Saturday, 29 December 2018

Christmas and New Year 2019

Friends and others enjoyed a seasonal shared lunch on 2 December, with carols and the pleasure of being in each other's company as Christmas approached. We did not hold a meeting on Christmas Day, as we'd met on the Sunday, and we will next be together on Sunday 30 January.

A reminder that 2019 business meetings will be held on 3 February, 3 March, 2 June, 7 July, 6 October and 3 November, with meeting for worship on those Sunday's beginning at 10am.

Saturday, 24 November 2018



With immediate effect, all correspondence including phone calls and emails intended for the meeting should now go to
Sue Hubbert
12 Station Lane
OX28 4BA
01993 209222

Mahalla Mason has now stepped down from this responsibility, with our appreciation and thanks. Please do not continue to send correspondence to her.

Minutes of the November 2018 meeting for business

Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held on Sunday 4 November 2018 at 11.30 in the Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney

There were 9 Friends present. §20.04 of Quaker Faith and Practice  was read during our opening worship.

33/18  Matters arising
Friends House has been advised that we are willing to be named as a Sanctuary meeting. Adam Noble and Sue Hubbert are our contacts, and will receive updates and advice from Friends House in due course.

34/18  Finance matters
a)       Ruth Slade has spoken to the forecast outturn for 2018. We are pleased to note that our finances remain healthy, and that we are likely to have a surplus of up to £1400. We have spent more this year on the library, and have been able to fund the event at Charney Manor through the use of Sue Bowers’ legacy and our own money.

b)       Earmarked monies for donations 2018
We agree to give £400 to BYM; £200 each to Quaker Housing Action, Young Friends General Meeting, Woodbrooke, Quaker Social Action and Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (Quaker groups); £200 each to Asylum Welcome, Citizens Advice Bureau Witney, and Bridewell Organic Gardens (local work); £500 (emergency appeals) to Disasters Emergency Committee for relief in Yemen; and £500 each to Oxford Friends Action on Poverty and Porch (allocation to work on homelessness). We are happy to support a request for assistance with a course on work with homeless women from our training budget and ask our clerks to pursue this.

c)       Budget 2019
Our Finance Group recommends that we follow the same pattern of allocation as in 2018. There may be a slight reduction in giving from Friends, but this need not affect our plans. We approve the budget.

We thank our treasurer Ruth Slade for her work on our behalf.

35/18  Special Collections 2019
We have received a recommendation from our special collections group that we should concentrate this year on four appeals only: one per quarter. We agree to try this for 2019 and ask the group to report back on how giving has been affected as a result of the experiment. The group will organise speakers and/or additional information where possible.

We agree the following for our special collections in 2019:
Jan-March Mission Lifeforce
April-June EAPPI
July-September African Children’s Fund
October- December Home4All Oxfordshire

36/18  Nominations
Our Nominations group has brought forward the name of Sue Hubbert as our correspondence clerk. We appoint Sue with immediate effect for the remainder of this triennium, and release Mahalla Mason with our warmest thanks.
Don Mason has asked for release from the Nominations Group. We agree to this, and note that the group feels able to continue without a further nomination until the spring of 2019. We thank Don for his service.
The Nominations Group has as yet been unable to find a fourth name for the clerks’ team.

37/18 Representatives to Area Meeting
We appoint Lesley Morris and Sue Hubbert as our representatives to Area Meeting in Swindon on Saturday 10 November.

38/18 Dates 2019
Shared lunches: 24 February, 9 June, 18 August, 1 December
Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gatherings: 17 March, 23 June, 22 September, 8 December
The clerks’ team will bring a recommendation to our next business meeting in February that we continue this year’s pattern of a reduced number of business meetings (in 2018 February, March, June, July, October, November)

39/18  Opening up
Sharon Watson will be responsible for opening up the Bethany Room on 5th Sundays of the month.

There being no other business, we closed with worship at 12.45

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Minutes of the October 2018 meeting for business


Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held Sunday October 7 2018 at 11.30am, Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney

11 Friends were present. §12.04 from Quaker Faith and Practice  was read during our opening worship.
24/18  Becoming a Sanctuary Meeting
We have considered what is involved in registering this meeting as a Sanctuary meeting. We feel that it is appropriate for Witney to register in this way and our clerk will contact Friends House accordingly. Sue Hubbert and Adam Noble will be our email contacts.
25/18  Quaker Outreach Week
Sue Hubbert offered an Open House over the lunch period of 29 September, which provided an opportunity for anyone interested to drop in and hear more about Quakers. It was an opportunity for inreach as well as outreach, and we thank Sue for her hospitality.
26/18 Response to Southern Marches concern
 We have been asked if we wish to respond formally to the Southern Marches concern for a ‘post-truth’ society. We observe that there are confusions inherent in the wording of their concern, and agree that this is a complex area. We do not particularly wish to add to minutes already sent from the AM but support the view that Meeting for Sufferings should continue to review the concern. We forward this minute to our Area Meeting.
27/18 Quaker Fellowship for After Life Studies
 Sue Hubbert and Frances Bird attended this conference at Woodbrooke.  We are sorry to hear that Mahalla and Don Mason were prevented, though Don’s talk was made available to the conference. We have heard a brief report from Sue on this interesting event, including details of the speakers and some of the issues considered.
28/18 Remembrance Day
 We appoint Lesley Morris and Allan Carr to lay a mixed red and white poppy wreath on our behalf on Remembrance Day.  We are pleased to receive a crocheted white poppy wreath provided by Witney Town Council as part of the ‘poppy mile’ armistice centenary tribute in the town.
29/18 Churches Together in Witney
Sue Hubbert has reported on a recent meeting, at which fewer than half the churches involved were present. Discussion was mainly on finances, which appear to be adequate. Sue has told us of the initiative to donate items of clothing, bedding etc to homeless people in the area, and will email Friends the list. Items should be given to Sue for collection before 10 October.
30/18 Finance update
Ruth Slade, our treasurer, has reported that promised contributions for this year have largely been received, though a few remain outstanding. In November, we will consider our budget for 2019, and the distribution of any surplus for 2018. Friends are asked to come with proposals for this distribution. We also need to decide on the use of £1000 which was earmarked last year for support to homeless people.
31/18 OSAM nominations
Lesley Morris, our representative on AM nominations committee, has asked for any interest in attending, as an AM representative, (a) the QCCIR conference 8-10 March 2019; (b) the All-Age Outreach conference 15-17 February 2019.
A name is also being sought to replace Paul Wadsley as AM membership clerk.
Friends should contact Lesley for further details.
32/18  Correspondence clerk
Mahalla Mason has asked for release as soon as possible from her role as correspondence clerk. We ask our Nominations Committee to meet to consider this appointment.
There being no other business, our meeting closed at 12.15 with a short period of worship.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

September shared lunch

We enjoyed another bring and share meal together on Sunday 9 September, with the usual array of interesting and delicious food, and the chance to hear each other's summer news - as well as seeing how Isaac and Ada are growing!

Friday, 27 July 2018

Minutes of the July meeting for business

Witney Local Quaker Meeting
Minutes of a meeting for worship for business held Sunday 1 July 2018 at 11.30, Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney.

11 Friends were present. §12.01 from Quaker Faith and Practice was read during our opening worship.

18/18              Matters arising
Quaker Outreach Week: we have considered whether we wish to offer activities during this year’s Quaker Outreach Week (29 September-6 October). We thank Judy Taylor for reflecting on suggestions from Friends House.  We agree to participate and are particularly drawn to the possibility of becoming a Sanctuary meeting, and to offering an open hospitality event for those wishing to find out more about Quakerism.

Adam Noble will investigate the requirements for the former and circulate information by the end of July.

Sue Hubbert and Ann White will explore the logistics of an ‘open house’ event and report to us after a meeting for worship in late July. Friends are encouraged to contact Sue and Ann with thoughts and observations on such an event.

19/18              Response to Southern Marches concern for a ‘post-truth’ society
We have considered an outline of this concern and how we might proceed. We ask Judy Taylor to spend more time on reflection of the issues involved and to offer us a comment which we might pass on to Area Meeting/Meeting for Sufferings.

20/18              Representatives to Area Meeting 15 July
We appoint Sue Hubbert and Jennifer Barraclough as our representatives to Area Meeting and the AGM in Abingdon on 15 July.

21/18              Other representatives
Ann White has asked for release as our representative to AM Nominations Committee. As Lesley Morris is willing to relinquish her role with CTiW, we appoint her as our Nominations Committee representative and Sue Hubbert as our representative on CTiW. We thank Ann for her service.

22/18              Financial support
We agree to meet the cost of Sue Hubbert’s attendance at the forthcoming Woodbrooke weekend organised by Quaker After-Life Studies. We look forward tdo a report on the event.

23/18              Dates of future meetings
The next Spiritual and Pastoral Care gathering will be on Sunday 23 September, following meeting for worship.
The next meeting for business will take place on Sunday 7 October (no business meeting in September).

There being no other business, our meeting closed at 12.25 with a short period of worship.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Minutes of the June meeting for business

Witney Local Quaker Meeting
Minutes of a Meeting for Worship for Business held on Sunday 3rd June 2018 at 11.30, Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney.
9 Friends were present. &23.23 from Quaker Faith & Practice was read out during our opening worship.
Matters Arising
12/18 : Mahalla Mason gave an update on the Witney Homelessness Strategy Group. A progress report by Rev Ness Whiffen of Churches Together in Witney was read out and is attached to these minutes.
13/18 : Quaker Outreach Week
This is to take place the week 29th Sept to 7th October and the theme is ‘Room for More’. Judy is willing to take the information cards. She will look through them for ideas and bring them to the next Business Meeting. We will then decide whether we want to take it further.
14/18 : Area Meeting Day for Elders and Overseers
This is to take place on Saturday 30th June at Oxford Meeting House. We appoint Sue Hubbert and Ann White to attend (and Yvette Hubbert subject to availability).
15/18 : Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering
This is on 24th June after Meeting for Worship. Our topic will be how our support network operates.
16/18 : For Information
a.       At the Clerks’ Meeting it was decided not to respond to charities asking to keep us on their mailing lists.
b.      We have updated our photo gallery.
c.       We have received Ann White’s travelling minute from New Zealand.
We received a short financial update from Ruth Slade, the Treasurer as she is away for the next Business Meeting.
-Members’ contributions are in line with commitments
-Gift Aid is slightly up
-Reserves from last year are slightly over what was budgeted.
-We note that in our reserves we have £1,000 put aside for Witney Homelessness Strategy Group.
All is in hand.
There being no other business, the meeting closed with a short period of worship at 12.05

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Minutes of March business meeting

Witney Local Quaker Meeting
Minutes of a Meeting for Worship for Business held on Sunday 4th February 2018 at 11.30, Bethany Room, Methodist Church, Witney.  9 Friends were present. The poem ‘Gift Catching’ by S. Watson was read out during our opening worship.
Matters Arising
Minutes of a meeting for business held on 5 March 2018
9 Friends were present.

05/18 : Accounts for 2017
We record that the accounts for 2017 for Witney Local Quaker Meeting have been examined and accepted.
06/18 : Churches Together in Witney meeting 5th February
The report from the Witney Homelessness Strategy Group was not given at this meeting as Rev Melanie Reed was unable to attend. The report will be given at a later date. The Rev Ness Whiffen is liaising with the Oxford Churches Initiative for Homeless People.
07/18 : Record of Dennis Compton’s funeral
Dennis’s funeral took place on 7th February at South Oxon Crematorium, Garford. We wish to write a Testimony to the Grace of God in his life. This is to be written by Don and Mahalla Mason. We will ask Area Meeting next Saturday if there is someone from another meeting who would like to contribute.
08/18 : Record of our Away Day
We shared our Away Day at Charney Manor on Sunday 25th February with Burford and Charlbury Friends. This was partly funded by Sue Bower’s generous legacy. Friends enjoyed the afternoon. Many thanks to Jennifer Barraclough for organising the day and to Lesley & Roger for the music session and to Sharon Watson for the poetry session. A card of appreciation was sent to John Bowers.
09/18 : Representatives for Area Meeting
Area Meeting will take place on Saturday 10th March at Burford Friends’ Meeting House at 10.30 and at 2.00. We appoint Ann White and Jennifer Barraclough to be our representatives.
10/18 : Spiritual and Pastoral Care Gathering
Our next gathering is on Sunday March 18th at noon.
11/18 : We record that a visit was made by the meeting to Witney Buttercross Cubs on 27th February. 17 cubs and 4 leaders were present. An Introduction to Quakers was given and an assembly about co-operation from the Quaker Life Peace pack. We were asked to return again at a later date. We thank Adam Noble and Mahalla Mason for this visit.
There being no other business, the Meeting closed with a short period of Worship at noon.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Witney, Charlbury and Burford Friends at Charney Manor 25.2.18

On Sunday 25 February, more than 30 Friends from Witney, Burford, and Charlbury LMs met to spend an afternoon together at Charney Manor. The event was made possible by a legacy to Witney LM from our Friend Sue Bowers, who with her husband John did so much to revitalise Witney Meeting and were well known to Charlbury and Burford Friends. Sue always wanted to ensure that members of a meeting got to know one another in informal as well as formal ways, and Witney Friends decided that creating an opportunity for old and new f/Friends to be together would have been greatly to Sue's liking. 
We enjoyed a very light programme of activities which included music-making led by Lesley Morris and Roger Cullen, poetry reading (old and new favourites) led by Sharon Watson, and a chance to sit, talk, walk and relax in the spring sunshine. We spent half an hour in worship before our evening meal and farewells, and sent a card of appreciation to John Bowers in Letcombe Regis, as well as remembering other Friends unable to be present. Thanks to all who came and made it such a special occasion.