Testimonies concerning deceased Friends
It is the responsibility of the area meeting to arrange for the preparation of a testimony, but it is sometimes difficult to be clear during a session of area meeting whether a spontaneous request for one is in right ordering. It is suggested that local meetings should write a brief passage for their own records on every member who dies. The writing of a testimony by the area meeting should be undertaken on the recommendation of the local meeting or other group such as elders. If a spontaneous suggestion is made during area meeting, this should be referred to the local meeting or to a small group for advice. Meetings deciding to prepare a testimony, and particularly those Friends doing the drafting, are encouraged to consult the advice in the paper Testimonies to the grace of God in lives - an enduring presence available from the Recording Clerk. If the testimony is considered likely to be of benefit to a wider group of Friends or to the Society as a whole, it may be forwarded to the relevant general meeting or Quaker gathering or to Yearly Meeting (see 6.06.g & 6.25). This should not, however, be an automatic decision. Its value as an inspiration to other Friends is not dependent only on its relevance in a wider rather than a local context.