For the last few weeks we have enjoyed meeting in the open air in the garden. The weather has been kind. About half of the area has been left unmown, and is covered in bright little yellow flowers. This photograph was taken after our meeting today.
We held our first Meeting for Worship together today since March. There were six of us in the pleasant surroundings of the garden, bathed in sunlight and blessed with birdsong. The flowers in the courtyard are wonderful, thanks to Mary.
Having carried out a risk assessment and put in place posters about safety during COVID-19 and provided for hand-washing or sanitiser, and markings for social distancing etc., we are able to resume weekly Meetings for Worship, outdoor for preference, but indoors if the weather is not kind. We will be limited to eight people if we move indoors, so registration with the Clerk is necessary. The kitchen will not be used nor will there be anything that is normally shared, such as books. The cleaning regime for the Meeting House and particularly the toilets will be considered with our cleaner this week. They’re will be a one way system operating when we meet indoors, so please follow the guidance of the welcomers. We are not planning to re-open for any other groups before September at the earliest.
We continue to care for each other and keep in touch by phone and email. Please contact Adela or Jackie our Overseers with any concerns.
On a visit to the Meeting house to check all is well, which it is, I took some photographs of the garden.
The trees we planted seem to be doing well, and
the wild flower beds are busting with life.
The bluebells are out.
The weeds look pretty too!
The grass has been cut and one of the wild flower beds has been weeded and more flower seeds sown. One of the shrubs is in full bloom and the sunshine makes it all look lovely.
Leilani has written an account of the Quaker Voluntary Action Gardening Working
Party that happened in October. Please click on this link to read it.
A group of six volunteers gathered this last week for a gardening retreat. Organised by Quaker Voluntary Action (QVA), they came from as far away as Glasgow and stayed from Wednesday to Sunday. Some slept in the Meeting House others stayed with local Friends.
They worked extremely hard each morning and most afternoons. They pruned overgrown shrubs and cleared nettles, ivy and other persistent weeds. A new herb bed was planted, a new wildflower area created, a leaf-storage area constructed and a spiral meditation walk created out of cobbles. Perhaps the most demanding job was lifting the gravestones and re-laying them over fabric to suppress the weeds.
Among the new plants were cotoneaster, which will provide ground cover, and Hebe to replace one that has died in the drought last year. They also put in the herb area some lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage.
The volunteers shared in Sunday morning Meeting for Worship before returning home. Our heartfelt thanks for their hard work, which has transformed the garden.
We are grateful to our residents for the care they take in making the courtyard full of colour. The hanging baskets, troughs and beds are full of beautiful flowers.
This summer the small wildflower bed we created last year has been a wonderful picture of red and white flowers. Poppies and daisies self-seeded and have flowered profusely.
Signs that Sprng is on its way as Snowdrops decorate the garden. 17.2.19
The Leighton-Linslade Churches Together Service to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held at the Friends Meeting House on Sunday 20th January 2019 at 3.30pm.
This is an annual opportunity for Christians to meet together and express their commitment to seek unity. This year the material for the service comes from Christians in Indonesia. The theme is ‘Justice and only justice you shall pursue’. Indonesia is a very diverse country and unity is valued, but there are huge gaps between rich and poor, and some antagonism between different groups.
One of the reflections for individual use during the eight days of Prayer is …
If I am to speak truth to power, whose truth do I speak?
Whose justice do I seek in the space between my right-ness and that of the ‘other’?
If I say ‘yes’ to justice, does that make it all mine?
What of the grey between the emphatics?
Let me declare boldly, sure-footedly that my yes is a “yes-yes”, and my no is “no”.’ Says Jesus. ‘Let me draw clarity in the sand that defines and refines knowledge, truth and tales in such a way that all are sure. ‘Let me dwell deep in the place within
where, regardless of the outward form you know beyond doubt’s shadow,
that truth and justice, peace and righteousness lie.
‘And let me, in my boldness turn widdershins the hypocrisy of
those who confuse integrity with fake-ness,
who obscure truth with falsehood and call it news.
‘Let me boldly be good news.’