Saffron Walden June 2019 Newsletter

Theme of Yearly Meeting 2019 ‘Facing power and privilege’

“ Let us begin to understand what it means to be in unity with others and with the whole of creation, acting out of love rather than duty or fear. It’s all about Love.
Last sentence of YM epistle 2019

You can read the whole of the YM epistle at the end of this newsletter or watch videos of the speakers and read what happened at Yearly Meeting. Just go to

June dates for your calendar.

Saturday 1st 10.30 to 12.00 at Stansted Meeting House. Heather Kent will lead a workshop exploring the theme ‘Walking each other home.’
See below for more details.

Sunday 2nd Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am
Tuesday 4th Interfaith Group in Catholic Church Hall, 6.30 to 7.30/8pm. The theme this month is ‘Eastertide, Hockingtide, Rogationtide & Solstice

Wednesday 5th Experiment with Light group, 10.30 am in the Long Room
Thursday 6th Launch of Angela Howard’s book ‘Not going quietly’ at Harts Bookshop, starting at 6.30. There will be refreshments and please bring a friend and wear a hat! There is a flier attached at the end of this newsletter.
Saturday 8th at our Meeting House  10.30 to 12.30 World Day of Prayer Coffee morning
Sunday 9th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am
ALSO Area Meeting at Bardfield Meeting House beginning at 12.45.
We will be hearing reflections on the Yearly Meeting and having a short workshop on the theme of Power and Privilege led by our Quaker Life representative council Rep, Catherine Tylke as well as an application for membership among other items All welcome. If you haven’t been before, do come and experience an Area Meeting. Just let me or Biddy know.
The Meeting will be preceded by a light lunch provided by Bardfield Friends. Please let Angela Howard know if you would like lunch. 01371 850423

Monday 10th Distant Healing group. 10.00 am in the Long Room
Thursday 13th Bible Study Group at 15 Borough Lane when we will be looking at Philippians.
Sunday 16th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am followed by Bring and Share lunch. Why not stay and get to know other Friends better?
Thursday 20th Book group in the Long Room 7.30. The book we will be reading is 'Disobedience ' by Naomi Alderman.

Saturday 22
nd 2pm. Memorial Meeting for David Wood, Please let Biddy Vousden know if you can bring cake and can help with the tea .
01799 500854

ALSO on the Common ‘More in Common’ 12.00 till 4pm. We would like to have a Quaker table at this event, with literature. This can only happen with your help. Please contact Clare Yerbury if you can help with this as some of the ‘regulars’ will be supporting Sally Wood and Jonathan at the memorial meeting.
01799 540860

Thursday 27th Meeting for Worship of Friends in Christ at 3.30 in the Catholic Church Hall.

Sunday 30th Meeting for Worship 10.30 am No formal Children’s Meeting.
ALSO Come and have food and a jolly time from 5.30 to 8.30 pm.
Early evening garden party/(vegetarian) BBQ. at the Meeting House and hopefully in the garden. This will include a BBQ, and may also include musical instruments, and perhaps Jo Eden leading some singing.
More information later!
Looking forward to July
Saturday July 20th at Bardfield Meeting House, 12.30 onwards . A ‘Get to know each other better’ occasion. Come with a Bring and Share lunch. The afternoon will include a short Meeting for Worship and plenty of time to talk with each other.
Collections for June
June 2nd Quaker Bolivia Education Fund
June 9th Quaker Social Action
June 16th Quaker Social Action
June 23rd Glebe House
June 30th Central Work

Don’t forget to sign up for the coffee and flower rotas
Contact details for organisers of regular groups

      There’s lots of information about upcoming courses, retreats etc. on all these websites
      Overseers can help with finance. Woodbrooke gives a £50 discount for first timers as well.

      Please let me have items for the June newsletter by 25th June
      Please also let me know if you would prefer not to receive this newsletter.

      In Friendship and in Peace
      Gill Parker
      01799 550692

      On Saturday June 1st at Stansted Meeting House, Heather Kent will be leading the following session: Arising out of our two discussions with Friends at Accra Meeting House when we explored the ideas of the treatment of the stranger and the themes of independence, dependence and interdependence, we are holding a morning workshop at Stansted Meeting House on Saturday 1st June between 10.30-12.00 and developing these discussions with a morning based on the Emmaus Road story from Luke 24: 13-35 and the exploration of the theme of 'Walking each other home'. The morning will include some guided discussions about 'Friends' and 'Strangers', a chance to share with others and quiet time to reflect and respond. The aim is, the words from the Sanctuary Everywhere Manifesto', to deepen ' a strong spiritual foundation' as the basis for any practical action we may feel moved to take.

      Children’s Meeting and young People’s information
      2 June
      Craft Activity
      9 June
      Sea life and craft activity for display (Quaker Advice and Query 42)
      16 June
      Cooking and Shared Lunch
      23 and 30 June - no formal CYPM (4th and 5th Sundays )
      A new or visitor family can be met by a designated member of Meeting and introduced to the Long Room Resources and CYPM contact information
      Quaker young people’s events: and see calendar wall poster on hallway board.
      Living as a Quaker event for 11- to 15-year-olds
      18–21 October 2019 at the Sustainability Centre, Hampshire
      a long weekend this event offers young people the opportunity to learn more about Quaker identity, values and beliefs, as well as exploring how to talk about being a Quaker. There will be interactive sessions alongside crafts, cooking, campfires and shelter building.
      costs £125 and the closing date for bookings is 21 September. Aleks Zawadzka,, 0207 663 1013
      Please encourage the young people you know to go to this event. Financial help is available through the overseers, John Evans, Nasreen Saxton and Mary Scott.

      Saffron Walden Group against Climate Change

      A way to support our Quaker commitment against Climate Change

      Saffron Walden Against Climate Change (SWACC) was founded by mum-of-two Louise Yellowlees in early November and the group has nearly 200 members already.
      Weekly coffee and monthly collaborative speaker events can be found at,

      National Quaker news and information

      Roots of Resistance
      Roots of Resistance, a grassroots network of Quakers across the UK who are building a creative, vibrant and radical Quaker response to the DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International) arms fair has just published its action briefing which outlines how they hope to take action together. The briefing can be downloaded from its website. For printed versions, please email Roots of Resistance.
      Pasted Graphic 1

      Quakers in Britain
      At the end of Yearly Meeting, the annual gathering of Quakers in Britain, an epistle is shared to communicate with Quakers around the world the news of "how the Spirit is faring":
      "Loving greetings to Friends everywhere,
      Our themes have encouraged us to look through the lens of privilege at climate justice, and at diversity and inclusion. The opening session was one of tenderness and love. We heard about the need to be a trusting and trusted community, sharing our insights and experience, perhaps bringing to light what has been hidden. In their introduction, our clerks acknowledged that we are confronting difficult and potentially alienating topics. There is a risk of becoming mired in introspection and failing to address the challenges presented to us.
      Each of us is at a different stage of this journey and has different understandings of the issues involved. The word ‘privilege’ has been used in two distinct ways this weekend: as a blessing we experience and as the unearned advantages a person can inherit from birth and/or accumulate over time. This has brought some frustrations. Our identities are complex and multifaceted. We need to be aware of the ways in which we can simultaneously have, and lack, privilege.
      The words of Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) frame the challenge we face: “We recognise the exclusion we may create is not intentional but it doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for it. There is a feeling Quakers are passively inclusive. Our testimony to equality makes us complacent.” (from JYM 2019, Minute 1)
      We need to be gentle with Friends who feel uncertain about how to engage whilst moving with a sense of urgency, knowing that these issues are an everyday source of pain for some of us.
      Over 1,200 Friends have participated. Our twin themes have been woven together in main sessions, parallel sessions, special interest groups, programmed and unprogrammed worship, across different age groups and in the buzz of our shared spaces. The children’s programme focused on caring and including. Exploring the themes worshipfully through dance and singing has been a gentle way to make friends and build our spiritual community.
      During our time together, we’ve shed tears of joy, of emotion and of sadness. We are thankful to Friends who were able to share the riches and vulnerabilities in their life stories. Listening to these stories in the Spirit helps us to reflect on how we need to change.
      “There is nothing that age, experience and status can do to pre-judge where and how the Light will appear.” (Quaker faith & practice, 23.32)
      We recognise that the Light may not be warm and comfortable but be a spotlight exposing our vulnerability, complicity and fear. It is from such discomfort, even being broken, that spiritual growth can come alive. We want to stay with the struggle and hold the tension.
      Guilt and shame emerged as strong themes in our opening worship: guilt for what we’ve done and shame for who we are and for what we’ve inherited. By sitting with overwhelming feelings we have the hope of transformation: anger and fear can become passion and love. Helplessness can trigger us to learn. Accountability and responsibility can guide us to make changes in our lives. In the Swarthmore Lecture, ‘On earth as it is in heaven; the kingdom of God and the yearning of creation’, we were challenged that the more we give ourselves over, the more we are given.
      We have heard how our sense of being ‘Quakerly’ can itself be a barrier. As Quakers, we are not called simply to be good – how instead, in our frailty, are we called to live faithfully?
      “Somewhere beyond right and wrong there is a garden. I will meet you there.” (Rumi)
      Let us begin to understand what it means to be in unity with others and with the whole of creation, acting out of love rather than duty or fear. It’s all about Love.
      Signed in and on behalf of Britain Yearly Meeting, Clare Scott Booth, Clerk"
      Find all the updates at Britain Yearly Meeting - event or on the website at #YM2019

      Quaker United Nations Summer School
      7–19 July 2019, Geneva
      QUNO Geneva Summer School is for young people aged about 20 to 26 from all over the world who have a keen interest in
      international affairs and the United Nations. It will be held for 12 days in July 2019 in Geneva.
      Susan Sprague,, tel 00 41 22 748 4800
      Deadline for applications 2nd January 2019
      Application forms and more information are available from early November at:
      Do you know anyone who would like to go? Gill