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Life Of Keighley Meeting 2018

Published on: Published on: Friday 08 Feb 2019

Contributed by/From: Contributed by / From: Clerk

When: @

The highlight of our year was surely the visit of “Ride for Equality and the Common Good” whose plucky participants arrived on the afternoon of 24th July leaving the following morning on their way south.

Volunteers had come forward to host riders overnight, the Meeting House cellar had been partly cleared to allow secure storage of bicycles, and a hot meal was organised for the evening of their arrival (this was a first for Keighley Meeting, stretching our small kitchen to the maximum- but we did it!). The garden was decorated with bunting to show the riders where to come. The decoration was just completed as the first riders appeared. The Deputy Mayor was there to give them an official greeting and he stayed on to chat and enjoy the meal with us.

After the meal riders were given lifts to their hosts and a small number had elected to camp within the Meeting House, so they settled in. The following morning a cooked breakfast was prepared and with full stomachs they were sent on their way. The visit involved almost everyone within Keighley Meeting with arrangements masterminded by our Clerk. We also welcomed members of Skipton Meeting, and two members of Bradford Meeting came to guide the group through to their reception in Bradford

The core of our community is our weekly coming together for spiritual nourishment in Meeting for Worship where numbers varied from 9 to 16 on any Sunday. The silence of meeting tends to be interspersed by very occasional inspirational sharing. Frequently meetings are completely silent. The quality of our worship has been remarked upon by various Friends. It is something we treasure. In addition, from November, we have begun a half hour meeting for worship on fortnightly Friday lunchtimes, and also after yoga on Monday lunchtimes. It is from the still centre that our outward activities flow. Reading of Advices and Queries continues monthly during Sunday worship.

As well as our annual Hiroshima day vigil in the centre of Keighley, supported by the Town Mayor, Friends and others, Keighley Friends continue the anti arms trade peace concern. This included a meeting collection for WYCAAT (West Yorks campaign against the arms trade) and involvement in WYCAAT activities. To challenge the rise of militarisation, several Friends again picketed Keighley Armed Forces Day event, and Friends participated in “Stop Arming Saudi “ protests. It is hoped to support Britain Yearly Meeting’s aim to involve some thousand Quakers in arms fair protest next September.

Our Wednesday Evening Meetings have continued with a mix of study/ sharing of experience of Advice and Queries, interspersed with Worship Sharing on such seasonal themes as “resurrection”(Easter), “Emmanuel – God with us “ (Christmas) “equality and the common good (to coincide with the “ride” in July), and sessions using the Yearly Meeting preparation documents. The relatively small but committed group has grown closer through this experience.

Our quarterly Meetings for Learning included Quaker Life and support for meetings , Quaker work in Northern Ireland – report and update from a recent visit, and a session on the testimony concerning Simplicity.

Nurtured by the care of several faithful Friends. our garden continues to flourish, and attract local attention to the meeting . Our annual open garden brought together some 35 people for guided tours of the garden and refreshments outside in the warm sunshine.. We had our usual mix which brings together those infrequently in touch, Friends from elsewhere, friends of Friends, and importantly includes some of our Muslim neighbours.

Quaker week activities consisted of our usual displays in Keighley and Bingley libraries. Copies of Friend and other “take away” material appeared to be in great demand. Friends also supported activities in the Area Meeting.

We value our links with Keighley Interfaith Group, and Churches Together with whom we are likely to be working in support of refugees locally.

Collections include support for a wide range of Quaker and other similar projects worldwide ranging from Bolivia to Congo to Tanzania, as well as UK based Quaker Homeless Action. Among the most supported were Keighley Food Bank, Quaker work in Northern Ireland, and Glenthorne’s Welcome Project for refugees.

As well as attendance at Britain Yearly Meeting, Friends continue their involvement in the wider Quaker world and other related activities including Bradford University Peace Studies Trust, peace action in Faslane, Scholarships for Street Kids in Myanmar, a European Friends gathering in Germany, and Ireland Yearly Meeting.

Our youngest (occasional) attender is now Arlo Alexander , Albi (Albert)’s very new younger brother born 8 June 2018. We were delighted that Arlo visited us with his mother in November, and that both boys with mother and grannie, were among several Friends from elsewhere and occasional contacts who joined us in Meeting on Christmas Day .

Evelyn Shire
Richard Vese

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