Sunday, 20 August 2017

Epistle from Britain Yearly Meeting held in Coventry 29 July – 5 August 2017

To Friends everywhere

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” [James 2:26]

We send loving greetings from Britain Yearly Meeting gathered in community.

This is the third year in which we have explored our theme of Living out our faith in the world; this time we have considered how we work with others to make a difference and build a better world. We have been delighted by the presence of Friends from other yearly meetings and visitors from other churches and faith groups. They have helped us to recognise the way bonds form between different communities for the common good, and to value the richness which comes to us when we welcome diversity in our meetings.

Since our last Yearly Meeting our nations have experienced increasing uncertainty and insecurity. Inequality has become vividly apparent. We are distressed by the trashing of our planet, and angry at the greed, ruthlessness, violence and lies which blight the lives of so many. “What do you mean, says God, that you grind the faces of my poor?” [Isaiah 3:15] In this fractured world, how can we respond? What does Love require of us?

We ourselves are part of the problem. Many are too rich. We damage the land, the sea, and all living creatures. We are stealing the future. Change is urgent. We need to recognize our own selfishness and privilege: to be changed ourselves, to live as if the Kingdom of God were already fulfilled.

Throughout our gathering we have heard examples of Friends’ work and involvement in the world as Meetings and as individuals. We are reminded that we all find different ways of being faithful. Inspired by the Fox Cubs (3–5-year-olds) we have worn the ribbons which they gave us to share their concern for hungry and homeless people.

When we engage with the brokenness of the world, one of our tools can be our willingness to listen: to the vulnerable, to each other, to those with whom we disagree, and to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. This will enable us to work alongside others powerfully, telling the truth of what is wrong in the world. Sometimes listening will lead us to stillness, at other times to practical action. In all things the Spirit will direct us.

Working with others gives us strength. Their insights may lead us to see our own shortcomings. We can also hold conversations with those in positions of authority and influence.

Ours may be a supporting role. We may be called to comfort and uphold, to practise small kindnesses, to admit our own weakness, and to undertake practical tasks which enable others to act. Sometimes being there is enough.

Action may demand courage. This may mean taking part in public protests or acts of disobedience. We may be led to challenge rooted injustices and to use our energy to bring about radical change. Jesus overturned the tables of the money-changers in the temple. He taught that the blessed community was formed of the poor, the hungry and those suffering loss or persecution. [Luke 6:20-22]

When our call is clear, we need discipline to test it, and faithfulness to carry it through without counting the cost. May God give us strength and grace to be instruments of change.

Therefore, dear Friends, wait in the Light, that the Word of the Lord may dwell plentifully in you.” [Quaker faith & practice 29.19]

lots more reading - but an interesting overview.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Perhaps of interest to Narberth Quakers


Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group (PSEEG) will be holding it’s final meeting on Thursday 20th July 2017.

It will be looking forward with a talk by Janet Roberts (Chair of PSEEG) on ‘Our Changing Climate’. This is the most pressing problem of our time. We continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere resulting in record high temperatures which manifests in so many different ways around our globe. The effects are seen on all the continents from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Following the talk the Group will take ‘A Short Walk Down Memory Lane’ and look back over the nine years it’s been active and seeing what has been achieved in that time.

All members of the public are very welcome to join us whether local residents or visitors.

PSEEG meets in The Regency Hall, Saundersfoot at 7.00pm and there will be tea/coffee and biscuits and a chance to chat at the end of the evening.

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Prison Phoenix Trust & Sight 2020 charity

The Summer 2017 newsletter is out. There is a copy in The Black Folder that can be borrowed, or you can get a pdf


Sight 2020 direct Charity is the charity we are currently collecting for [from July 2nd]

Our Mission Statement

We aim to fight and treat the preventable causes of blindness in the developing world. This includes cataracts, childhood blindess, refractive errors, low vision and glaucoma


Saturday, 1 July 2017

July notices from Friend's House

Quakers condemn all acts of violence

In the wake of recent tragedies, Paul Parker, the Recording Clerk, has made a statement on behalf of Quakers in Britain. He refers to Quakers’ response and says, “Quakers lovingly uphold all those affected by the recent tragedies. People of all faiths should be able to live and worship in peace.”

You can read the full statement on the news page of Q website and-events/news/quakers-condemn-all-acts-of-violence and also on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter @BritishQuakers for news

Yearly Meeting Gathering – bookings still open

29 July–5 August 2017, Warwick University

Already over 1,300 Friends of all ages are coming, and we’ve got room for a few more! Come and enjoy the packed programme including a variety of talks and workshops.

Go to for a full timetable and online bookings. Bursaries are still available. Please note that the children’s programme is now full.

For bookings enquiries contact Warwick University by email: For other YMG enquiries, please contact or phone 020 7663 1040.

Conferences and events

2017 Quaker Activist Gathering

10am–4pm, Saturday 14 October 2017, LIFT Islington, London

What does our Quaker faith prompt us to do in the world? Join Quaker Peace & Social Witness and US Friend and activist George Lakey for a day of sharing, workshops, networking, and movement-building.
Plus: between 6–9pm at Friends House George Lakey will give a free talk to launch his new book, Viking Economics.
Kristin Skarsholt,


Quaker Tapestry exhibition

7–18 August 2017, Friends House, London

Delight in the detail of the Quaker Tapestry and its unique exploration of Quaker history at this free ‘on the road’ exhibition of 21 original Tapestry panels. On display Monday to Saturday 10am–4pm and Thursdays 10am–8pm.


Quaker News

Quaker News – no summer issue
Due to staff changes we will not be publishing a summer issue of Quaker News this year. The next issue will be brought to you by a brand new editor and will reach meetings in late September, in time for Quaker Week. If you would like extra copies of this issue to use during Quaker Week, please let us know.

Leslie Bell,, 020 7663 1019

Quaker Week and Outreach

Getting ready for Quaker Week 2017 In turbulent times: be a Quaker

30 September–8 October 2017

Free information packs – we can send your meeting six free copies of our helpful information pack for newcomers, which includes leaflets, Advices & queries and a copy of Being a Quaker by Geoffrey Durham. Send your requests to or phone 020 7663 1030 or 020 7663 1125.

Providing speakers – if you are holding an event during Quaker Week, we can offer speakers on a wide range of topics, from Quaker worship and spirituality, to Quaker history, to peace education, economic justice and advocacy. Email
Balloons are now available too!

Quaker Hoodies now available!

Quaker hoodies (also known as zoodies) are now available! A  brilliant tool for everyday outreach, stewarding events, activism and chaplaincy, they can be purchased at the Quaker Centre bookshop in
Friends House, on their website and will be available at Yearly Meeting Gathering. They feature our outreach Twitter handle ‘Know more Quakers’ underneath the Q logo.


Mental health in Quaker meetings survey

Quaker Life would like to learn how meetings respond to challenges that arise in Quaker meetings that relate to mental health or illness. Please respond as a meeting or as an individual. There is not a limit to the number of responses from each Quaker meeting and individuals are strongly encouraged to send in their own response as well as elders’ or overseers’ responding on behalf of the meeting community.

Please visit

The form should take between 15 and 30 minutes to complete online. Oliver Waterhouse,, 020 7663 1007

The Changing Face of Faith in Britain survey

As part of a research project commissioned by the Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations (QCCIR) on the changing face of faith in Britain, a new online survey has been produced aimed at those who have first come to Meeting in the last 3 years. Please complete the survey at by July 24.

The Changing Face of Faith in Britain

16–18 March 2018, Woodbrooke, Birmingham

Area meetings are asked to appoint to the Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations (QCCIR Qf&p 9.13) conference. This will cover the findings of the current QCCIR research project on ‘The Changing Face of Faith in Britain’, looking at the challenge for Friends of the growth of ‘secular society’ and changes to traditional religious expression. It will provide an opportunity to consider the results of this project and where this might lead Friends. Also see 9 below

Quakers and the Changing Face of Faith in Britain survey (PDF), 0121 472 5171


Monday, 12 June 2017

Quaker UK notices June 2017

Review of Quaker appeals process

Quaker faith & practice gives Friends the right to appeal to Meeting for Sufferings about decisions of an area meeting which affect them personally (section 4.25). Meeting for Sufferings is currently reviewing the process for this and has appointed a small group. That group has come up with a number of questions to help it consider if the current process works well or how it could be changed. If you would like to assist the group, then please get in touch with me. The group will need responses by the end of June.
Michael Booth,, 020 7663 1023

Our faith in action: Quaker work in 2016

Our faith in action gives a brief taste of the range of work carried out by Britain Yearly Meeting on behalf of Quakers in Britain last year. We hope that all Friends will get a chance to read it and that they will feel proud of what has been achieved in their name
Our faith in action and the 2016 financial statements are available online at For paper copies please email or phone 020 7663 1015.

Yearly Meeting Gathering places still available

29 July–5 August 2017, Warwick University
Come to Yearly Meeting Gathering (YMG) and enjoy the packed programme. There will be a variety of talks and workshops from George Lakey, Steve Whiting, Bridget Walker, Mairi Campbell-Jack, Ann Morgan and more.
Further details available at and a full timetable will be online from 1 June.
Online bookings will open again on 1 June for remaining places. Spaces and bursaries still available.
For bookings enquiries contact University of Warwick directly email
For other YMG enquiries, please contact or phone 020 7663 1040.

Getting ready for Quaker Week 2017 In turbulent times: be a Quaker

29    September–8 October
Quaker Week is coming! Well, not yet but it’s never too early to think about planning!
This Getting ready for Quaker Week letter (PDF) contains a full list of resources, support and contacts to help you plan and advertise your Quaker Week events.
It includes information about the new poster, ideas pack and postcard pack that will be sent to meetings over the summer and details resources to buy/download including our new Quaker hoodies. It also outlines our speaker offer where we can send you a speaker to talk on a range of topics such as Quakerism today, our peace work and the history of the Society.
We encourage Friends to add ‘#QuakerWeek’ on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts to promote their events and join the conversation!

Refugee Week

19–25 June, Friends House and across Britain
Quaker events to support Refugee Week include a Library open day at Friends House (Monday 19 June) and author events in the
Quaker Centre bookshop at 6.30pm on 19–22 June alongside all-age meetings for worship, theatre performances and discussion events in local meetings across Britain.
There is a Journeys in the Spirit resource for children’s meeting. For full listings visit or
If you are organising a Refugee Week event and would like to list it on the website, email

Membership Weeekend – finding out about Quakers

10–12 November 2017, Charney Manor, Charney Bassett, Oxfordshire
This weekend is for people who have been around Quakers for a while and want to explore further. What does Quakerism mean to you? Do you need to know more? Is there any difference between being an attender at Quaker meetings and becoming a member?



Monday, 8 May 2017

Quaker UK notices May 2017

Books of the month link to PDF

Upcoming courses at Woodbrooke link to PDF

General election 2017
A general election will be held on 8 June. It is a short lead-in period but gives us an opportunity to engage in the political process and raise questions on Quaker concerns with parliamentary candidates. Guidance on holding hustings is available to download on the Quaker Vote website at and the blog will be updated on a regular basis over the next few weeks.
You can also follow information on Twitter via @QuakerVote. If you would like to get in touch about any of the upcoming elections please email us on

Bursaries still available for Yearly Meeting Gathering
If you are prevented from attending Yearly Meeting Gathering this year because of financial need we have bursaries available to help with part or all of the costs. Application is via a short form, which will also need to be signed by a local overseer. If you would like to know more please talk to your local overseers or contact:
Gary Mitchell, 020 7663 1006,

What have you learned from the process of reading Quaker faith & practice?
If you have been following the ‘Reading Quaker faith & practice calendar’, then you will have just finished the whole book. Congratulations! We would like to find out what you have learnt from the process. Your comments will inform the process of discernment about whether it is time to revise our book of discipline, which Yearly Meeting will probably consider in 2018.
Please complete the form at: Michael Booth, Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ.

Young Friends General Meeting, May gathering
26–29 May, Sheffield Meeting House
Young Friends General Meeting will be having a three day gathering over the second May bank holiday. All young adults (18–30ish) with an interest in Quakerism are most welcome to attend. We will pay travel expenses for first-time attenders. The event promises to be interesting and stimulating, featuring a conference call with young Friends in Philadelphia, and a talk from Veterans for Peace. If your meeting does not yet have a representative to YFGM, please consider appointing a young adult and covering their costs to attend.
For further information and to register please visit YFGM’s website: If you have any queries, contact the YFGM coordinator, Rachel Evans on / 020 7663 1050

QPSW / QCEA Joint Conference ‘Sanctuary Everywhere’
1–3 December, Chant d’Oisseau, Brussels
Europe is facing significant challenges relating to peace and human rights, including an increase in nationalism and a fragmentation of the mechanism for dialogue and cooperation that has developed in the last 60 years. As Friends we oppose war, and call for peacebuilding efforts long before war is on the agenda. The question facing European Friends is what should we be doing to swim against the current tide? Come along to be informed and inspired by Quaker ideas, Quaker agencies and examples of ongoing work.
For more information and to register visit

Refugee Week
19–25 June
Refugee Week is an open platform for organisations to organise events amplifying the voices of people seeking sanctuary.
Many meetings will be organising events for this, from talks to all-age semi-programmed meetings for worship. If your meeting is organising an event in Refugee Week please let Tim Gee know so we can help promote it. To see all of the events organised so far, visit

Quaker Week 2017 speaker offer
30 September 8 October
The theme for Quaker Week 2017 is ‘In turbulent times: be a Quaker’. Quaker Week is our annual outreach event. We encourage meetings to use this week as an opportunity to hold events that will attract people from the local community; resources will be available in the coming months. If you would like to book a speaker please email us with suggested dates and a theme or topic you would like covered.