‘Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another; and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.’
Isaac Pennington 1667, QF&P 10.01
Tuesday 1st Interfaith Discussion Group 6.30 to 7.30/8pm in the Catholic Church Hall Theme:’ New Year Festivals’
Sunday 6th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am
Wednesday 9th Experiment with Light group, 10.30 am in the Long Room
Thursday 10th 7.30pm Book group at the Meeting House ‘ A Room of my Own’ by Virginia Woolf
Sunday 13th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am
Monday 14th Distant Healing group. 10.00 am in the Long Room
Wednesday 16th 7.30 pm Bible Study ( John chapter 13) at David Oelman’s home, 15 Borough Lane
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
Beginning Sunday, January 20th
Sunday 20th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am followed by Bring and Share Lunch. Do stay and get to know one another better over lunch.
ALSO Special service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 10:00 am Service for all churches at St Mary’s
Thursday January 24th Agape Meal. Also at St Marys (Parish Rooms): 7:15 for 7:30 Either let John Capper know by 19th or e-mail Kathryn Fiddock of St Mary’s: email@example.com
Saturday 26th We will be holding another Death Cafe at Stansted Meeting House. 11.00 to 12.30. Please contact Gill Parker, Saffron Walden or Sue Moloney, Stansted.We have lost a number of Friends through death over the last few months. You might find it helpful to share the issues these have raised with others.The poster is attached to this newsletter. Please bring anyone you think might find this helpful.
Sunday 27th Meeting for Worship 10.30 am No formal Children’s Meeting. Followed by Local Meeting for Business which will include the accounts and update on Elders and Overseers discussions on pastoral matters.
Thursday 31st 3.30pm. Friends in Christ Meeting for Worship in the Catholic Church Hall
Saturday February 9th You are all invited to the Area Meeting Curry lunch at Bardfield Meeting House, 12.00 noon onwards.
This is being organised by Nasreen Saxton, Bijon Roy, Jackie Bartlett and Angela Howard. Please let them know if you would like to attend
A date for April!
Saturday 6th at Saffron Walden Meeting House Area Meeting : Workshop on Having Difficult Conversations.
Collections for January
January 6th Friends of Hlekweni
January 13th Quaker Action of Alcohol and Drugs
January 20st Quakers in Criminal Justice
January 27th Central Work
DON’T FORGET to sign up for the Coffee Rota and the Flower rota!
Have you heard about the Saffron Walden Against Climate Change Group?
Go to www.swacc.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join or find out more.
Can you help? You may remember that Saffron Walden Meeting is a Sanctuary Meeting, but up to now have not only been able to support asylum seekers coming to Saffron Walden. If you know of or have a property to rent, NOW is your chance. Please contact Eddie to find out more. FAQ’s regarding this are at the end of this newsletter.
John Capper has received this mail from Eddie Campbell general manager of Essex Integration
‘Hi John ,Thank you for your email inquiring about the refugee resettlement programme and what is required for a possible family to be resettled in Saffron Walden. We are looking for landlords that will accept the local housing rate and are willing rent to refugees, who have full access to public funds etc. the property needs to 2-4 bed. Look forward to hearing from you
Eddie Campbell, General Manager
76, East Hill, Colchester, CO1 2QW
T 01206 861180 E Eddie@essexintegration.org’
Charity number 1086364’
Area meeting dates for 2019
Sunday March 10th at Dunmow
Sunday June 9th at Bardfield
Sunday Sept 8th at Saffron Walden
Sunday December 8th at Stansted
Saffron Walden Local Meetings for Business in 2019
National events and conferences and information
Quaker Life All Age Outreach Conference 2019
15-17 February 2019, High Leigh Conference Centre, Hertfordshire
This event is aimed at Quakers who are keen to reach out and help build dynamic welcoming Quaker communities. The event will be truly all age with everyone working creatively together throughout the weekend to share experience, ideas and inspiration.
Some bursary assistance to help with travel may be available.
Elizabeth Scott, ElizabethSc@quaker.org.uk, 020 7663 1121 www.quaker.org.uk/events/outreachconference2019
Please let me or Clare know if you would like to attend.
All Are Welcome: Engaging and connecting with families
10.30am – 4.00pm, Saturday 2 March 2019, Friends House, London
A day for Friends to come together to share stories and explore what it means to be an all age community.
Online booking form: https://forms.quaker.org.uk/families/ For more information contact:
Mel Cook, email@example.com, 020 7663 1014
Friday 22–24 March 2019: QPSW Spring Conference: Journeys of Witness Swanwick Conference Centre, Derbyshire,
22 - 24 March 2019, Alfreton
Quaker witness takes many forms – it can be both personal and shared, loud and quiet, lifelong and sporadic, depleting and nourishing. Quaker Peace & Social Witness seeks to support Friends individually in their lives, jointly in their meetings and in Britain Yearly Meeting, to translate our faith into action and to be part of a movement for positive social change.
Sharing our stories connects us and deepens our understanding of our witness. This year we hope to welcome Nim Njuguna as our keynote speaker. Nim is a former Quaker prison chaplain and restorative justice trainer. He has recently received an Eva Koch scholarship to research diversity and inclusion in the Quaker community.
Come and find out more about the work of Quaker Peace & Social Witness, how we work in the world on behalf of Friends and how you can get involved. And you can tell us how we can best support you and your meeting.
You will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with some of those who deliver the programmes of work. You will learn how work is discerned and overseen by Friends and there will be ample opportunity to reflect on what you have heard and to get to know other Friends.
The Conference is particularly aimed at:
Those new to the work of QPSW
We hope the following work programmes will be amongst those featured:
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel Palestine
Peace Education and Campaigning and Networking
One Year UK Peaceworker Placements
This is a BYM event.
For more information contact:
Telephone: 020 7663 1121 or email via the quaker.org.uk website
Can you go for us? The Area meeting will pay for you to attend. We usually like to send two people.
Other National Quaker Information
Patterns and examples: deep roots for strong communities
Gatherings in 2019
Do you serve our meeting? Would you benefit from a day of support, training, and spiritual nurture? Patterns and Examples days are gatherings for all adult role holders, and children and young people aged 6 to 18. Each one will be an opportunity to meet Friends, make friends, share ideas and worries, develop your skills and build our Quaker communities.
To book, visit: forms.quaker.org.uk/patterns-and-examples For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 0121 4156 770
email@example.com, 020 7663 1007
One of these is at Friends House, later in the year on the 14th September, when there will be a crèche for 0 to 5 yr olds.
Inclusion and diversity
Inclusion and diversity survey
Yearly Meeting 2017 minuted “a call to examine our diversity” and a diversity and inclusion coordinator was appointed to look at the current makeup of the Quaker community in order to help us to develop in more inclusive ways. The inclusion and diversity survey has been put together to help with this work. Please can you complete the survey. It is completely anonymous and the results will be collated at BYM. www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/quakersurvey
Edwina Peart, EdwinaP@quaker.org.uk, 0207 663 1148 Please complete the survey by 28 March 2019
Why not do it now? It’s very short, Gill
The new Woodbrooke brochure for 2019 is out.
Why not make a new year resolution to book a course. Overseers can help with finance. Woodbrooke gives a £50 discount for first timers as well.
There’s lots of information about upcoming courses, retreats etc. too on all these websites
Please let me have items for the February newsletter by January 29th.
Please also let me know if you would prefer not to receive this newsletter.
Wishing you all the best for the coming year
In Friendship and peace
Gill Parker firstname.lastname@example.org 01799 550692
Come to our Death Café
Would you like to share your thoughts about
End of Life and Bereavement?
When: Saturday January 26th,
11.00 to 12.30
Where: Stansted Quaker Meeting House
“At a Death Café people gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death in an accessible, respectful and confidential space.
The objective is 'to increase an awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their earthly lives'.
A Death Café is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.” (Excerpt from www.deathcafe.com)
Contact Gill Parker, Sue Moloney, Angela Howard and Heather Kent for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Landlords for Refugees in Essex
In autumn 2015, the Government announced that the UK will resettle 20,000 of the most vulnerable refugees by 2020 through its Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). Local authority participation in the scheme is voluntary and any arrangements made will be based on agreements with individual landlords.
Why do we need privately rented homes for refugees?
Essex Integration is committed to resettling refugees in the county through the Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) but at no disadvantage to local residents.
Although Essex Integration is working with local housing partners, estate agents and private rented sector in order not to impact on the limited supply and existing demand on our social housing.
Can I rent just one room to a refugee in this scheme?
Refugees are classed by Government as ‘vulnerable people’ so we can’t accept a room, or rooms, within a shared home. Home Office guidance is that for the scheme to work best only self-contained accommodation is suitable. Therefore, we can only accept accommodation which has its own lockable door and private bathroom and kitchen facilities.
However, if you’d like to find out more about providing a spare room to a refugee there are several organisations that can help you and answer any questions you may have. These include Refugees at Home and Room for Refugees.
What types of property are needed?
We need all types of property, from studio flats to 1, 2, 3+ bedroom homes. We are hoping to resettle individual adults, couples and small families and are looking at the types of properties that will meet their needs. However, we have been made aware that there are a greater number of larger refugee families (4 – 6 persons) awaiting resettlement, so larger properties would be especially appreciated.
How long do I need to be willing to rent my property for?
You’ll need to be in a position to offer your property for at least 2 years. However, 3 years or more is preferable, to ensure resettled refugees are offered as much stability as possible.
It is essential refugees are given safe space and enough time for our local support package to help them integrate better into the community and address any specific needs they may have. If you’re only able to commit to 1 year though, that’s fine, your offer is most welcome.
How much will I be paid to rent my property?
The rent you’ll be paid will fall within the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) bands. LHA payments for different sizes of property are limited within a given broad rental market area (BRMA).
Our research shows that the larger the property the greater the gap between the LHA and the advertised market rent. A small number of refugees have been resettled so far and this has primarily been down to concerned and philanthropic landlords who are willing to offer their properties at below market rates.
What about deposits?
We understand deposits provide security and are important to many landlords. We will negotiate with Landlords on behalf of the prospective tenants in order to secure the properties and this will include dealing with requests for deposits. It is important to seek to procure properties at, or close to, the LHA rate for the area that the property is located to ensure affordability.
Will the rent be paid direct to the landlord or refugee?
It will be possible in some circumstances to have the rent paid directly to landlords. This will depend primarily on an assessment of the tenant’s vulnerability. Working age tenants in receipt of benefits who move into accommodation in Essex are expected to claim Universal Credit (UC or JSA to pay for their housing costs. The housing costs element of UC will be paid directly to the tenant who will be responsible for paying the landlord. In certain circumstances, where the tenant is deemed to be vulnerable, alternative payment arrangements (APA) can be applied for to facilitate payments of UC directly to landlords. If direct payment is an important issue for you in considering whether or not to take part in the scheme, we can discuss this with you and are able to make arrangements on a case-by-case basis.
What happens if payments are stopped for some reason?
If payments are stopped for any reason, the landlord or tenant can contact the Council’s HB (Housing Benefit) Assist team for assistance in resolving any payment issues and enable reinstatement of the tenant’s HB or UC housing costs. Our aim is to make sure that rent is paid in full and on time in all circumstances. The HB Assist team can help tenants with their on-line UC claim and can fast-track claims, subject to the usual Housing Benefit rules.
Who will pay the utility bills?
The refugees will themselves pay the utility bills. Those resettled under the Government scheme will arrive with refugee status. This allows them to work and have full entitlement to state benefits. The local support package will include assistance around improving their English, integrating them into the local community, training, volunteering, and helping adults find employment.
How long will it take to organise for an individual or family to move into my property?
It usually takes about 6 weeks, from the time we contact the Government with a specific accommodation offer, before the refugees arrive in the UK. However, arrangements can be made to pay rent to landlords before this, so that landlords will not incur void costs before the refugees actually take up residence.
What do I do if I currently have a tenant but would like to help in the future?
If you have a property that might be available in the future, or if you’d just like to find out more at this stage, please get in touch with us. We’d very much like to hear from any landlords who are interested in taking part in the scheme, whether now or in the near-future. Together we can discuss your particular circumstances, and your property, and go from there.
Do I need to be a registered landlord to offer my property to a refugee?
No. There is no requirement to ‘register’ as a landlord although the usual rules on health and safety of the property would still apply and any prospective landlord would be expected to comply with statutory terms and conditions. We can provide further information and advice as needed in relation to specific properties. We’re happy to discuss all of this with you if you’d like to find out more. In the meantime, here’s a link to the standard health and safety rules that apply to all privately let accommodation: https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/landlordresponsibilities
Can I choose who to offer my property to?
Yes. In matching your property with the needs of the refugees we can discuss options and share basic information with you, such as gender and age range for example. However, there has to be agreement by landlords to participate in the scheme before negotiations with Government can take place and potential individuals and families can be matched with your property.
What kinds of checks are made beforehand?
All refugees in the programme go through a thorough vetting process, where they are screened and considered by the Home Office for suitability for entry to the UK. The checks include medical health and security.
Existing evidence indicates that despite their often-traumatic experiences, refugees who resettle in the UK as part of VPRS are able to integrate well.
What happens if I have any problems during the tenancy?
Landlords will be provided with named contacts within Essex Integration to discuss any issues that arise during the tenancy. The Council is responsible for ensuring the housing needs of refugees are met and if refugees find themselves homeless the Council will reassess their housing needs in accordance with homelessness legislation.
I want to know more. Who can I speak to?
Please contact Eddie Campbell or the Team on 01206 861180 or email email@example.com
Trustees Report for 2017
Click for a copy of this report for our Thaxted Area. It will be transferred into your downloads folder.
National Events and information
Outreach Conference 2019
15-17 February 2019, High Leigh Conference Centre, Hertfordshire
Making Quakers well known and widely understood
www.quaker.org.uk/events/outreachconference2019 For more details: 020 7663 1017
Please let Gill or Biddy know if you would like to represent our Area meeting at this event
Children and young people
Volunteers needed for children and young people’s events in 2019. There are a variety of national events being planned for children and young people in 2019. These rely on the support of volunteers. Being on a team at a CYP event offers the chance to be part of a purposeful Quaker community, to develop skills and to make a difference to the lives of children and young people.Full details, including an online offer of service form, can be found at: www.quaker.org.uk/volunteercyp
For paper copies of this information please contact:
Aleksandra Zawadzka, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7663 1013
Offers are needed by the end of November 2018
Quaker United Nations Summer School
7–19 July 2019, Geneva
The 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, email@example.com, tel 00 41 22 748 4800
Deadline for applications 2nd January 2019
Application forms and more information are available from early November at: www.quno.org/quaker-un-summer-school-2019
Do you know anyone who would like to go? Gill
Resist the arms fair
Are you part of resisting the arms fair?
Roots of Resistance is the new network of Quakers dedicated to mobilising to stop the DSEI arms fair in 2019. The biggest Meeting for Worship outside Yearly Meeting in 2017 was held in protest outside DSEI. The aim is for 1,000 to stop the arms fair.
Roots of Resistance are looking for people to help mobilise Friends to oppose the DSEI arms fair in London 2019. No experience required!
Answering that of God in everyone: A diversity and inclusion national gathering
Woodbrooke 18-20 January 2019
A diverse and inclusive community where all are welcomed has been an ever present aspiration for Quakers. This conference aims to equip Friends to make it a reality.
Booking is now open for this event. Biddy has a flyer about this.
Please let Biddy or Gill know if you would like to represent us.
This is the 2018 Schedule and the 2019 collection is being progressed:
March 4th Water Aid
March 11th Friends’ Church in Bhaktapur, Nepal
March 18th Young Friends’ General Meeting
March 25th Central Work
April 1st Practical Action
April 8th Peace Museum, Bradford
April 15th Vacation Bible School
April 22nd Medical Aid for Palestine
April 29th Central Work
May 6th Christian Aid
May 13th Christian Aid
May 20th Friends’ Church in Bhaktapur, Nepal
May 27th Central Work
June 3rd Quaker Bolivia Education Fund
June 10th QSA
June 17th QSA
June 24th Central Work
July 1st Glebe House
July 8th Brummana High School
July 15th Quaker Congo Partnership
July 22nd Quakers in Criminal Justice
July 29th Central Work
August 5th Quaker Concern Against Torture
August 12th Friends’ Church in Bhaktapur, Nepal
August 19th Quaker Tapestry
August 26th Central Work
September 2nd Citizens Advice, Saffron Walden
September 9th Corymeela Community
September 16th Quaker International Centre, Ramallah
September 23rd Friends’ House, Moscow
September 30th Central Work
October 7th Friends’ Housing Bursary
October 14th Quaker Bolivia Link
October 21st Friends’ Church in Bhaktapur, Nepal
October 28th Central Work
November 4th QCEA
November 11th Quaker Service Belfast
November 18th Money for Madagascar
November 25th Central Work
December 2nd ` Peaceways
December 9th QHA
December 16th QHA
December 23rd QHA
December 30th Central Work