Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Minutes of November meeting for business

 Meeting for Worship for Business held on Sunday 4th September at 11.30am in the Bethany Room in the Wesley Centre, Witney.
Four Friends were present.  Quaker faith and Practice 12.27 was read in our opening worship.
16.38  Matters arising:
a)   Update on Syrian Refugees in Witney.  A short report by Mahalla Mason has been circulated and will be attached to these minutes.
b) The cheque for the red poppy wreath for Remembrance Sunday has been sent to Mark Garwood the Local Royal British Legion Representative and the wreath collected.  Don Mason has added the white poppies and attached the legion ready for November 13th.
We thank Ruth Slade for agreeing to lay the wreath this year but as Peter Couchman will not be in Witney on that date she will find another Friend to assist her. 

 c) An email has been sent to Jason Boyd Chairman of Churches Together in Witney offering to host an afternoon session during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2017.  We have booked the Bethany Room for Monday 23rd January from 12 md - 4pm.  The one hour semi programmed Meeting for Worship will be on the theme of ‘Peace and Reconciliation’ inviting friends from 1.45 - 3.45 pm and ending with tea/coffee and cake and an opportunity to talk together.

d)  The new Rota for Opening, Setting Up and Welcoming each Sunday is now in operation.  We now have four keys, one each  held by Ruth, Mahalla, Mark and Sue.

e)  Advance notice of special monthly collections suggestions for 2017 was given and copies of the list were available for the Friends present.  To be confirmed at the October Business meeting.

f)  The Testimony to the grace of God in the life of Ed Morris has been circulated.  It will be read to the Meeting the next time that Lesley Morris is present and then sent to our Area Meeting’s Clerk, Sandra Figges.

New items on the AGENDA:
16.39  Finance Group:  the half yearly financial report was presented and will be circulated by email by our Treasurer.
a)  Update on 2016 figures: we have £6k at the Bank, though donations are still to be agreed.  Contributions are likely to be on target, though this is in part thanks to the gift of £500 from Sue Bowers’ estate, with no stipulations.  The meeting as a whole might consider whether there are any special projects that this gift could be used for, though the Finance group’s Recommendation is that it should be kept within our annual budget.
b)  Ruth Slade our Treasurer reminded Friends that we will need to determine final recommendations for donations for 2016 in November.
c)  Giving in 2017: Ruth will redraft the letter about intentions to give and ask for responses in time for the October meeting for business.  Wishes to see any changes in the budget heads for 2017 should be indicated then.
d)  The level of reserves (£2600) will be reviewed towards the end of 2017.
e) Ruth has written to the Methodist Church with our quarterly donation, inviting them to contact her if they wish to review the level of the donation.  She will check why we make a donation in lieu of rent rather than paying rent.
We thank Ruth and the Finance Group for their time and hard work spent on our behalf.

16.40  Representatives to Area Meeting to be held at Headington on Wednesday 7th September 7 - 9.30 pm at The Coach House, 46 Quarry Road, Headington OX3 8NU.  Jennifer Barraclough has agreed to be our representative and there will be space in her car for another Friend if transport is needed.

16.41  Transfer in of Ann White from Banbury and Evesham Area Quaker Meeting to Oxford and Swindon Area Meeting.  Ann will be worshipping with Witney Local Quaker Friends and we very warmly welcome her.

16.42  Oxford and Swindon Area Meeting’s mailing list for Quaker Teachers involved in education for mutual support has been welcomed by Judith White, Roshan Somani and Adam Noble.  We have informed Sandra Figges, our Area Meeting’s clerk.

16.43  A request has been received from our Area Meeting’s Quaker Life representatives that a report for the last year should be sent to them.  Mahalla has written a report on the life of Witney Quaker meeting consulting with the Clerk’s team.  A copy has been sent to the Area Meeting’s Quaker Life representatives and will be attached to these minutes.

16.44  The next Spiritual and Pastoral Care  Gathering is Wednesday September 14th at 7.30 pm at 5 Larch Lane.  All friends very welcome.

The Annual Area Meeting’s Elders and Overseers (Spiritual and Pastoral Care) morning gathering will be Saturday October 15th at Burford FMH at 9.45 am.  The theme is ‘The Joys and Challenges of Shared Eldership and Oversight in our Meetings’.
All are welcome .

16.45  Area Meeting’s Nominations Clerk, Elspeth Wollen has sent round a request for Friends interested in the following appointments:
a)  Custodian of Records for Area meeting.
b)  Regional Meeting’s Support group.
c)  Quaker SACRE Representative.  (Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education).
Please contact the Clerks team if interested.

There being no further business the Meeting ended with a short period of silence at 12.20 pm.


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