On Sunday 2nd May, Stoke Newington Quakers held their first In Real Life (IRL), in person, indoors meeting for worship for over a year. 7 brave pathfinders gathered in St Mary’s Church Hall and shared an hour of gathered worship.
If you would like to join us in this amazing experience, have a look at the updated Where and When page.
The time that we aim to gather for Meeting for Worship will change in July.
On Sunday 5th July 2020, and from then onwards, the time Meeting for Worship starts will change from 10.00am to 10.30pm.
This is a good moment to remind ourselves that the ‘start time’ is the time that we aim to have everyone sat and settled, the meeting actually starts when the first person sits in the room. So from July we should all be aiming to arrive for 10.25am. Lateness happens however of course and needn’t be a cause of distress.
All the other meetings and regular events will also move 1/2 hour later, except Breakfast meeting which will remain at 9.00am. See the Cycle of Regular Events for how the changes will work out.
It is a longstanding tradition of Stoke Newington Quakers that we bring instruments and sing carols in the slot that would be our December Meeting for Learning that is 12.00 on the 2nd Sunday of December which this year will be after meeting for worship on Sunday 8th December.
So if you have an instrument bring it along. All voices are also welcome, we are a heavenly choir which is not necessarily a skilful or even a tuneful one.
In December we also move the Children’s meetings from 3rd and 4th Sunday to 2nd and 3rd, so that the Children can join us for the carols, and so that we avoid actual christmas.
If you have a favourite carol or other festive song that you would like us to attempt on the day, it would be great for those of us (me) who are the sort of musician that a bit of prep helps a lot, if you could post in the comments below, or send it to me directly by email or phone call.
It has been suggested that we move the time for our Meeting for Worship, and all the other events that come after it, to half an hour later.
This has been explored before but has never been sensed to be the right thing, but that doesn’t mean that it is the wrong thing this time.
The notion of a 10.30am start for Meeting for Worship, and everything else starting half an hour earlier will be tested at our January (12th at 12.00) Meeting for Worship for Business. By then we will have heard from our Clissold House landlords (Hackney Council) if they can accommodate the change of times.
If anyone wanted to share any thoughts on the subject here and now then in the comments section below would be one place to do it. Emails or phone calls (especially phone calls) to me would also be very welcome. So far the comments I have heard after meeting have generally been in favour of a change, but there are those too who have reasons to prefer no change. We will not decide by vote of course but by the Quaker business method, which if you have never experienced I can highly recommend a go at, at the Meeting for Worship for Business on 12th January, to which all who are known to the meeting are welcome.
In September 1670 the Quakers William Penn and William Mead stood trial at the Old Bailey for unlawful assembly.
Friends had been locked out of their meeting house in Gracechurch Street and had met for worship in the street outside. Penn and Mead were arrested.
The editing of the original trial has been minimal. The astonishing intimidation from the Bench remains, together with the magnificent and dramatic speeches of Penn under attack. The jury refused to bring in a verdict of guilty, despite bullying from the judge. The case established the principle of jury independence.
The Government was interested in the result of this trial: it had a political dimension. And down there were twelve of the bravest people ever to sit on a jury. All the excitement that followed the restoration of a Stuart king had largely disappeared. Once again religious observance had been shackled by statute.
And of all minority groups none were more persecuted than the Quakers – and no Quaker was more articulate than 26-year-old William Penn. For this staged reading of the trial the roles will be taken by professional actors. This will be followed by a discussion led by Robert McCracken QC, a member of Westminster Meeting.
12 Stoke Newington Quakers defied the best efforts of Greater Anglia Trains to prevent us and gathered at Lee Valley YHA for the 2019 annual away day yesterday 6th July.
Stuart Masters from Woodbrooke on-the-road led us through an exploration of Quaker Spirituality in four sessions:
FOUNDATIONS OF QUAKER SPIRITUALITY: THE EXERIENCE OF EARLY FRIENDS
SILENCE, STILLNESS & WAITING: WORSHIP IN THE MANNER OF FRIENDS
HEARTS AND MINDS PREPARED: INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUALITY AND PRACTICE
A GATHERED PEOPLE: CORPORATE DISCERNMENT AND DECISION-MAKING
Stuart has very kindly shared the materials he brought and used for the sessions as well as some additional texts. These are attached at the bottom of this post for anyone to read.
I thought this was really stimulating and appropriately, thought provoking day. As ever it was a pleasure to spend time with Stoke Newington Quakers and get to know some of them a little better. The only disappointment was the absence of the ever reliable Lee Valley YHA baked potatoes! The sandwiches were nice but … Please do add your responses to the day or the attached documents in the comments below. It would be great to hear from you. The clerks would also be vey happy to hear any reflections on this and previous Awaydays and to hear any suggestions for what we might do next year.
The children also had an exciting and fun filled day. Our thanks to Jen for again providing a lovely space for the children and allowing us parents to take part in the programme.
Our annual Away Day this year, on 6th July, returns to Lee Valley Youth Hostel where we have had many a happy Away Day before.
The theme this year is Exploring Quaker Spirituality and Stuart Masters from Woodbrooke on the Road will be leading us in that.
The day is free but a donation of anything up to £15 can be made in cash on the day. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. There will be free childcare through the day.
The only requirement is to let the meeting Elders know you will be coming by dropping Jonathan an email. This would be especially welcome if you plan to bring children. Early warning of any dietary requirements would also ensure that those can be met.
The Away Day is a great opportunity to get to know each other better outside the hurly burly of after meeting refreshments and is open to absolutely anyone associated with Stoke Newington Quaker meeting whether that means you have been coming since birth or just popped in once.
The day will run from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Lee Valley Youth Hostel is a short walk from Cheshunt railway station, which is on lines out of north London towards Cambridge etc.