An update from Pip Harris, Local Development Worker, Quaker Life

These are strange times we are living through indeed. It has been an unexpected time for me as an employee of Britain Yearly Meeting. The majority of our staff have been furloughed: I am one of a small number of “Quaker Life” staff who have continued to work.  But it hasn’t been at all “work as I knew it”.  I have been working on different things, and with Quakers from across Britain. One of the welcomed advantages is that it has allowed us to continue to build an even closer working with my colleagues from Woodbrooke and Quaker Life.  We are looking at different ways of supporting our local Quaker communities. These are two areas I have been focused on:
We have been collating advice and resources for online worship; initial guidance on getting the most out of online worship and now how to develop this.  The majority of Quaker Meetings in the Westcountry are now use Zoom in some form or other, either for worship or to stay connected as a community.
Information is hosted on the Woodbrooke pages: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/about/online-mfw/setting-up-mfw/
We are running sessions to learn and share experience of facilitating online meeting for worship on Zoom. Topics will include: your own experience, security and settings, practice handling breakout rooms and Zoombombing.
The next sessions are on:
Saturday 23 May 2020 10:30-12:00 & Wednesday 3 June 19:00-21:00
Email QLadmin@quaker.org.uk to book your place.

Another important aspect of this is looking ahead for online access to physical meetings.

Spiritual Nurture and Learning
Many of you will be aware of the new Woodbrooke online courses and there has been very good uptake and feedback for these.
My own team has been experimenting with daily 9pm Epilogue and this will continue in June and July.  The May link is on the downloadable flyer (below), or email me for a copy. I’ll also be looking at how we can facilitate Zoom sessions to allow Area Meetings and Quaker groups to run some larger learning and sharing events online.  Email me if you’re interested in hearing more.

The 'new normal'?
As we see lockdown restrictions slowly lifting, our attention will be focused on helping Meetings make decisions.
I will be circulating details of a mini-conference for premises shorlty: save the time?:  Zoom 2pm Tuesday 9th June.

Closer to my previous pre-Covid19 role:

Are you 'bovvered' about this website???

As the character Lauren frequently asked in Catherine Tate’s comedy sketches: “Am I bovvered?”  If you are ‘bothered’ and have some thoughts on how we might update the website so it can become a useful tool for us, I would really appreciate talking to you. A small group of us are hoping to use the time in social isolation productively: we plan to bring forward recommendations to DAM and CAM for a new website.  We are talking to each local meeting about the use you would (or wouldn’t) like to make of any website. Please talk to the person looking at this for your meeting.

How to stay in touch with the most up-to-date Quaker information

During this extraordinary period, BYM are using the electronic update “Quake!” more frequently: no more than once a week and only while people cannot meet face-to-face or pick up the usual printed publications. You can subscribe here:

For updates and information, there is a page on the BYM website:

I also intend to use this website page to include regular weekly updates.
Stay safe and “in splendid isolation, trying to be good”!


How to contact me:

Pip Harris
Local Development Worker (West Somerset, Devon & Cornwall Area Meetings)
Email: piph@quaker.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7663 1163
Mobile: 07422 973 089
Facebook page "Vibrancy in Meetings - Quakers in Britain"
Personal facebook page "Quaker Pilgrim Pip". 
Please 'friend' us!
Background information about the Vibrancy project.