Quakers have always kept records of their activities. There is a long tradition of journal writing that extends right back to the founder George Fox. The following entries relate to some future, current and recent activities of Clevedon Quaker Meeting. 


Clevedon Foodbank

Clevedon Quakers are supporting the Clevedon Foodbank, together with other local churches under the auspices of the Trussell Trust. Appropriate food donations can be brought to the Meeting House on Sunday mornings before or after meeting for worship.


Economic Justice and Sustainability

'Equality' and 'simplicity'  are historic Quaker testimonies along with 'truth' and 'peace'. More recently, Quakers have added concern for the environment as being central to our faith. At Quaker Yearly Meeting at Canterbury in August 2011, the Society of Friends made a radical commitment to work towards economic justice and a sustainable global society. The words John Woolman, an eighteenth century American Quaker were echoed: 'The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth now to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age'.

Individual Quakers and Quaker meetings are being challenged to examine their own lives and how these are influenced and constrained by an unjust and destructive economic system. The Society of Friends as a whole, and Bristol Quakers locally, have given support to the 'Occupy Britain' movement. Clevedon Quakers, together with other Meetings in North Somerset are looking at the 'seven questions' which derived from the Quakers' 'Canterbury Commitment' and to see what action we can take.    


North Somerset Area Meeting

North Somerset Area Meeting handles both practical matters (finance and premises) and Quaker concerns (social, spiritual) at a level beyond the local meeting. It is one of 71 Area Meetings in Britain Yearly Meeting, which is the national Quaker body. North Somerset Area Meeting consists of the membership of the local Quaker meetings at Clevedon, Sidcot and Weston-super-Mare and it owns those three meeting houses. There are also Quaker meetings held monthly at Claverham Meeting House (owned by the Claverham Meeting House Trust).  North Somerset Area Meeting meets four times a year at weston-super-Mare (February), Clevedon (May), Sidcot (August), Claverham (November). Attenders and enquirers not in membership can attend with permission from the Clerk of Area Meeting. The next meeting of Area Meeting is at Clevedon Meeting House, Sunday 14th May 2017 at 1.30 pm. Agenda and documentation can be seen on the Area Meeting website: .


Study and discussion groups

Informal study and discussion groups are held on a weekday evening starting with tea/coffee at 7.30 pm and finishing at 9.00 pm and anyone is welcome. Past themes included 'Deepening the life of the Spirit -- resources for spiritual practice', key passages from the Journal of George Fox, some questions in preparation for Yearly Meeting and the Sustainability Toolkit for our meeting. One series revisited our Quaker testimonies with sessions on 'Simplicity', 'Truth', 'Equality' and 'Peace'.

We also held a series of meetings entitled 'Becoming Friends'.  Some study groups looked at the question of 'Assisted dying and Living wills' and 'Responding to the refugee crisis'. We also learnt about aspects of the work of our Quaker Prison Chaplain. Last year, we also considered the concern fo Cornwall Area meeting for the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use. 

We are starting a new series of study groups in 2019. Our next study group is on  Thursday, 29th January at 7.30 pm, on the topic of 'Responding to homelessness'. Barry Edwards from Weston-super-Mare Quaker Meeting will lead our discussion and report on the progress of the night shelter at 'Somewhere to Go'.


Creating Community, Creating Connections

Our day workshop in the autumn was on the theme of 'Creating Community, Creating Connections'. This was led by Lizz Roe, senior tutor at Woodbrooke, which is the Quaker College in Selly Oak, Birmingham. She led us through a stimulating variety of tasks in different groupings, through which we shared views and visions of what makes a Quaker community and how it should relate to its local and wider environment. Lizz also gave us her criteria of what makes for a Quaker community:

*  sharing a spiritual practice and about our spiritual lives;

*  working meaningfully together;

*  learning with each other;

*  celebrating;

*  giving and receiving appropriate friendship.

Such a community needs to be underpinned by:

*  agreed ways of making decisions;

*  agreed way of handling conflict;

*  shared leadership, authority and responsibility;

*  explicit and shared values and visions

*  shared commitment to regular review and exploration.

We explored some of these themes in depth and identified some possible actions for the future.



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