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Life of Keighley Meeting in 2014

Published on: Published on: Monday 09 Feb 2015

Contributed by/From: Contributed by / From: Richard Vesey and Sheila Kaye

When: @

2014 has been an active one for Keighley Meeting, with the highlight being our opening of the Meeting House and garden for spectators of the Tour de France on 6th July. There had been some concern expressed in preliminary discussions about the numbers to expect and how we would manage ; but in the brilliant sunshine we were able to set out tables and chairs in the garden for visitors to rest, chat and drink their soft drinks, while others took supplies out to the crowd gathered by the roadside.

We welcomed Friends from other Meetings in a shortened Meeting for Worship before the event including Ben Pink Dandelion and his step-daughter who arrived by bike. Erica and John organised an “Open House” at their home in Haworth later in the day which was well attended after the packing up had been done and their hospitality was much appreciated by all.

The year started with our hosting Keighley Churches Together Prayer Meeting on 4th January ,providing another opportunity for other Christian denominations in Keighley to experience Quaker Worship following a similar event last year. Some of our members attended the Training Day on 7th January at All Saints Anglican Church for the Bradford and Keighley Inn Churches project ,which gives shelter and hot meals to homeless people through the winter months. Although our Meeting House was judged too small to act as overnight accommodation, we have participated in the scheme and contributed financially.

The Tuesday evening Discussion Group has run throughout the year ,apart from a break over the summer. Initially we continued our examination of Quaker Faith and Practice but after the Yearly Meeting Gathering ( see below) we gave our attention to the Swarthmore Lecture in its published form “ Open for Transformation” by Ben Pink Dandelion.

Yearly Meeting Gathering was held this year at the University of Bath and was attended by six members of the Meeting . For those of us new to the event it gave a real insight into the scope of Quaker work in Britain and throughout the world. The need for Quakers to speak out and try and influence world events was underlined by Israel’s invasion of Gaza during the course of the gathering. A statement of Quakers’ views was published from the gathering as events were being reported by the world’s news media.

Earlier in the year we had a lecture from Hilary Browne of Bradford Meeting on the modern history of Palestine including the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 ,and its enlargement by occupation and settlement of Palestinian Arab lands. This had also been a topic of discussion at Area Meeting in February when one of our members, Bridget Rees, gave a talk entitled “ The Living Stones Cry Out – Reflections on a recent visit and conference in Palestine/Israel”.

John Cope attended a conference in York entitled,“ Truth, Lies and the Spirit Level”, and gave us a comprehensive report. The conference discussed issues raised by Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in their book The Spirit Level, why equality is better for everyone (Published by Penguin Books in 2009).The meeting supported progressive taxation, and a living wage as a mechanism for taking working people out of welfare dependence.

Our Sunday briefings continued subjects included Breckenbrough, Experiment with Light and Christian and Interfaith Relations.

Members contributed to the “Wool Against Weapons” scarf which travelled to Aldermaston on 9th August for a demonstration against our continued manufacture of nuclear warheads there. Once again this year there was a vigil in Keighley on Wednesday 6th August to mark Hiroshima Day.

In March some of the members attended a “Question Time” at Bradford Meeting House when Professor Caroline Hughes , the newly appointed Professor of Conflict Studies at Bradford University answered questions about her field of study and role within the Department of Peace Studies.

Also in March there was another successful Glenthorne Weekend ( 21st to 23rd).

A Midsummer Charity Event was held in June to raise funds for Go M.A.D. in Tanzania, contributing to their charity work in Musoma, before two of our members left to join the project for three weeks in September.
The topic for “Quakers in Yorkshire” meeting on 19th July in Settle was “End of Life Care”. Several members attended and the results of a questionnaire organised in Leeds, by Leeds Friends,was presented . Discussion included Assisted Dying and whether this concern should be brought to Yearly Meeting .

A Shared Lunch and “Open Garden” day was held on 17th August and again we welcomed ladies from Roshni Ghar in Keighley, some of whom we had met when a group of us accepted their kind invitation to visit them in February.

A group of us travelled to Kendal on 27th September to view the Quaker Tapestry. All were impressed with the workmanship displayed and the whole story of how the project was conceived and executed . We all agreed that photographs of the panels did not do them justice ; they had to be seen to be fully appreciated.

Quaker Week was marked again by exhibitions in Keighley and Bingley Libraries. As well as materials from Friends House information from Northern Friends Peace Board was displayed in recognition of the Conscientious Objectors of 1914-1918 who refused military service in World War1.

Communications between us are increasingly by email and Robert Lasson keeps us all informed via the website which links us to the Quaker world.
Our garden continues to flourish with paving improvements this year. Again we were awarded the silver medal in this year’s Keighley in Bloom competition.

Worship though mainly silent has included vocal ministry on regular occasions . Our numbers have been maintained around 10 -20 members attending. Although we may not have grown in number this year there is a definite feeling of our growing closer to one another .

Friends continue to give service on Quaker Area , Regional and National Committees as well as supporting independent charitable organisations.

January 2015

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