x Quaker news
News about Quakers in Devon and Cornwall, and national or international news relevant to local Quaker concerns.
YM 2010 decided to allow non-Quaker journalists into future Yearly Meetings, so they will probably be invited to YM Gathering at Canterbury in 2011.
Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering, July 25 – August 1, 2009
The headline in the Times on 1 August read. “Quakers back gay marriage and call for reform”, and the third leader in the Guardian on the same day was headed “In praise....... of the Quakers”.
General Meeting: the end of a long history
The meeting on Addiction, held at Exeter FMH on 11 November, marked the end of General Meeting for Devon and Cornwall as a separate organisation within BYM. A report of the meeting of 11 November is on the GM page.
Quarterly Meetings were established in Devon and Cornwall in 1668 with responsibility for all local Meetings, and from 1870 a single QM covered both counties. In 1967 it was renamed Devon and Cornwall General Meeting, but from January 2007 the executive role of all GMs in the UK was removed, and since then our GM has concentrated on arranging days for Friends in the two counties to consider subjects of mutual concern, with an attendance of about 30 hardy travellers, from places as far apart as Penzance and Sidmouth.
Joint meetings will in future be organized by an 'Arrangements Committee', consisting of representatives of Devon and Cornwall Area Meetings; so in 2009 the GM page on this website (see the menu) will become the Devon and Cornwall Arrangements Committee page. The committee will continue to be responsible for the List of Members and the website, but not the GM trusts. If this seems simply a case of "The King is dead, long live the King", it isn't; for the two Area Meetings will necessarily be far more involved with the organisation of their joint events in future. Alan Ray-Jones, 13 November 2008.
For two years I have been hoping that BYM would start a forum on which any topic could be raised or discussed by any Quaker anywhere, and now they've done it! Furthermore, it is easy to use. I recommend it to anyone who is that way inclined and can get online. If you experience any difficulty in using it I'll be happy to help. Just click here and register. Alan Ray-Jones
Yearly Meeting, London, May 2008
YM was attended by up to 800 Friends including 100 children; plus 119 non-members. It was exciting, challenging, emotional in parts, exhausting. In the session 'Deeper and wider - united in the Spirit' we were given a suggested description of how Quakerism works, in a nutshell: "Through a process of continuing and continual discernment I open myself to the inward light and allow it to transform me, then go out into the world and act in that place".
The session 'Being the seeds of change', asked for answers to three questions:
1. What would empower us to take a bolder stand;
2. How can we help each other;
3. Can we develop a true witness for a transformed society?
The draft 'Longterm Framework' was about transforming the way BYM works by developing networks nationwide; and priorities for future work. We may look back on this as a pivotal meeting.
YM documents can be seen on the YM 2008 page of the BYM website. Alan Ray-Jones, May 2008
Experience of Quaker Quest at Bideford Meeting in 2007
Bideford Friends held a Quaker Quest, delivered as a set of three weekly sessions repeated without a break, on Monday evenings in September & October 2007. Planning took about 10 months.