Ulster Quarterly Meeting September 2014
Thirty Friends and attenders attended Ulster Quarterly Meeting held at the Moyallon Centre on September 20th.
“Where there is NO VISION the people perish”
This was the comment of one Friend at the end of the report on the Moyallon Centre.
Ten years ago, despite some grave doubts by a number of Friends, a decision was taken to redevelop the Centre. This decision was enthusiastically supported by many especially YOUNG Friends. But now, ten years on, we heard that the Centre is much appreciated, hosts a variety of groups as well as Friends, and has repaid all loans. In addition each year improvements been made including repainting, and acquisition of new furniture. So the vision for Moyallon has been realised.
Prior to this report, we had heard reports from several committees which were mostly positive.
Although Quaker Care shops have had a turn-down in income which brings into question their continuation. Perhaps some other fundraisers might be more productive.
One sad report came from Portadown Meeting which is to be laid down. After a two year struggle Friends feel that this must be done. The last Meeting for Worship will be held at Portadown Meeting on October 26, 2014. There is silver lining to this however as there are several Meetings within a five mile radius of Portadown.
We were asked to bring the work and need for donations of QCEA to our meetings.
The report from Ulster Friends’ Trustees contained news of a considerable rise in the value of the investments. This includes a quite large holding in Royal Dutch Shell. Some present felt that Shell’s record on human rights and environmental management runs contrary to our Testament on Equality and our duty of care for the Environment.
There ensued a lively discussion on the Ethical Principles which guide Friends’ Trustees Policy on investments. It was noted that many concerned church bodies and educational establishments, among others, have decided to divest of investments in non-renewable energy companies.
The Chair of the Trustees suggested that a small group, representing the three Monthly Meetings of UQM might meet with the trustees to discuss these matters. Six names were brought forward.
In the afternoon there was a lively presentation and discussion of Statistics, which highlighted many anomalies in our Meetings, including the number of attenders/Members and difficulties in finding Friends to serve on committees.
Brid Coady Weekes.
South Belfast Meeting.