Saffron Walden Newsletter January 2020

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QF&P 21.25 Perhaps the most neglected of all the advices is that we should live adventurously. If there was one wish I would pray the Spirit to put into our Christmas stockings, it is warmth, openness, passion, a bit of emotion that doesn’t mind making a fool of itself occasionally. Gerald Priestland, 1977
A&Q 27 Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join with others in seeking clearness, asking for God’s guidance and offering counsel to one another.
Dates for January
Sunday 5
th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am
Saturday 11th
Experiment with Light group at Stansted 10.30 till 12.00.
Sunday 12th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am
Monday 13
th Distant Healing group. 10.00 Venue to be confirmed.
Sunday 19th Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting 10.30 am followed by Bring and Share Lunch Come and share a meal with other Friends.
ALSO at 10.30 am Churches Together in Saffron Walden. UNITED SERVICE at the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. URC, Abbey Lane
Monday 20th Book Club, 11.30 in the Waitrose cafe. The book is by Jean –Paul Didierlaurent and is ‘The Reader on the 6.27 train.’
Wednesday 22nd Bible study group at David Oelman’s home, 15 Borough Lane. Topic: Genesis 21 onwards. The time to be confirmed, probably afternoon.
Friday 24th Churches Together Agape Meal in the Meeting House,7.00 for 7.30pm. It is the turn of Saffron Walden Quakers to host the annual Churches Together Agape Meal next year. This is usually attended by about 50 people so it will need a team of volunteers to organise it. Chris Bainbridge has agreed to coordinate a team to prepare and serve food. John Capper will be responsible for preparing the Meeting Room for the meal. Elders will be responsible for the readings between courses. Please let Chris know if you can help. 07533 665 224 or 01799 525 590
Sunday 26th Meeting for Worship 10.30 am No organised Children’s Meeting this Sunday, Parents and children are welcome to use the Long Room.
This will be followed by
Local Meeting for Business. Please stay if you can and support the business side of our Meeting.

Wednesday 29th 7.30pm at Saffron Walden County High School
United Nations Association as part of the 74th birthday. David Owen will speak in the Boatman Centre.  This follows on from the success of a series of lectures last year which captured the imagination of many people in the town.  His preliminary theme is Global Britain”.

Thursday 30th Meeting for Worship of Friends in Christ at 3.30 in the Catholic Church Hall.

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

Children and Young People
(Continuing activity – small insect hotels)
12 January
Complete Marine Life display - Advice and Query 42
19 January
Cooking, shared lunch. (RSPB bird count next weekend)
26 January – no formal CYPM (4th Sunday)
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.

Woodbrooke courses and other courses to book

There are lots of stimulating and useful courses to enjoy. Woodbrooke brochures are in the Meeting House. Use them to choose your course or book online
Overseers can help with finance. Woodbrooke gives a £50 discount for first timers as well.
Please also see the Woodbrooke newsletter which I will send out separately.

Bookings for Yearly Meeting Gathering 2020 will open on Wednesday 8 January 2020. 

The Gathering will be held at the University of Bath from 1 – 7 August.  We hope to build a Gathering full of worship, fun, conversation, sharing, hope, games, learning, community and above all challenge.
The brochure is being sent to meetings in the week ending 11 January and this document contains practical information about the Gathering as well as material to help you prepare for Yearly Meeting.  The information contained in the brochure is also available now on our website along with a PDF version of the brochure and a PDF version of the preparation materials.
The theme for the Gathering is Listening, prophecy and reconciliation: allyship in a climate emergency.   This theme was discerned by young Friends on Junior Yearly Meeting Arrangements Committee and we have welcomed their leadership. The suggested resources contained on the website and in the brochure include links to podcasts on allyship, climate change and activism as well as other written resources.  We hope to build on these resources between now and the Gathering.
Also available on the website is the draft outline timetable.
Offering Service to Yearly Meeting
When you make your booking you will be asked to consider offering help at Gathering.  Yearly Meeting Gathering wouldn't happen without your help.  Volunteers take on a variety of roles such as doorkeepers, microphone stewards, information desk helpers and children’s session helpers.  Guidance/training will be given for all roles.  If you would like to help, please complete the form at which will also go live on 8 January.
Quaker Council for European Affairs. (QCEA) QCEA's next Study Tour will take place from 31 March - 4 April 2020, with the theme of Overcoming Polarisation and Division.
QCEA works to bring a Quaker vision of peace, justice and equality to Europe and its institutions, but we also aim to inform Friends about how European politics affects their Quaker concerns. To that end, we are now organising our next Study Tour to Brussels, and we'd like to invite you to take part.
Participants will visit the key European institutions and learn about the work of QCEA and our partners in a friendly international atmosphere. There will be a special emphasis on our ongoing efforts to build new narratives around European migration policy, and also plenty of time to share and reflect on polarisation and division in Europe more generally - as well as how we can respond.
This is a great opportunity to discover European politics together with Friends from across Europe - including QCEA's General Assembly members, who will also be in Brussels. 
We'd love for you to join us! Go to to find out more.

Quaker United Nations Office ( QUNO) Summer School
Do you know anyone between 20 and 26 years who might be interested in the QUNO summer school, 5 – 16th July 2020? Applications close on 15th January, so you need to be quick.
To find out more go to:

Would you be interested in joining in with this online conference?
FWCC’S Online Sustainability Conference with Friends Worldwide on Saturday 22 February, 2020.
Quakers Coming together to Care for the Earth and Friends Reaching Across the Branches on Earthcare,
The Conference
The conference is called: FWCC Sustainability: An Online Conference with Friends Worldwide. How does God call us to act?

  • Why are we holding this conference? As Friends, we recognise the need to respond to sustainability. Since 2007, FWCC has been working on a global response to climate change, culminating in the 2012 Kabarak Call for Peace and Eco-Justice, and in the 2016 Pisac Sustainability Minute. These have led to exploring the work Quakers are doing on sustainability across the world, asking Friends and Yearly Meetings to take action to promote sustainability at all levels.
  • We recognise the need to gather, to consult, and to understand where we are as a Quaker family which shares this urgent concern. This is where this conference comes in. Designed for learning and discernment, the conference will allow us to learn and to gather the Quaker voice, discovering how God is calling us to collectively act.
  • Structure of the conference
  • There will be three start times for the conference to suit various time zones across the world. Each start time will have 45 minutes of videos with 5 speakers. The speakers will come from each of the four FWCC sections and represent diversity of Quaker traditions, ages, and gender in order to represent the fullness of who we are across the world. After we hear from the speakers, there will be two hours for worship sharing.
  • The purpose of the worship sharing will be to listen to how we are responding to God’s call to care for creation. How are we co-creators with God and each other? Volunteers will gather what they believe is the sense of the meeting which will be shared as a statement the following week. This will help guide us as we move toward the World Plenary Meeting in 2023 in Southern Africa Yearly Meeting.
  • I hope you will be able to join us and Friends around the world on Saturday 22, 20202.
  • Find out more about the conference on our website at:
  • Register for the conference online at:
Saffron Walden Against Climate Change group SWACC
Clare Yerbury writes: I can recommend listening to the Uttlesford District Council podcast - debating and voting on the local Climate Change motion and amendment… it starts at around 48.30 minutes:
Petitions/Letters you may wish to sign
  • Petition to protect our oceans - Greenpeace    
  • Petition UK supermarkets 'Ditch throw away plastic packaging' - Greenpeace

 Good articles/books/programs to read/watch

I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter and are busy thinking about all the things you can be involved in. Information and dates etc for the February newsletter need to be with me by the 28th January if they are to be included.
Please also let me know if you would prefer not to receive this newsletter.
In Friendship and in Peace

Gill Parker
01799 550692

National Events, Courses and Conferences

Quaker Youth Work Conference
28 March 2020, Sheffield Meeting House
Networking and learning day for all involved in Quaker youth work,
i.e. link group, teenage meeting, summer
events. Free with lunch. To book
Acton,, 020 7663 1160

Singing Workshop
25 January 2020, Friends House, London
Leonora Davies and Elena Browne for a day at Friends House as we explore how to use singing in children’s meeting, all age worship and beyond. This is an event for all ages. Those under 18 will need to come with an adult who will be responsible for them during the day.
cost is £10 for adults and £5 for under 18s. A packed lunch will be provided.
To book your place, please complete the online form at:
Zawadzka,, 0207 663 1013

Volunteers needed for children & young people’s events 2020
Being on a team at a children or young people’s event gives Quakers the chance to be part of a purposeful Quaker community, to develop skills, to contribute to Quakers in Britain and to make a difference to the lives of children and young people.
details of the events planned for 2020, what is involved for volunteer team members and how to offer service, can be found on the website
of service are requested by the end of December 2019.
Zawadzka,, 0207 663 1013
Could you be a volunteer, or know someone else who might be interested?

Support for meetings
A day retreat for Quakers who work in mental health
10.30am-4pm, 29 February 2020
Edgbaston Meeting House, Birmingham
day of worship, reflection, sharing, connections and gentle activities. There is no charge for the day – but please book a place. There will be lunch and you will be asked to pay on the day for this.
Would you be interested in this? We would pay your expenses.
To book, vist For more information contact
Alison Mitchell

Major conference on Christian and spiritual peacemaking
Saturday 25 April 2020, Maria Fidelis Catholic School, London
Network of Christian Peace Organisations, of which Quaker Peace and Social Witness is an active member, is holding a major conference on Christian and spiritual peacemaking next year. The conference, whose provisional title is “Prophets and Reconcilers”, will take place on Saturday 25 April at the Maria Fidelis Catholic School in London. We are encouraging local and area meetings to send delegations to the conference to take part in it and to help make it a Please let me know if you would like to attend this for our Local or Area Meeting.
For more information please contact Daniel Jakopovich,

Sustainability Online Conference with Friends worldwide
Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) World Office is hosting an online conference with friends worldwide to gather a collective Quaker voice on sustainability. The conference will hear from speakers and will be followed by two hours of worship sharing.
in on Saturday 22 February 2020. Register on our eventbrite link via our website at
you have any questions, email

QPSW Spring Conference 2020 Journeys of Witness
20–22 March 2020, The Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire
Peace and Social Witness works with and on behalf of Quakers in Britain to turn our faith into action. This is an inspiring and inspiriting weekend and you will meet Friends from across Britain and hear about a range of QPSW work, including climate justice, learning from peace activists in East Africa and work in Israel and Palestine.
Keynote speakers will be Esther Leighton and Sam Donaldson.
Please let me, Biddy Vousden or John Searle Barnes know if you can go for us., 020 7663 1142
Peace Education
Register now for online peace education course
13 January 23 February 2020
QPSW and Woodbrooke are delivering a six week online course in peace education starting in January. If you are interested in supporting children/young people as peacemakers in their communities, this course is for you. Through a combination of videos, online activities and webinars, we will model a range of peace education approaches and the underpinning ideas. Course costs £36 and requires around
18-20 hours of flexible learning over 6 weeks.
Register at: Isabel Cartwright,, 020 76631087 or
Ellis Brooks 020 76631009
QUNO Summer School Quaker United Nations summer school
5-16 July
Applications are now open for the Quaker United Nations summer school in 2020.
Application forms and more information are available from:
or email
Closing date for applications 15 January 2020