Sunday, 12 February 2017
Minutes of the February meeting for business
WITNEY LOCAL QUAKER MEETING
Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held 5.2.17 in the Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney
Eight Friends were present. An extract from Quaker Faith and Practice §26.36 was read during our opening period of worship.
01/17 Matters arising:
a) Report on visit to Wood Green School: Mahalla and Don Mason and Lesley Morris visited the school on 27.1.17 to speak to and answer questions from 67 sixth form pupils on Quakerism. This is the second time we have been asked to visit, and again, the pupils responded well although were more reserved than the previous group.
b) Report on afternoon of Quaker worship as part of the week of prayers for Christian unity: about 20 people joined in an afternoon which included two periods of silent worship and readings on the theme of resisting discrimination and responding to our neighbours. Those attending were interested and appreciative, and being able to come to an afternoon session was also helpful.
c) Friends’ meals together; Sharon Watson hosted the first of these, on 19.1.17, designed to give a small number of members of the meeting, particularly those newer to Quakers, a chance to get to know one another better. Future meals will be hosted by Don and Mahalla Mason, and Adam Noble on 16 February (12.15) and 16 March (7pm)
d) Syrian families befriending project: There have been challenges and good news from this initiative, including house changes and medical issues. The Yemeni interpreter is moving back to fulltime work in Oxford, but a second council project worker has been appointed and English classes continue. One parent has now found appropriate work in Witney, and the families are becoming independent, enabling the befriending group slowly to withdraw. A paper copy of the full report has been placed in our files.
02/17 Accounts 2016: our treasurer, Ruth Slade, has spoken to the accounts, in advance of the examination of LM accounts on 18 February and the subsequent preparation of AM audited accounts. We are pleased to note that members’ donations were close to budget, and that we begin 2017 with healthy finances. This includes a legacy of £500 from Sue Bowers and an additional £500 in donations. We approve these provisional accounts, subject to audit. We thank our treasurer and the Finance Group.
03/17 Nominations: We ask our Nominations group (Lesley Morris, Jennifer Barraclough, Don Mason and Rae Cather) to meet as soon as is convenient, to bring forward a name to replace Peter Couchman on our Finance Group, and a name to replace Allan Carr as the Witney member of AM nominations committee.
04/17 Area Meeting matters:
a) We have been asked to comment on a concern relating to criminal justice reform, in time for the May AM: we ask Don Mason and Frances Bird to review the guidance and information and prepare their observations for consideration at our March meeting for business.
b) The next AM elders and overseers day will have speakers from Cornwall on the concern of Friends there that possession of drugs intended for personal use should be decriminalised.
c) Witney is hosting Area Meeting on 11 March from 10 am onwards, till approximately 4.30pm; we ask Mahalla Mason, Jennifer Barraclough and Sharon Watson to attend to the practical arrangements and hope that as many members of our meeting as possible will be present.
05/17 Quaker National Day of Healing: arrangements have been made for us to join in this day, by meeting during the course of 18 March (between 11 -4pm) at Suzette Hubbert’s home; Friends wishing to attend are asked to let Mahalla Mason know.
06/17 Dates of future meetings:
The next Spiritual and Pastoral Gathering is on 12 February after meeting for worship.
Summer away day: a picnic at Minster Lovell has been suggested, and Friends are asked to indicate preferences for the afternoons of 21 May or 11 June.
Ann Mills is hosting an open barbecue at her home on 5 August to raise funds for her educational charity in India.
Our Christmas shared lunch will be held on 3 December 2017.
07/17 Any other business: The Rev Melanie Reed has written to confirm that we continue to be warmly welcomed at the Methodist Church, and that the church is content with our present level of donation in lieu of rent. We ask our treasurer to reply.
There being no other business, our meeting closed with worship
at 12.15 pm.