the hirer, or the speakers.
- Contravention of fire or health and safety regulations may reasonably be expected.
- There is evidence that unacceptable behaviour has occurred at a previous meeting arranged by the organisation or individual in question.
- The request for a booking is found to be dishonest or misleading.
- A hirer has breached the Friends House Terms and Conditions of Booking
Cases causing concern
Requests to hire rooms which raise concerns as to whether they adhere to the principles will be referred to the CEO of Quiet Company who will consult relevant people in the company and charity. A decision normally made within two working weeks. Where a decision will take longer the hirer will be informed with a reason for the delay.
If the client disagrees with the decision, a request for review may be made in writing to the Recording Clerk of Britain Yearly Meeting (the CEO of the landlord charity) who will aim to make a final decision within two working weeks.
In all cases, the prospective client will be informed of the reasons for refusal.