Our gathering at Bamford Quaker Community on 7-9 October is an opportunity to spend a creative weekend working out new ways forward for Living Witness. It would be great to have you with us, especially if you have some time and energy to put into our work.
In February this year Living Witness Trustees met and considered future directions. There was energy for strengthening some of the things we’ve done in the past, like visits to local Quaker meetings to support a deepening of the spiritual basis of our sustainability commitment, organising national Living Witness gatherings, and running experiential retreats. There are opportunities to get involved in all of these areas.
We also talked about new areas where we feel work is needed. In particular moving out more beyond Quakers, and supporting Friends who are doing so. One example is developing a support network for Friends involved in politics, especially those in elected positions, partly to offer them a sense of solidarity with a Quaker community, and also to help develop a stronger sense of Quaker values in and approaches to politics.
One of the emerging areas that most interests me is finding different ways of addressing the fragmentation evident in Britain following the EU Referendum. In particular we might support local meetings to host local conversations across some of the divides – for example, inviting activists from all the local political parties to talk about food or energy. This could involve running some pilot conversations in a few local meetings and developing guidance notes and briefings that others can use.
Other areas include supporting creative nonviolent action, researching and writing about Quaker approaches to sustainability. Some of us would like to develop a repertoire of resources and facilitation or trainings that we can offer to non-Quaker groups – for instance for working with conflict and building community around sustainability.
We really hope that you will get involved in anything that speaks to you, or introduce other areas of work – and there is space for additional trustees! Or perhaps you already have a project that you’d like others to get involved in?
Please contact me soon if you’d like to come as space is limited. The cost of accommodation and food for the weekend is £100/person.