Monday, 23 May 2016

Sunshine and shared lunch

We enjoyed our summer shared lunch outdoors in the courtyard garden of the Methodist church on Sunday 22 May!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Minutes of May meeting for business


Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held on 1.5.16

9 Friends were present. §24.38 from Quaker Faith and Practice  was read during our opening worship (an entry written by Sue Bowers).

16.16   Sue Bowers: we record with sadness the death of our Friend Sue Bowers on 27 April. Her body has been left to medical research. It is expected that a memorial meeting will be held in Witney on Saturday 11 June (now confirmed for 3pm at the Methodist Church).

16.17   Matters arising
          a)       We note that the amount sent to Asylum Welcome was £576 (correction to minute 16.13).
          b)       We have heard a report from Mahalla Mason on the Refugee Support meeting of 12 April. Accommodation for another family in Witney has been found and two more houses have been identified for further families. We expect to contribute to the Adopt a room scheme in due course. We have heard of the various forms of support being offered by Witney residents and the Oxford group to refugees here and in Calais. More donations are sought   by WRAG. There is a strong desire to help and much goodwill throughout the county. The report is filed with these minutes.

16.18   Woodbrooke-on-the-Road: Nine Witney Friends joined with Charlbury and Burford Friends on 23 April for a Woodbrooke-on-the-Road event on Building a Quaker Community, with tutor Mark Russ. This was an enjoyable and uplifting event, which brought us closer together. 

16.19   Area Meeting: Our representatives to AM on 7 May will be Jennifer Barraclough and Mahalla Mason.

16.20  Remembrance Day: We approve the purchase of white poppies for sale and also the purchase of a mixed poppy wreath to be laid on Remembrance Day this year.

16.21   Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering: The next Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering will be held at 7.30pm on 18 May at 5 Larch Lane, when the topic will be the nature of Quaker concern. We have reminded ourselves of the purpose of these meetings – to share responsibility for and care of all those associated with the meeting - and have also considered whether to change the time at which they are held. We agree to keep the May and September meetings as planned, but offer the subsequent date to be held after meeting for worship on 4 December with the possibility of a sandwich lunch. We ask the clerks to email Friends to invite comment.

16.22 Outreach:  This will not form the focus of a special week for us this year, as we want to be offering it all year round, as guidance from Friends House reminds us. We are presently involved in making Quakers and Quakerism in Witney better known through help with Elim lunches (4 Friends), meals at Newland, the Refugees support group, volunteering with MIND, Fairtrade, Christian Aid,  at Cogges Farm and with the Street Pastors, together with the inclusion of our poppy wreath in the Remembrance Day ceremony, correspondence about Trident, the planting of the oak trees on The Leys, and visits to local schools. We are learning a greater confidence in speaking about our Quakerism.

16.23 Low cost carbon energy investment: We have been sent information about investing in a new local venture in low cost carbon energy. We agree to investigate this further and return to it at a future meeting. We ask Don Mason to speak to Tina Leonard.

16.24 Any other business
          a)       Mahalla Mason and Ruth Slade will arrange a walk to see the Quaker  burial           ground beside the Old Meeting House in Witney.
          b)       We are grateful that Don Mason has written to the other churches in  Witney about Trident, and has received a positive reply from Rev  Melanie Reed.

There being no other business, our meeting closed with worship at 12.25.

Sue Bowers d. 27.4.2016

Sue Bowers

We record with sadness the death of our Friend Sue Bowers on 27 April at the age of 82. Together with her husband John, Sue helped Witney meeting to grow and flourish, and we shall miss her very much. 

Building a Quaker Community: 23 April

Woodbrooke-on-the-Road event: Building a Quaker Community
Nine Friends from Witney joined another twenty or so Friends from Charlbury and Burford meetings to spend a day in the peaceful setting of Charlbury Meeting House on 23 April. With the guidance of Woodbrooke tutor Mark Russ, we explored our understanding of Building a Quaker Community. We discussed the experience of transformation, the different experiences we bring to our Quaker life, the elements which make us a community - including eating and singing together - and contributed a wide variety of suggestions for the essential Quaker library - poetry, music, spiritual writing and being on top of a particular mountain in the Lake District!