EventsNoticesHighlights of recent yearsBusiness Meetings


Meeting for Worship: Sundays at 10 am. Meeting lasts for an hour and is followed by at least half an hour for tea, coffee and conversation. All are welcome, whether Quakers or not. If you haven't been to a Quaker Meeting for Worship before, click here.

Mid-week Meeting: On the last Wednesday in the month we have a Meeting for Worship for 45 minutes, starting at 12.30 pm. At 1.15 pm we have sandwiches, tea and chat.


Friends Meeting House
4 Canal Road
PL19 8AR.

Click on 'view map' under the photo, to see one. Turn off Plymouth Rd beside the public library to the main car park, and the Meeting House faces you as shown.
There are charges for parking in Tavistock's car parks on Sundays, but free parking in the general use parking spaces on most or all the roads.

General contacts:
- Pete Squire, tel: 01822 613168 petesquire@btinternet.com
- Kay Nicholson, tel: 01822 614596

Di Brace and Angela Hooper

Correspondence Clerk: Sheila Squibb sheila.squibb@btinternet.com

Elders / Overseers:  Graham Wood (E), Pete Squire (E), Sandy Douglas (O)

-Treasurer : Robin Riddett

-Friends to advise on Burials and Cremations : Mary Andrews

-Library : Steve Betts, Terry Faull

-Room Bookings: Elspeth Nicholson

-Premises Committee : Graham Wood, David Williams, Sheila Squibb, Mary Andrews

-Nominations Committee : Pete Squire, Wendy Millar

-Contact person for mid-week Meeting for Worship : Rosemary Berrington

Getting to Meeting on Sundays:

It's not easy to get to Tavistock without a car on Sundays, due to the lack of public transport. We come to the town from most points on the compass and some of us who have cars have spare seats, and are happy to give lifts to Meeting members and visitors whenever possible:

Please ask the Meeting contact person, or elders/overseers for advice.


view Bing map

view map showing long stay car park, Meeting House, town centre, United Reformed Church

Events top

 Mid-week Meeting for Worship. Everyone is welcome at the Meeting House on the last Wednesday of each month, including complete strangers, for a mainly silent Meeting for Worship starting at 12.30 pm and lasting for 45 minutes. There aren't many of us, so just push the door and come upstairs, between 12.15 and 12.25 pm. At 1.15 pm those who have brought sandwiches stay on to have lunch together, with tea or coffee and time to talk. It can be a good time to ask any questions you may have about Quakers/Friends, and have a general chat. See also below.



Tavistock Quaker Business Meeting.  2 July 2017.


Attendance  9 people attended the Business Meeting on 2 July 2017.

Advices and Queries No.28 was read.

Appointment of Area Meeting Representative  Mary Andrews will be  

our representative at Devon Area Meeting on 8 July 2017.

Nominations We ask Nominations Committee to come forward with

names for the Clerk and Assistant Clerk from 1.1.2018. We also ask the Co Clerks and members of Nominations Committee to bring forward the names of Ponderers who will consider 2 names for Nominations Committee from 1.1.2018. We ask that all these tasks be completed and then reported to our next Business Meeting on 3 September 2017.

Sheila Squibb is our representative on Area Nominations Committee and she is willing to continue until we have a new Nominations Committee in Tavistock.

Lettings The carpet has been well cleaned as agreed at our last Business Meeting.  We are still seeking advice on the front door lock.

We have lost one tenant recently.  It would therefore be helpful if we could attract more regular tenants (see minute re. Quaker Week)

Governance Gold  This relates to ensuring that Friends House are informed of deaths, or relinquishing of responsibilities due to ill health of both Members and active Attenders.  We ask that the Clerks include this within their duties.

Quaker Week – 30 September to 8th October 2017.

We would like to repeat our successful Art and Craft exhibition to let people know about Quakers.  The theme this year is “In turbulent times be a Quaker”. We ask Mary Andrews, Sheila Squibb and Sandy Douglas to organise and advertise this.  We also suggest that they prepare posters to put around the walls of the Meeting House with Quaker material appropriate to the theme.  Carolyn Burch has offered to help them with this task. We ask that they also put together a summary of Meeting House letting availability with costs. Finally we would ask them to explore the idea of convening a panel of members and attenders who would be willing to hold a Question and Answer session on ‘Why we are Quakers’

Once plans for Quaker week are finalised we suggest that advertisements and articles are placed in local newspapers and magazines.

Appeals We ask Sheila Squibb to bring forward a suggested list of Appeals to our next Business Meeting. 

Social Events We ask Elders and Overseers to contact Terry Faull about the possibility of a summer ‘bring and share’ picnic in his garden.

Date of next Business Meeting - 3 September 2017


Tavistock   Quaker   Meeting Business Meeting Minutes 7th May, 2017

Opening Worship was conducted.       Nine Friends were present at Meeting
1)      Area Meeting at Plymouth on Sat, 13th May- Mary Andrews will be our representative at Area Meeting on the 13th May at Plymouth.
2)     The Lease of the Meeting House-a) We agree that we will retain the present system of charging £12 a session for our Meeting House.
          b) We will ask a professional locksmith to come and assess the situation  re. our locks and take his/her advice on a suitable suggestion. We ask Sheila Squibb to
           investigate this.
  3)     Refugee Steering Group –they meet here without charge at the moment. It now called the West Devon Safe Haven Group. Meeting agrees to continue the present arrangement ( Fridays 5 pm )where the group is not charged for the use of the premises.
4)       Premises-Carpet cleaning:- A quote of about £I00 was given for this job. We will accept our friend Neville’s quote for the cleaning of the carpets in the Meeting Room and the stairs at a cost of approximately £100. We ask Premises to go ahead and arrange this.
5)      Social Activities:- We ask our Elders and Overseers to arrange a date for a picnic in the summer. We ask them to contact our Friend Terry Faull about the possibility of hosting this event.
                                                                                                            Diana Brace    Clerk


Minutes of Tavistock Quaker Business Meeting 5th March 2017


015/2017 Attendance

There are 13 Friends and Attenders present.

 Opening worship

016/2017    In our opening worship we have heard Paragraph 10.1 from Quaker Faith and Practice

 Appointment of Area Meeting representative

017/2017    Area meeting will be held on Saturday 12 March at Exeter Meeting House. We appoint Sheila Squibb as our representative.


018/2017  E+O nominations

The names of Pete Squire as an Elder and Sandy Douglas as an Overseer have been confirmed by Area Meeting, so these Friends will to serve from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2019.

Nominations committee has brought forward the name of Trevor Cook as an Overseer. This nomination being acceptable we ask our Clerk to forward our Friend’s name to AM Elders and Overseers Nominations committee for appointment for a triennium 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2020.

019/2017  Clerk(s) nominations

Nominations committee has brought forward the names of Di Brace and Angela Hooper as our co-clerks for a term of one year, with Sheila Squibb as correspondence clerk, also for one year. These names being acceptable we appoint these Friends to serve from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2018. We continue in our endeavours to find an Assistant Clerk.

020/2017  Librarian nomination

Nominations committee has brought forward the name of Steve Betts as our librarian. This name being acceptable we appoint our Friend to serve from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2019.

 Elders’ and Overseers report

021/2017  Discussion groups

We ask our Elders to bring to our May BM their suggested programme for our discussions on the evening of the second Tuesday in each alternate month, for the remainder of 2017.

022/2017  End-of-life booklets

We have received the End-of Life booklet from Devon Area Meeting. We ask our Elders to obtain further copies of the booklet as necessary. We encourage Friends to take a copy, complete it and return it to our Elders for secure and confidential safekeeping. Elders and our Friend responsible for Burials and Cremations can help Friends with this.


023/2017  Lease renewal: We have received an email from Guy Pedrick of West Devon Borough Council informing us that the Council are considering our request for a 50 year lease at a meeting of 28 March. We hope our Premises group will receive update on this matter from the Council in time for us to consider it at our May BM.

024/2017 Insurance: Our Premises committee have been able to ascertain that our insurance is not invalidated by the fact that our lease has expired. Caroline Hayman, DAM Insurance rep, sent us the following from our insurers: ‘With regard to the Tavistock Meeting, insurers have now confirmed that all is in order and there are no issues. They appreciate that the current lease has expired and that the Meeting is continuing to occupy the buildings, and is in the process of renegotiating the lease with West Devon District Council.’ We have received a copy of our policy schedule from DAM Trustees: a copy will be kept securely in our filing cabinet.

025/2017 Damp: We ask our premises group to approach the council about the gutter replacement work that is necessary to alleviate the damp in our.

026/2017 Cleaner: We ask our Clerk to request our cleaner Janet Cope to clean the MH every Tuesday morning for one hour, at an hourly rate of £10 (instead of alternate weeks), if she is willing and able.

027/2017 Carpet: We ask our premises group to obtain two quotes for a deep clean/dry clean of  carpet and to bring these to our May BM. We will consider replacing the carpet, at a future meeting, after we know the likely timescale of our renovation plans.


028/2017 We thank our lettings clerk for her thorough report (attached to these Minutes) and the calendar of bookings which is displayed on our Noticeboard.

We agree that lettings requests which arise at short notice between Business Meetings can be decided by our Lettings clerk in consultation with our Clerk.

029/2017  We agree to consider requesting from users of the MH a suggested donation on an hourly (rather than ‘session’) basis, except where we agree to allow free use. We ask our Lettings Clerk and Treasurer to bring a suggestion to next BM on this. We ask our Lettings Clerk to remind users about the need to leave the MH ready for the next user, and to check with DAM Trustees about Public Liability Insurance cover if we receive a donation rather than hire payments.


We ask our lettings clerk to work with Friends to draw up an inventory of those who hold a MH key and to report the findings to our BM in May. We agree to change our locks and ask our Premises Committee and Lettings Clerk to proceed with this.


031/2017 The 2016 full year accounts

The Treasurer presented the Meeting's accounts for 2016, which are ready for examination prior to being sent to Devon Area Meeting. See summary and accounts attached to this Minute.

The Meeting’s resources at the end of the year were slightly above budget at £9655, but our income from users of the Meeting House is decreasing.

032/2017 The 2017 budget

We also considered the budget for 2017. We ask our Treasurer to send a donation of £500 to Britain Yearly Meeting and to add this to the 2017 budget (which was otherwise agreed, including an increase of £750 to support attending Quaker courses (not only Woodbrooke courses). We thank our outgoing and new Treasurers for all their work.


Minutes of Tavistock Quaker Business Meeting January 8th 2017

Friends Meeting House, Tavistock


001/2017 We agree to appoint Ken Orchard as clerk and Carolyn Burch as assistant clerk for this meeting.


002/2017  There are 12 Friends and Attenders present

Opening worship

003/2017 In our opening worship we have heard section 10.04 from Quaker Faith & Practice

Appointment of Area Meeting representative

004/2017    Area meeting will be held on Saturday 14 January at Exeter Meeting House. We appoint Carolyn Burch as our representative.

Settling into Meeting for Worship

005/2017  We are reminded by our Elder that Meeting begins when the first person becomes seated. We ask Friends to remember not to make noise in the kitchen after 9.45

Children’s meeting

006/2017  We agree to lay down our regular children’s meeting and our children’s committee. We agree to release Friends from their roles on children’s committee. Our Friend Sandy Douglas has indicated that she may be willing to support the running of Okehampton’s children’s meeting. If we are to resume offering a children’s meeting we need to get more members of our meeting DBS checked.

007/2017  Nominations

We have considered the names of Pete Squire as an Elder, Sandy Douglas as an Overseer and Sheila Squibb as an Elder/Overseer to serve from 1st January 2017 until 31st December 2019. These names being acceptable we agree to pass these names to Area Meeting.We ask for a progress report from E & O in July.

Nominations committee

008/2017  Our ponderers have brought forward the names of Wendy Millar and Pete Squireto serve on our Nominations committee. These names being acceptable we appoint our Friends to serve from 1st January 2017 until 31st December 2017. We thank our Friends Patricia Castle and Di Brace for their service on nominations committee.

Lettings clerk

009/2017 Nominations committee has brought forward the name of Elspeth Nicholson as our lettings clerk with Pete Squire as principal keyholder. These names being acceptable we appoint these Friends to serve from January 2017 until December 2019. We will consider at a future meeting whether to change the situation with our keys and locks.


010/2017  The clerking team, whose appointments ended in December 2016, (Ken Orchard, Clerk, and Lisa Vickers and Carolyn Burch as Assistant Clerks) agree to extend their roles for the first quarter of 2017. We ask our nominations committee to bring forward at our March Business Meeting names for a Clerking team, including a correspondence Clerk, to serve for a triennium starting1 April 2017.


011/2017  We ask our nominations committee to bring forward a name for a librarian and to bring a name to a Business meeting in the near future.

Our spiritual journeys

012/2017  We agree that we would like to offer the meeting the opportunity to get to know one another better through the sharing of information about our spiritual journeys. We would like to trust that one Friend or attender, on the last Sunday of each month, will offer to speak for 10 minutes after tea and coffee with 10 minutes of questions. We ask E & O to encourage participation.

Discussion groups


We agree that discussions be moved to the evening of the second Tuesday in the month and that they should be held every 2 months in future beginning with February 2017. The alternate second Tuesdays will then be available should any unscheduled topics or events arise. We thank E & O for undertaking the organisation of this.

Premises report

014/2017  We note that our current lease on the meeting house has expired. We ask our Premises Committee to ensure that we are still covered by insurance during the negotiation of a new lease. 

Tavistock Quaker Special Business Meeting December 18th 2016

Friends Meeting House, Tavistock


Roles and responsibilities


We are reminded that the purpose of our meeting is to guide us spiritually and all of our administrative roles need to support that rather than hinder this purpose.


We are aware that we are having a crisis of finding names to fill roles at present. We are not able to find unity on ways forward at this stage but we hope that we will all nurture the seeds that have been sown in this meeting.


We ask our clerkto write a role description for the role of bookings clerk and we ask nominations committee to bring forward a name.


We ask nominations committee to meet with the clerks, the Elders and Overseers and the ponderers to discuss ways forward.


Tavistock Quaker Business Meeting October 30th 2016

Friends Meeting House, Tavistock




050/2016        There are 10 Friends and Attenders present

Opening worship

051/2016    In our opening worship we have heard numbers27 & 28 from Advices and Queries

Appointment of Area Meeting representative

052/2016    Area meeting will be held on Saturday 12th  November 2016, at Exeter Meeting House. We appoint Terry Faull as our representative.

Ponderer’s report

053/2016        We thank Terry Faull for his report on behalf of the ponderers.We have heard that it has become very difficult to appoint people to roles generally within our meeting. We are encouraged to think laterally and radically about which roles are necessary and which can be dispensed with. We agree to discuss this one Sunday after meeting.We ask Terry to facilitate that discussion on18th December with a shared lunch.

Making our meeting accessible to people with disabilities

054/2016        We agree to hold a meeting for worship downstairs on the second Sunday of each month. We thank Graham for his offer to co-ordinate a rota of Friends who will help Jan with transport to meeting on that Sunday. E & O will ensure that Jan is aware of these arrangements.


055/2016        We agree that for the foreseeable future we will not accept any new lettings (other than regular groups who have their own key).

Minutes of Tavistock Quaker Business Meeting September 4th 2016

Friends Meeting House, Tavistock


040/2016  There are 16 Friends and Attenders present

Opening worship


In our opening worship we have heard section 2.11 from QF&P

Appointment of Area Meeting representative

042/2016    Area meeting will be held on Saturday 10th  September 2016, at The Parish Church Centre, Tavistock. We appoint Carolyn Burch as our representative.


043/2016  Alterations to premises

We thank our premises committee for their report. We ask the committee to continue in their attempts to obtain a 50 year lease.

044/2016 Seating

We agree to spend in the region £150 on back support cushions for four of our benches. We ask premises committee to take this forward.


45/2016 Appointment of Ponderers

We appoint Wendy Millar, Terry Faull and Angela Hooper (with her consent) as ponderers and ask them to bring names forward to our November meeting to serve on our nominations committee.

46/2016 Appointment of an Elder and an Overseer

We are informed by our Nominations committee that they are unable to bring forward namesto serve as an Elder and an overseer. We ask them to continue their discernment and make every effort to bring forwardnamesto our November business meeting.If they are unable to do so we will consider corporate oversight. We ask our clerk to explain this situation to the clerk of Area Meeting Nominations committee.

Room letting


Our Friend Patricia Castle has served for a number of years as the Friend responsible for room lettings but now feels it is time to pass this role on. We thank her for her service and ask our Nominations committee to bring forward to our November meeting a name to serve in this role. We hope that the person appointed to this role will work closely with both the treasurer and the premises committee.

We thank our Friend Mary Andrews for her offer to prepare a guidance document on behalf of the premises committee to be sent to all groups who use our rooms.



We thank our outgoing treasurer for his half year report. We are pleased to hear that our finances remain stable. We note the standard declarations on the cooperative bank’s forms for changing authorised account signatories and opening a new bank account. We agree that the forms can be signed by the trustees on behalf of our meeting. A copy of that form is attached to these minutes.

Quaker week


We thank our Outreach committee for their report and we support their plans for Quaker week. We agree to cover their costs up to £150.


Minutes of Tavistock Quaker Business Meeting July 3rd 2016

Friends Meeting House, Tavistock


032/2016 There are 12 Friends and Attenders present

Opening worship

033/2016 In our opening worship we are reminded by Elders of the worshipful nature and right ordering of our business meetings.

Appointment of Area Meeting representative

034/2016Area meeting will be held on Saturday 9th July 2016, at Okehampton. We appoint Peter Squireas our representative.


035/2016 Nominations committee have brought forward the names of Vic Ashton, Michael Cassidy and Sheila Squibb to serve on a fundraising committee for the meeting house alterations. These names being acceptable we appoint these three Friends to serve from 3rd July 2016 for an initial period of 1 year.

Separating Eldership and Oversight

036/2016 It has been the practice of our meeting to combine the roles of Eldership and Oversight. We agree that in future we will separate out these roles.

AM September in Tavistock

037/2016 Tavistock meeting is hosting Area Meeting in September. We thank Mary Andrews, Wendy Millar, Peter Squire and Patricia Castle for their offer to organise food and to clear up afterwards.

Premises committee

038/2016 We are advised by our link Trustee that we need to run our premises and fundraising committees carefully as they will be responsible for obtaining and spending large amounts of money. He advises that Premises committee appoint a clerk/convenor and that they should meet at least every two months in order that their minutes can be presented and accepted by each of our business meetings. We ask that those minutes are also sent to our treasurer and to Trustees. He suggests that we will need a brochure and a business plan for the purposes of fundraising. We ask premises committee to put these recommendations in place. We ask the fundraising group to submit their minutes to each of our business meetings, to the treasurer and to the Trustees. We ask these two committees to liaise closely with one another.

We ask the treasurer to set up a separate bank account for the premises renovation funds.


039/2016 We agree that from 1st August the following three Friends will be our bank account signatories: Robin Riddett, Di Brace and Graham Wood.