World Plenary Meeting / Reunión Plenaria Mundial

31 January 2024

Registrations have now closed for on-site places at the FWCC World Plenary. Online registration is still open until 30th June. 

Please prayerfully consider if you feel led to take part online. To help you discern, below is a list of questions and answers about the event. If you have a further question, clarification or correction please email [email protected] .

All bookings need to take place through our dedicated online form

If you are booking a pay-as-led online-only place, scroll down to where it says ‘online only’ to find your ticket category. Ignore where it says ‘access online event’ at the top of the page.

What is the FWCC World Plenary Meeting?

The FWCC World Plenary Meeting (WPM) is a meeting for representatives from all four FWCC Sections to undertake FWCC business, surrounded by worship and fellowship with Friends from around the world. 

When is the World Plenary Meeting? 

5-12 August 2024.

Why do we have a World Plenary Meeting?

FWCC began in 1937, following a world conference, and has periodically held them ever since. Some decisions can only be made by the International Representatives Meeting of FWCC – the World Plenary.

While the business is essential, there is much more to a Plenary Meeting. Past participants have often referred to the experience as transformational, because dialogue and worship with Friends from different countries and traditions has a tendency to strengthen all in the faith.

Where will the FWCC World Plenary Meeting take place?

Onsite places for the 2024 World Plenary Meeting are now fully booked. It is still possible however to take part as an online participant from where you are, either individually or with others gathered together in the same place joining through a single internet connection as a ‘hub‘.

The event is hosted by Southern Africa Yearly Meeting, which brings together Friends and Quaker Meetings in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

What is the theme of the World Plenary Meeting?

The theme of the event is “Living the Spirit of Ubuntu: Responding with hope to God’s call to care for creation and one-another”. Strongly echoing the ‘Golden Rule’ (Love your neighbour as yourself), the word ubuntu refers to the deeply held belief, morality and custom that every person is worthy of being recognised, respected and heard, and that we as human beings are all interdependent. 

It implies a collective responsibility to ensure that all members of the community have the means of subsistence and learning and participation. It further extends to care for the environment, since people are part of the same divinely given creation that is an interdependent whole.

What is on the agenda of the World Plenary Meeting?

Three interrelated strands will inform the World Plenary Meeting: ubuntu/community, healing historical injustice and care for creation. We expect that these discussions will combine into an epistle or minute to be shared with all Friends everywhere.

Here is the draft on-site programme, accurate as of 31 January 2024. Here is the online programme. Please note that these may be subject to further changes.

How much does it cost to attend the World Plenary Meeting?

Online places are ‘pay as led’, with a recommended base-fee of $130 USD in higher income countries and $13 USD in lower income countries.

Do I need to be nominated by my Yearly Meeting to attend the World Plenary Meeting in person?

You do not need to be nominated by your Yearly Meeting for an online place at the World Plenary Meeting.

We will however request a ‘travelling minute’ from your local meeting, so we know that you are being upheld, and the email address of your local Quaker clerk, to verify that you are part of a worshipping Quaker community.

Can I donate to help fund somebody else to attend?

Yes please. FWCC is subsidising around half the physical places, and also help with travel and technology in many cases, but the costs of this commitment to inclusive participation are significant, for which we need to fundraise.

This includes a target to significantly improve the online infrastructure of a number of Quaker Meeting Houses and Friends Churches in the Global South, which would have a positive impact long after the event has finished. To make a donation of between £100/$130 and £1000/$1300 please go to fwcc.world/donate . To make a donation of a greater size please email [email protected] or contact your section secretary.   

Who organises the World Plenary Meeting?

The World Plenary Meeting is organised by the FWCC International Planning Committee (IPC), which combines nominees from every section, co-clerks and the FWCC General Secretary. It reports to the Central Executive Committee.

Many Friends from around the world are already working together to prepare the World Plenary Meeting, in nearly 20 different international groups. These include working groups supporting worship, finances, language services, technology, and communication. A team of Young Friends from around the world are also preparing a gathering of young Friends from around the world.  

Friends from Southern Africa Yearly Meeting are also working to prepare the WPM, and to give us a warm African welcome to the WPM.

What languages will the World Plenary Meeting be in?  

The Conference languages will be English, Spanish and KiSwahili. 

What kind of worship will there be at the World Plenary Meeting?

Worship will include many of the forms used by Friends worldwide. This will include unprogrammed expectant ‘waiting’ worship, programmed worship featuring pre-prepared hymns and sermons, and semi-programmed worship combining the two.

What key areas are likely to be talked about during the WPM?

Three inter-related strands will run through event, one about ubuntu/community, one about addressing historical and continuing injustice, and one about the environment. Friends will be asked to choose one strand and follow it through the event. On the penultimate day of the event a plenary session will seek to bring the strands together.    

How can I prepare for the World Plenary Meeting?

Friends everywhere are invited to learn about ubuntu. A film has been prepared by Southern Africa Yearly Meeting to support this, to watch and share with your Quaker community.

A study guide will be produced for participants to the World Plenary Meeting, to reflect on before the WPM.  

Are there opportunities to be of service to FWCC in the WPM preparations?

Yes. Once bookings are closed we will be seeking a number of Friends to help serve in different roles at the event itself, including with home groups and pastoral care both on site and online.

How will the outcomes of the World Plenary Meeting be shared and acted on?

The unifying ask of the next World Quaker Day  (2 October 2024) will be to share the World Plenary Meeting epistle and act on whatever is decided. Please do put it in your diary already.

What is an online ‘hub’ and how do I join one?

A ‘hub’ is a place where three or more people join the event through a single internet connection. It could be a Friends Church, Quaker Meeting House, retreat centre or private home. Further information on hubs can be found here. To register to become a World Plenary Meeting hub, please complete this form.

Can I join just some of the WPM if I join online? 

Yes.   We understand that online participants will in some cases be balancing other responsibilities. We hope some sessions can be recorded to watch at a convenient time. 

We would advise though that if you join a home group that you try to attend this ‘live’. Your home group is a daily online international community sharing and reflecting about your experience of the event. To maintain continuity and build community it would be good to plan to attend most of these.

If you are coming only for one day we recommend the Sunday, which will include a big international act of worship, hosted by the Africa Section.

FWCC has strong commitments to sustainability. How is this being considered in the planning for the World Plenary Meeting?

As our first ever hybrid World Plenary this is likely to be the most sustainable World Plenary Meeting that there has been for a very long time. The relatively small in-person element will mean fewer travel emissions. The shift to holding these events every 7 or 8 years also helps with this (previously they took place as triennials every 3 years).

The online investment includes a commitment to help improve facilities in Quaker spaces which would struggle to connect with such an event otherwise will help the international communication fostered through this event long after it has finished. We also want to learn through this process about doing hybrid and online global events well. 

I have more questions – who should I send my questions to?

Email any additional questions to:  [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer.