Meeting Types

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of peoplewho share their experience, strength and hope
with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Anyone with a desire to stop drinking is a member of alcoholics anonymous and may attend open and closed meetings of AA.  Occasionally a school curriculum will require the student to attend AA meeting(s) (nurses, psychology, clergy), or someone’s parent wishes to attend a meeting, or a loved one, or a reporter, or someone who is court ordered and do not feel that they have an alcohol problem.  Those people are all welcome at an OPEN AA meeting as observers.

Closed meetings are for A.A. members only, or for those who have a drinking problem and “have a desire to stop drinking.”  If the person believes they themselves need AA then a closed meeting has the advantage of securing a little more anonymity.  In a closed meeting you are only among other alcoholics who may have an understanding of the importance of anonymity and singleness of purpose.

At both types of meetings, the A.A chairperson may request that participants confine their discussion to matters pertaining to recovery from alcoholism.

Whether open or closed, A.A. group meetings are conducted by A.A. members, who determine the format of their meetings.

From “The Group” Pamphlet, Copyright AAWS, used by permission.

To explain open and closed meetings we’ve included the readings from the cards below, read in most of our meetings.



This is a closed meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. In support of A.A.’s singleness of purpose, attendance at closed meetings is limited to persons who have a desire to stop drinking. If you think you have a problem with alcohol you are welcome to attend this meeting. We ask that when discussing our problems, we confine ourselves to those problems as they relate to alcoholism.

(The 1987 General Service Conference made this statement available as an A.A. service piece for those groups who wish to use it.)


This is an open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are glad you are here — especially newcomers.  In keeping with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition which states “The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking,” we ask that all who participate confine their discussion to their problems with alcohol.

(The 1987 General Service Conference made this statement available as an A.A. service piece for those groups who wish to use it.)

The Middle Peninsula & The Northern Neck: Callao, Colonial Beach, Deltaville, Essex, Gloucester, Gloucester Church, Gloucester Point, Kilmarnock, Mathews, Middlesex, Urbanna, Saluda, West Point, Warsaw, West Point, White Stone