Monday, 30 November 2015

Minutes November 2015


Minutes of the meeting for worship for business held Sunday 1 November 2015 at 11.30am in the Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney
10 Friends were present. §27.10 from Quaker Faith and Practice  was read during our opening worship.

15.41   Matters arising
a)       We have received a revised final list which adds Riding for the Disabled and Oxfordshire MIND to our special collections in 2016 and agree this. The final list is attached to these minutes.
b) We decide not to hold a Christmas Day meeting this year.

15.42  Finance matters
a)       Nominations Group brings the name of Suzette Hubbert to join the Finance Group. This name being acceptable, we appoint Suzette Hubbert accordingly, to serve from now until 31 December 2017.
b)       i)        Our treasurer has presented figures for 2015. We are pleased to note                   that we have received contributions as expected and that we have met                  our obligations.  We have not spent the money allocated for training             and education, and this, together with other underspends, means that              we have an additional £935, giving a total of £2214 which we can                      choose to allocate to our donations for the year. We will retain £2600               as our standard reserves figure.
          ii)       We agree to the following donations to Quaker and other bodies for                           2015:
·        Britain Yearly Meeting £400
·        Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre £250
·        Friends World Committee for Consultation £250
·        Oxford Asylum Welcome £500
·        Glebe House, Quaker Social Action, Quaker Cottage Belfast,
Base 33 and Bridewell Organic Gardens: £160 each

          Iii)      We receive the proposed budget for 2016 and approve it (attached).                  We will return to the matter of specific donations in the early part of                    2016, to make final recommendations.

We thank Friends for their support of the meeting’s work and remind ourselves that our wealth lies in our members, but that our willingness to give service and money is an important part of our commitment to the Society.

15.43  We appoint Mahalla Mason and Suzette Hubbert as our representatives to Area Meeting on 14 November.

15.44  Our Friend Dennis Compton will reach his one-hundredth birthday on 2 February 2016. Arrangements are being made for a celebration at the Four Pillars Hotel, Witney, on this date, to which Witney Friends and many others are invited. We are happy to contribute the birthday cake, and Mahalla Mason will place the order.

15.45  We agree the following dates for bring and share lunches in 2016: 20 March, 22 May, 21 August, 11 December.

15.46  The next Spiritual and Pastoral Care gathering will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday 2 December at 3 Church Green. The topic is Ministry: Vocal and Silent
15.47  We agree the following dates for Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gatherings in 2016, all at 7.30, venue to be confirmed: 24 February, 18 May, 14 September, 30  November.

15.48  We ask Mahalla Mason to continue to represent us at the Women’s World Day    of Prayer on 4 March 2016, together with Roshan Somani

15.49  Any other business
a)    Rae Cather has reported on the Elders and Overseers Day held at Faringdon, when discussions included: a report on a successful weekend at Charney Manor which could lead to a similar weekend for Elders and Overseers in 2016; challenges and successes in meetings, when Rae reported on Witney’s recent experiences; and consideration of two publications, Coping with Mental Distress in Meetings and With a Tender Hand: a handbook on eldership and oversight.

b)   There will be no business meetings in December 2015 and January 2016. Mahalla and Don Mason will represent us at Area Meeting in Oxford on 9 January 2016.

There being no other business, we closed with worship at 12.25pm.

Jennifer Barraclough
Sharon Watson

Minutes October 2015


Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held Sunday 4 October 2015 in the Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney.

9 Friends were present.  §10.01 from Quaker Faith and Practice was read during our opening worship

15.34  Matters arising
a)       We note that the storage cupboard has been purchased as agreed.
b)       Mahalla and Don Mason have reported on the open evening/AGM for Base        33. They were very encouraged by the range of work being done, particularly       the new mental health campaign Headspace.

c)       Frances Bird attended a weekend event on healing and afterlife studies at   Woodbrooke with financial support from the meeting. We are glad to hear       that this was a very worthwhile event.

d)       We have been updated on arrangements for our outreach event on 8 October.

e)       We appoint Rae Cather to attend the area meeting Elders & Overseers event        on 24 October at Faringdon and ask her to report back.

15.35  Refugee crisis: we note that Don Mason has written to our MP and received a   reply (attached). Friends attended a meeting in Witney after which Frances and         Derek Bird undertook the collection of contributions to help the refugees in the       Calais camp.

15.36  Nominations: We receive the interim report from our Nominations Group,      which is not yet able to confirm names for the Finance Group or for   OSAM trustees.

          We have already agreed to retain other appointments as previously agreed for     the triennium to 31 December 2017 (except for annual appointments). However, if Friends wish to change their service or be released from service,   this is the moment to make the Nominations Group (Rae Cather, Jennifer           Barraclough, Don Mason and Lesley Morris) aware of this.

15.37 Special collections 2016: We have had an initial report on 2016 special   collections from Allan Carr and Caroline Bing, and have offered some          comments. We will make a final approval in November.

15.38 Christmas date: Christmas Day this year falls on a Friday. We agree to decide      whether and where to hold meeting at our November meeting for business.

15.39 Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering: The next Spiritual and Pastoral Care    Gathering will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 2 December at 3 Church         Green. The subject will be Ministry: Vocal and Silent, and we encourage all   Friends, including attenders, to join in considering this important topic. A good         understanding of the experience of ministry and its profound significance for        the life of the meeting, as well as for the individual, helps us to become a        strong and spiritually grounded Meeting.

15.40 Any other business

a)    We ask Adam Noble and Suzette Hubbert (subject to consent) to undertake the laying of the Remembrance Day red and white poppy wreath on our behalf on 8 November, whom failing, Jennifer Barraclough and/or Sheila Cuss (stc).
b)   ‘Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved through understanding.’ (Albert Einstein).
We approve this wording for our Remembrance Day wreath, and ask Allan Carr to prepare the card accordingly.

There being no other business, the meeting concluded with worship at 12.25pm

Jennifer Barraclough
Sharon Watson

Minutes September 2016


Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held on Sunday 6 September 2015 at 11.30 am in the Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney
9 Friends were present. §23.52 of Quaker Faith and Practice  was read during our opening worship.
1      The memorial meeting to give thanks for the grace of God in the life of our Friend Ed Morris was held on Saturday 22 August. About 50 family, friends and Friends from the Area Meeting were present.

2     Dates of meetings and representatives appointed
          a        We appoint Mahalla Mason to attend Area Meeting at Charlbury              on 12 September.
          b        We will return in October to the appointment of representatives               to attend the Area Meeting Elders and Overseers meeting in                          Faringdon on 24 October.
          c        We have been invited to attend the networking event at Base 33              on 14 September. Mahalla and Don Mason will represent us.
          d        The next Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering will be at 3                        Church Green on 2 December at 7.30, when our topic will be                   Ministry: Vocal and Silent.
          e        We receive an update from the arrangements group for the                      Outreach event on 8 October in the Bethany Room at 7.30. The                   topic is Faith into Action, and the evening will include worship,           discussion and individual contributions.
          f         We have planned a bring and share lunch for 20 September. As a              number of Friends are not able to be present for this, we                      agree to cancel the lunch on this occasion. Our next bring and                 share lunch will be on 20 December.

3     Financial matters
Our Treasurer has spoken to the 2015 figures. We are glad to note that our finances are healthy. The figures are attached to these minutes.

We are able to consider how to use an anticipated surplus for this year of at least £1700 and will return to this at our November meeting, when we will also receive the 2016 budget.

Letters asking for guidance on Friends’ intentions to give to the meeting in 2016 are now being distributed.

The Finance Group asks that a name is brought forward to replace our Friend Ed Morris on this group.

4     Nominations
Our Friend Ed Morris was our appointed trustee to Oxford and Swindon Area Meeting. We ask our Nominations Committee to meet and find a name to fill this post as soon as is convenient, and also to consider the Finance Group request.

5     Woodbrooke-on-the-Road in 2016
Charlbury Meeting has invited Burford and Witney meetings to join with them in a Woodbrooke-on-the-Road event in 2016, probably with the theme Building Community. We are glad to support this both by attendance and  financially and look forward to further details. We ask Jenny Franklin to liaise with Angela Kyte.

6     Storage
We note the recommendation from the clerks’ team that a metal storage cupboard should be purchased for our use in the Methodist Church and ask our treasurer to arrange payment of £162 for this purpose.

7     Any other business
a   Refugee crisis: we are sadly aware of the very desperate situation in which many people fleeing war and oppression find themselves, in their         attempts to reach sanctuary in Europe.
·        We recommend that Friends write individually to David Cameron.
·        We circulate the statement issued by Quakers in Britain and ask Friends to make this known.
·        Mahalla Mason will approach Duncan Enright for details of any action the Labour Party in Witney might be taking, and circulate any information.
·        Mahalla Mason has written to Churches Together in Witney to ask if there are any plans for joint action.
·        Details of wording for possible letters are attached to these minutes.

          We encourage Friends to share information on their own and other          responses to the situation.

b        Wording for Remembrance Day (red and white) poppy wreath:Sharon      Watson will find suitable wording for this year’s wreath, for approval at         our November meeting.

c        We note that Suzette Hubbert will take on setting up and welcoming         duties on the 5th Sunday.

There being no other business, the meeting closed with worship at 12.15pm

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Connor Edward Morris d. 3 July 2015

It is with sadness that we record the death of our dear Friend Ed Morris in an accident on 3 July 2015.
His funeral took place at St Mary's, Witney, on 21 July, and there will be a Quaker memorial meeting for worship on Saturday 22 August at 2pm in the Upper Hall of the Methodist Church, High Street, Witney. All are welcome to attend. Enquiries to Mahalla Mason, 01993 702518

Monday, 18 May 2015

Minutes May 2015

Minutes of the meeting for worship for business held 11.10 am on Sunday 3 May
9 Friends were present.          Paragraph 23.14 from Quaker Faith and Practice was read during our opening worship.
15.11    Matters arising
(a Thank you to all those who helped at the AM held in Witney.  It was very well attended and Tracey Smith’s talk was well received.
(b) North Leigh Primary School.  Mahalla Mason and Ruth Slade will lead two assemblies on June 8th, with accompanied singing led by Lesley Morris and Keith Harris
(c) Coombe Mill outing May 17th – 17 Friends are signed up to attend this Outing.  Places are still open – names to Mahalla.
15.12  Area Meeting
To be held at Marlborough FMH on Thursday 7th May 6.15 for 7.30.  We hope that Sue Bowers and Suzette Hubbart will be able to attend as our representatives.
15.13 Outreach Week 3-11 October
We have in the past offered an Open event during this week which has been an inspiration for the Meeting as well as being enjoyed by those from outside who attend and would like to continue to do so.  We ask Allan Carr, Mahalla Mason, Sharon Watson and Suzette Hubbart to form a planning group and to bring an outline of their ideas to the June Meeting for Business.  There will be an opportunity for further detailed discussion to take place at the S & P gathering on August 19th.  The theme is ‘Living Adventurously’.
15.14  Safeguarding procedures annual review
Mahalla reported that she has had her Disclosure and Barring Service certificate renewed for three years and we note that the Bethany Room where we now meet is considered a safe room for young children.  The children meet with the Methodist children of their age.
15.15 Spiritual & Pastoral Care matters
The date of next meeting 20 May 2015 7.30 at 3 Church Green
15.16   Donations for work in disaster areas
a) We agree the sending of a donation of £200 sent via Oxfam after cyclone Pam for work in Vanuatu
b) We wish to donate £300 to the Disasters Emergency Committee for work in Nepal and ask the treasurer to send a cheque.  This will deplete the sum set aside in the budget.   We will discuss later, with the finance group, what steps to take if there are further emergency needs to be met.
There was no further business and the meeting closed at 11.30am
Our next meeting will be held on Sunday 7th June 2015
Sue Bowers, Jenny Franklin


Combe Mill outing 17 May

On 17 May, members of the meeting visited Combe Mill, Hanborough. Photos from Lesley Morris.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Minutes of March meeting for business


Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held on 1 March 2015

15 Friends were present, and §26.70 from Quaker Faith and Practice was read during our opening worship.

15.05  Matters arising
a)       Away Day: We agree to make this an excursion to Combe Mill on the afternoon of Sunday 17 May. Friends will be asked to sign up beforehand so that the appropriate group/family tickets can be purchased. The cost of the day will be met from meeting funds.

b)       Use of the Bethany Room: Mahalla Mason has written formally to the Methodist Church to ask about use of the Bethany Room. We are welcome to a trial period of three months, after consultation over security and storage arrangements. Once this has been settled, we will agree a start date.

c)       Area Meeting in Witney:    Friends are asked to sign up for food they can contribute to the AM lunch on 15 March, when we expect that about 40 people will attend. Sharon Watson and Jennifer Barraclough will prepare our report on the life of this meeting. Our representatives will be Sue Bowers and Mahalla Mason.
15.06  Audited accounts 2014
We have received the audited accounts for 2014 from our treasurer, Ruth Slade. We note that contributions were above budget and that we have moved in the right direction of reducing our reserves as planned. We have made donations of £998 from our special collections. We are grateful for the careful preparation of these accounts and accept them.
15.07  Matters from Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering held on 24 February
a)       The first meeting of the proposed book group will be held at 3 Church Green      on 1 March at 5 pm. All are welcome.
b)       Attendance at the AM elders and overseers training weekend  at Charney   Manor on 5-7 June: we appoint Ed Morris and hope that one other name can be found.  We ask Friends who would be interested and available to let the Clerks' team know. The cost is subsidised from AM and LM funds.
c)       Enquirers' weekends 10-12 April, 23-25 October: Suzette Hubbert is able to go      to the October weekend, and other attenders are encouraged to let the clerks' team know if they would like to go. The meeting will subsidise the cost.
d)       Funeral wishes: it is now over two years since we wrote to Friends asking for any information on funeral wishes which Friends want to give us. There is no obligation to do this, but we feel an update would be helpful.  We ask Lesley Morris and Jennifer Barraclough to approach Friends accordingly.
e)       The next Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering will be on Wednesday 20 May      at 7.30 at 3 Church Green. All are welcome.
15.08 North Leigh Primary School
        We have been asked if we will visit North Leigh primary school to give an assembly on Quakers to Key Stage 1 and 2 children at one of their lunchtime Monday slots. We ask Mahalla Mason and Ruth Slade to begin preparation for this, and invite other Friends who might be willing to help to contact them.
15.09  Report from Nominations Group
a)    The name of Peter Couchman is brought for appointment to the Finance group from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2017. We appoint the Friend named accordingly and release Don Mason with thanks for his service.

b)   Our Nominations Group has considered how to complete the group which looks after our special collections. Allan Carr and Caroline Bing are willing to undertake the tasks required throughout the year of banking receipts and gathering information from charities. We accept the suggestion from the Nominations group to ask in October for names of Friends interested in joining Allan and Caroline in recommending our special collections for 2016, rather than appointing now.

15.10   Any other business
        a)       Our treasurer has reported that Quaker Peace Network- West Africa has been unable to receive our donation; the cheques we sent have been returned. We agree to make the donation to Quaker Peace Network –Africa instead.
          b)       Book of Meetings 2015: we agree to purchase 1 copy for the meeting, and remind Friends that this useful directory is available. Mahalla Mason as correspondence clerk will hold our copy.
          c)       April meeting for business: as our next meeting for business would fall on Easter Day, 5 April, we agree to cancel this meeting, there being no urgent matters before us. Meeting for worship will still commence at 10 am.

There being no other business, the meeting closed with worship at 12.15

Jennifer Barraclough
Sharon Watson