We were delighted to welcome seventeen riders travelling from Swarthmore Hall, in the Northwest of England, to Downing Street, London. They were witnessing to the terrible consequences of cuts to funding for the vulnerable and disabled. Their declaration can be seen by clicking on this link. Declaration for Equality and the Common Good.
They were inspired by their own experiences and by the historic ride by Margaret Fell, the “Mother of Quakerism” from her home, Swarthmore Hall, to present a petition to Charles II, pleading for an end to the persecution of Quakers, who, she declared are a “peaceable people”.
The riders included people with disabilities and carers with first hand experience of the tragic effects of the introduction of the universal credit system. Their message is “We can afford to care”. See this quick snap shot.
They started their journey on Sunday 22nd July and aim to present their petition to number 10 Downing Street at 3pm on Friday 3rd August.
We welcomed them on Tuesday 31st July after they had ridden from Northampton via Milton Keynes. We enjoyed a meal together and shared stories and concerns. Some slept on the Meeting House floor, others in the garden under the stars and the rest in Friends Homes. They left after breakfast and a short Meeting for Worship on Wednesday morning, having dealt with a broken spoke and a puncture!
It is possible to follow their progress and learn more about their witness by following this link.
A special meeting will be held to discern the way forward for the Meeting. It will be after Meeting for Worship on Sunday 18th March. Such a Meeting is often called a ‘Threshing Meeting’ as ideas are collected and examined. This is a positive looking ahead to ensure succession planning of officers, the possibilities for growth and developments.
There was a warm welcome and good food for our Friendship Meal on Sunday 17th December. The room was full of people and the plates were full of food.
The work to make the sycamore tree safe has now been completed, perhaps just in time as there was heavy snow fall today. Here is a picture of how the tree looks now in the snow.
3rd 10.45am Meeting for Worship
12noon Meeting for Worship for Business
6th 11.30am Meeting for Worship (approximately 30 Minutes)
10th 10.45am Meeting for Worship
17th 10.45am Meeting for Worship (all-age) followed by shared lunch
24th 10.45am Meeting for Worship
31st 10.45am Meeting for Worship
Ist November Wednesday 11.30am Mid-Week Meeting for Worship
12.00 Shared lunch – all welcome
3rd November Friday 2pm Gardening Working Party
5th November Sunday 10.45am Meeting for Worship
12th November Sunday 10.45am Meeting for Worship
19th November Sunday 10.45am Meeting for Worship
2pm Area Meeting at Milton Keynes Meeting House
26th November 10.45am Meeting for Worship
1st Meeting for Worship at 10.45am
Quaker Week – theme Living in Turbulent Times
4th Meeting for Worship at 11.30am
6th Garden tidy-up session starting at 2pm
8th Meeting for Worship at 10.45am
Area Meeting At Hemel Hempstead at 2pm
15th Meeting for Worship at 10.45am
20th Shared Meal with Milton Keynes Friends at 7pm
22nd Meeting for Worship at 10.45am
Meeting for Worship for Business at 12noon
29th British Summer Time ends
Meeting for Worship at 10.45am
We are grateful to our residents around the courtyard for their contribution to making the area beautiful with colourful flowers and by clearing the cobbles of weeds.
We have agreed to meet weekly for worship for a trial period beginning on 3rd September at 10.45am. We also plan to hold a short mid-week Meeting for Worship on the first Wednesday of every month starting on the 6th September. We will begin at 11.30am and the worship may be preceded or followed by refreshments, gardening or opportunities to learn more about being Quaker.
Meeting for Butterflies
On Sunday, 23rd July, four Friends held a Meeting for Butterflies! The idea was to spend fifteen minutes sitting in silence watching for Butterflies as part of the countrywide Butterfly Count, then to continue in silent worship. In the time spent in the garden there were three butterflies, a small white, a large white and a Meadow Brown. The joyous response to the sightings could, I suppose be compared to the joy felt at an inspiring ministry. Perhaps that is just what the butterflies were – ministries of beauty and delight!