Mission: Answering God’s call to universal love, FWCC brings Friends of varying traditions and cultural experiences together in worship, communications, and consultation, to express our common heritage and our Quaker message to the world (approved 2006).
History: In 1937, FWCC was formed to help bring Quakers together across theological and cultural diversity. Peace work before and during World War I brought Friends together across the Atlantic, which gave purpose to their continuing connections.
The concept of a world organisation to express the sense of world fellowship of Friends arose as an important part of the evolution of the Religious Society of Friends in the first two decades of the twentieth century. This was partly influenced by the 1920 Friends World Conference in London and the Young Friends Gathering in England. At that time, there was no other organisation which linked together yearly meetings and other Quaker bodies around the world,and so the vision of an organisation arose to keep Friends connected and in touch with each other across the diverse spectrum of the Society.
Purpose: The primary task of FWCC is to help Friends appreciate and develop unity within the diversity of the Quaker family.
There are differences of language, culture, and tradition, and in the emphasis placed on different aspects of our common Christian and Quaker heritage and witness. Friends worship in a variety of ways, and by increasing understanding of these differences, FWCC helps Friends both deepen and enlarge their own understanding of their faith and life as Quakers.
How we do this: FWCC operates collaboratively as one organisation, comprising of the World Office and four Section offices. The five offices are independently incorporated and have separate budgets and programmes, but work cooperatively to bring Friends together across the world. The World Office encourages cross-Section engagement, while respecting the autonomy of individual yearly meetings and other Quaker organisations.
The World Office uniquely represents all Friends at the global level through its participation with the Quaker United Nations Offices in Geneva and New York, offering Quakers the chance to contribute to world affairs. FWCC’s consultation extends to those of other faiths through work with the World Council of Churches, the Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions, and participation in global ecumenical and interfaith work.
Five overarching aims of World Office work
- Support Section work and strengthen connections across sections
- Bring Friends together in multiple ways using technology and meeting face-to-face
- Generate profound diversity work
- Represent Friends at the world level
- Amplify the Quaker voice through strengthened networks
Five strategic areas of World Office work
- Working for the sustainability of all of God’s creation
- Addressing spiritual issues of privilege and historical injustice
- Funding Young Adult Friends in their travel and ministry
- Building bridges across Quaker traditions
- Developing greater financial and organisational stability