What is Senior Conference?
Senior Conference is a busy and intensive week in late August for around 80 young Quakers aged 15-18. Our objective is to build a worshipful Quaker community, which provides a safe space in which young people can grow and learn more about themselves and the Quaker way of being.
We come together for a week of fun, community, worship, and shared explorations of issues and subjects connected to Quakerism. Each year we explore the theme through sessions with visiting speakers, discussion in Base Groups, worship and other activities. There are also a variety of creative and active workshops, swimming, a day trip to Oxford, and lively evening entertainments. It usually takes place at Sibford School in Oxfordshire.
Senior Conference is also a follow on event from Summer School (for 11-14 year olds) which is similar in format, although organised largely by adults. Both events are overseen by FSSE (Friend’s Summer Southern Events). Although the catchment area for conferees is predominantly the South of England, we have accepted applications from young people who live elsewhere within the UK or overseas.
FSSE is committed to providing a safe and fun place for young people to explore Quakerism and their spirituality. Two adult coordinators (one male and one female) are responsible for the daily safe running of Senior Conference, although the Conference itself is planned by a committee of young people appointed at last year’s Conference. They are assisted by a team of adult volunteers all aged 22 or older, who support the young people in the running of their event.
Around ten of the more experienced young people take the roles of Clerks, Elders, Overseers, Entertainments and Base group coordinator facilitators to organise and run the event. Each year, the newly nominated committee meets the previous year’s committee, the two event coordinators and others in the 22+ support team for a handover meeting to agree the theme. Two subsequent planning meetings are held to plan the event.
Friends Southern Summer Events follows guidelines from Britain Yearly Meeting concerning the safety and well-being of those taking part. All adult volunteers are required to have current, enhanced disclosures from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly Criminal Records Bureau). Read more about how we aim to keep young people safe. Our child protection policy can be downloaded from our policies page. An information pack and application form is available, you can download them from our Apply page.
If you’re interested in getting involved with FSSE please see our get involved page.
Documents that may be of interest to parents or guardians: