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Find a Meeting for Worship

Quakers in Australia

Members — Testimonies

Information to include in a testimony

FACTS (which may be included in an attached sheet of biographical data)


•    Date of birth and place of birth
•    Date of death and place (town) of death (if known)
•    Occupation
•    Marriage and children
•    Date of membership of the Society of Friends or length of time in the life of the Meeting
•    Roles in the Society of Friends (though care should be taken not to list these in the testimony to the detriment of more relevant material in relation to how his or her life revealed the grace of God)
•    Concerns

The Grace of God

From ‘The grace of God’ by Barbara Bowman, The Friend 19 October 2001: ‘A testimony is not an obituary or eulogy. It should make the Friend come alive, showing failings as well as successes. The testimony should show the underlying qualities in the Friend’s life.’

A few highlights or key examples of the way the Friend’s life was inspired by the Grace of God, or the way his or her work or concerns demonstrated the grace of God to others will provide the inspiration Friends seek from these testimonies. To quote Barbara Bowman again: ‘We need to have records of Friends whose lives witnessed to the love of God. They are sources of inspiration’.

Length of the Testimony

Testimonies to the Grace of God in a Friend’s life can be used in two ways.
•    They may be read out at a Yearly Meeting if the Friend was well known within AYM or if the Friends’ work had a strong bearing on the work of an AYM committee, or is relevant to a session to be held at Yearly Meeting. Only some of the testimonies will be read out in this way.
For the purposes of reading a testimony at the beginning of a formal session at Yearly Meeting, this testimony should be restricted to one A4 page so that all testimonies read are of roughly equal length.
•    All testimonies written within a Regional Meeting will be included in the loose-leaf Dictionary of Australian Quaker Biography, an alphabetical listing of Friends’ lives which is held in all Regional Meeting libraries, the National Library of Australia, and in some State and overseas libraries. These entries may be longer, and may be accompanied by a page of biographical data, as described above.
 

Photographs

There has been no custom of including photographs with the testimonies, though some Friends have indicated that they feel this would be helpful. Photographs and other useful background information such as articles from newspapers or magazines can be included in DAQB as additional information.

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