The only authority in AA is that which expresses itself through the Group conscience
The General Service Conference is held annually in York where delegates from all regions gather. In a series of committees (comprising a representative from each region and GSB members) questions which have been submitted from members, groups, intergroups and regions earlier in the previous year are considered and responses drafted to reflect the collective conscience of AA-GB. Thus, guidelines are drafted, amended, ratified and then published throughout the Fellowship on an annual basis.
What is the Purpose of Conference?
The General Service Conference (Great Britain) of Alcoholics Anonymous is the guardian of the services and of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of AA in Great Britain. Tradition Two states that the only authority in AA is that which expresses itself through the Group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants who do not govern. This Tradition is the basic authority for all AA services, whether for Groups, Intergroups, Regions or for the Fellowship as a whole. The General Service Conference therefore begins with the Group conscience. It also leads back to the Group, since the Group has final responsibility not just for initiating, but for implementing the decisions agreed upon by Conference. The General Service Conference is the practical means by which the Group conscience in Britain can express itself in matters that concern the Fellowship as a whole. The existence of Conference is moreover a guarantee that the Fellowship will be able to function under all conditions. It is, in effect, the successor to the founders of AA, ensuring the continuity of the work within the framework of the Twelve Traditions.
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