News

Area Meeting update and notice

July 2022

For our first ‘blended’ Area Meeting 23 Friends met at the Quaker Meeting House in Shrewsbury, with a further eight online, representing all our Local Meetings. Shrewsbury Friends’ hospitality was very much appreciated, including technical support for the ‘blended’ element of the meeting.

  • Our treasurer presented the Area Meeting accounts for 2021, a ‘transitional’ year in terms of the pandemic’s impact on our finances. We noted that the insurance pay-out to compensate for loss of lettings income would feature in the 2022 accounts, but meanwhile our current assets are sufficient to cover our expenditure.
  • We heard an update about the Worcester Grassroots Alliance, a coalition of charities and community groups aiming to improve the quality of the city environment and the life chances of its more disadvantaged and marginalised residents. The Alliance was formed a year ago, with Worcestershire and Shropshire Area Meeting as a corporate founder member, along with six other Worcester based charities. Worcester City Council is now providing practical support to help the Alliance set up a Sustainability Community Hub from which to launch its projects.
  • News from elsewhere in Area Meeting included a report from Church Stretton’s Children’s Meeting, and a proposal from our Advocate for Children and Young People for an all-age social event, especially suitable for families (see the Notice below).
  • Looking outwards towards Britain Yearly Meeting, our representative on Meeting for Sufferings provided us with a very full and informative report from the previous week’s meeting. This included initiatives led by Quaker Peace and Social Witness to support those suffering because of the war in Ukraine, as well as Quaker work on democracy, truth and integrity.
  • Meeting for Sufferings had also reflected on May’s Yearly Meeting, and so did we when it came to our afternoon session. We appreciated hearing the epistle from the Young People’s Programme, and we reminded ourselves of those parts of the general epistle concerned with our commitment to being an actively anti-racist faith community. After hearing uncomfortable lessons from history at Yearly Meeting about how some Quakers continued to profit from the transatlantic slave trade even while others were working for its abolition, we began to consider how we might respond to Yearly Meeting’s call for us to make meaningful reparations for past failings. In small group discussions, we considered a range of suggestions, mostly about educating ourselves but also including some practical steps in the direction of ‘reparations’. Our Equality, Inclusion and Diversity group will support us all in taking forward these suggestions, from a position of love and compassion.

Notices:

  • An all-age Area Meeting walk and picnic will be held in Bewdley on Saturday 17 September. Everyone is welcome, and fuller details will be circulated nearer the time.

Next Area Meeting

This will be an online meeting. The zoom link will be circulated along with the agenda and other papers via the Area Meeting email list during the week leading up to the meeting. As always, all members and attenders are warmly welcomed. Contact us for details.