History - Structure

A brief chronological history of the structure of Quaker Meetings in Devon and Cornwall
(Errors and Omissions excepted –please contact alan@ray-jones.org.uk with any information)
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1668-1870 All Devon Meetings came under Devonshire Quarterly Meeting.
All Cornwall Meetings came under Cornwall Quarterly Meeting.
1783Penzance Monthly Meeting and Falmouth Monthly Meeting (1668-1783) joined to form West Cornwall Monthly Meeting (1783-1903)
1785Exeter and Plymouth Monthly Meetings (both 1668-1785) were laid down and East and West Devon Monthly Meetings were formed instead. The boundary that separated them was defined by the rivers Dart, Okement and Torridge.
East Devon MM consisted of Topsham, E
xeter, Cullompton and Spiceland. West Devon MM consisted of Kingsbridge, Plymouth, Modbury and Tavistock.
1870-1966 Devon and Cornwall Quarterly Meeting was formed in 1870 and East Devon MM and West Devon MM became part of it, as did West Cornwall MM.
1900-1940From 1 January 1904 West and East Cornwall MMs united to form Cornwall MM within
Devon and Cornwall QM. The closure of many meetings over a long period meant that before World War II in 1939 there were only four Meetings in Devon – Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay and Exmouth. In Cornwall at that time there were only Falmouth and Truro (and St Austell?)
1940-1960 There was a steady growth of new Meetings.
1967-2007 From 1 January 1967 Devon and Cornwall Quarterly Meeting became Devon and Cornwall General Meeting.Also, Meetings called Particular and Allowed were styled Recognized Meetings. By 2007 East Devon Monthly Meeting had eight constituent meetings and West Devon MM had four.
1995 From 1 May 1995 Meetings that conducted regular meetings for church affairs (business meetings) were restyled Preparative Meetings. Those that only met once a month were Recognised Meetings and those not fully Recognised were styled Notified Meetings.
2007 - In 2007 Monthly Meetings were restyled Area Meetings or Area Quaker Meetings, and their constituent Meetings became Local Meetings, whatever their arrangements for business. Area Meetings took over from General Meetings' function as the accounting units of the church, responsible to Meeting for Sufferings and the Charity Commission (Britain Yearly Meeting had previously been an umbrella charity for all Quaker meetings) having been overtaken by Area Meetings, General Meetings were given the option of continuing under a name agreed by their Area Meetings, or ceasing to meet.

From 1 January 2008, East and West Devon united to form Devon Area Meeting.
From 1 January 2009, Devon and Cornwall Area Meetings established an Arrangements Committee formed from representatives of the two Area Meetings, tasked with arranging Devon and Cornwall Gatherings in place of the former General Meetings, to consider subjects of common interest. See above for more about Arrangements Committee.

Notes 1. Up to 1903 there were separate business meetings for women and men.
2. The Minutes and other records of Cornwall QM from 1668-1870 are held at the Cornwall County Record Office Truro, and those of Devonshire QM from 1668-1890 are at the Devon Record Office, P
Devonshire and Corwall QM records are at Plymouth, except women's minutes 1870-1903, which are at Truro. Some records may be held at the Meeting Houses in Exeter, Plymouth and Truro
, and the Exeter Records Office.
3. For more detail and the history of individual local meetings, click


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