In an interesting juxtaposition, John Lewis writes of Primo Levi’s book If this is a man in which he describes his transportation to Auschwitz and subsequent travels across Europe to get home in 1945, while Robert Parkes tells us of a recent conference at Woodbrooke on forced migration taking place now, 72 years later.Download PDF
“Colchester Meeting looks hard at itself!” In both words and pictures, this month’s edition describes the questionnaire and Threshing Day in which Colchester has been looking at how the Meeting might improve, both spiritually and physically. Looking at ways in which there might be an encouragement to participate at all levels by all ages, the Meeting discovered both those things that worked and those that didn’t as well as improvements which need to be made.
There is also an article on the open area meeting of Elders and Overseers which considered membership, among other things.
This month’s edition includes, among other pieces, a report and photographs of the Area Meeting’s weekend at High Leigh; the second instalment of a Friend’s discovery of Quakerism and the building of Clacton’s meeting room; and two Young Friends’ writings on Remembrance Day.Download PDF
This month’s edition has reports on Glebe House, Quaker Life Representative Council conference on death and dying, Trustees and financial matters, and Area Meeting at Earls Colne.
Featured are on two Area-Meeting Friends: one as a prisoner of war and the other a luthier who has been making viols for over forty years.Download PDF
It has been a sad week, with the atmosphere about the Referendum becoming every day nastier and more
spiteful, culminating in the tragic murder of a much-loved young MP. Let us hope that things may have shocked some people into slightly kinder behaviour, but I don’t depend on it…..
Big blind baker
blinded by war
but not his war,
on plastic chair
but not his chair,
needs clean strong wood
to throne his girth
with a drift of flour
on the arm.
Bright beautiful wife
dark fabric swathed
that dims her light.
Both gravely still
both burdened by
Both beam alive
when we clasp warm hands.
We are honoured by
News from Clacton:
The five people from Clacton Meeting who had been following the Hearts and Minds course agreed to amalgamate the contents of the last three sessions into one as it was felt that the topics were closely related. The last session on 18th March was ably led by the Clerk, Hazel Jones and it was very much an opportunity to ‘seek to know one another in the things which are eternal’…
We are well into the new year now and a very muddling time it is! One minute much too hot, and the next minute freezing cold. But f we can just hold our breath for a bit, we may slide safely into spring. (At my age I can remember many winters when it only started to be cold well into February and then the snow really started)….Download PDF
Allow and embrace dissonance as well as harmony. If we welcome the discomfort of conflict, if we permit and acknowledge contradiction, if we respect and honour strange or differing ideas and perceptions, dissonance can lead to progress and innovation if handled in a creative and constructive manner, i.e. if handled in a quakerly fashion. ….. (Lucien De Leon)
Quaker Faith and Practice 24.08
Issued by London Yearly Meeting 1915, during the First World War:
Meeting at a time when the nations of Europe are engaged in a war of unparalleled magnitude, we have been led to recall the basis of the peace testimony of our religious Society….
Our Meeting is full of activities: last week we had the local Heritage Week and we are always gratified by the large number of visitors who drop in and want to know all about us and what we do. We usually have some kind of exhibition and perhaps a short film, and of course cakes and coffee. It is fun but remarkably tiring….Download PDF
From the Clerk’s Corner:
The Sound of Silence
A recent article in the Friend (“All life is sacred”, by John Myill: 14 August 2015) considers the question, why do we worship in silence? John Myhill, from Norfolk and Waveney Area Meeting, reminds us that “We do not worship in silence because silence is sacred and speech secular. We worship in silence because it enables us to listen to one another and to speak what seems most important to us, to get to know each other in the things that are eternal.”…
MfS has a visionary and prophetic role for the whole Society in Britain. It’s been described as the beating heart of the Society. It decides the priorities and sets the direction of BYM in the Long Term Framework. It plays a vital role in fostering communication throughout the Yearly Meeting and in reviewing and testing concerns referred to it by AMs.Download PDF
I was once told, and found it very reassuring, that, ‘It is the exception that makes the news’. The fact that ten thousand people slept peacefully in their beds last night is not news. It is the misfortunes of the one person whose sleep was disturbed by a burglar that are reported in the newspapers…Download PDF
Life is disappointing and frightening at the moment, and our government is plodding on with its plans regardless of increased need for food banks, hospitals desperate for cash, and all the rest of it. As I have often said, all we can do is make sure that nobody in our neighbourhood is in difficulties if we can help it….Download PDF
Yes, it is Spring again, and as so often we are horrified to read of thousands of refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach what they suppose is safety and a new life, but though it makes a fortune for the traffickers, it usually ends in death for refugees, or at the very best, for life in some sort of camp….Download PDF
We have been through a bad time financially and now our leaders are making much of the small shoots of growth that they see is arriving, but I don’t believe in it, far too many people are not really on proper wages (as can be seen by the fourfold or more use of our food bank) while those who are really indecently rich are evading tax. Benefits are quietly cut in all directions, and far too many people are not doing satisfying work.
Christmas is over, such an exhausting time but I do enjoy seeing all my family. Now is a time to do all the useful things, mend socks, write to people you forgot to send cards to, try to get the garden in some sort of order, and hope that it is not going to be quite so cold as it seems likely to do. I have to admit that I did not enjoy the winter before last.Download PDF
I have only just realised that Christmas is dashing towards us like an express train! (if such things still exist). This newsletter will be out by the beginning of December, but there will not be one in January. (There never is, as we should have to be struggling with it over Christmas) Not very Christmassy weather right now, but I am thankful, and hope it lasts.Download PDF
We have an active Meeting with all sorts of happenings which you can read about elsewhere, as (being aged) I don’t get to as many as I would like. Paul Parker, always an inspiring speaker, spoke recently at Sudbury, and we had an open house during Colchester Heritage Week, when we always get a lot of visitors.Download PDF
Now it is autumn, (October has always been a favourite month) a time for new beginnings, a new year at school, a much better time than spring for a good clean out and getting rid of things, with the exciting feeling of Christmas round the corner, but not so near that you have to get into a panic about it.Download PDF
I am not going to wail about the awfulness of life, but one does walk on tiptoe, wondering what next! I have a good pension and a wonderful family and nothing particular going wrong, but far too many people are finding their income shrinking and their expenses growing, while everyone says we are doing wonderfully. Did you know that in this country the people who are the richest earn 143 times more than the hardest-up? I don‘t know how other countries fare, but I believe we are the worst. You will be comforted to know that Friends House staff have a ratio of just four to one.Download PDF