The restored Meeting House in Hillsborough, Co Down, will be open from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday 8th September 2018 as part of European Heritage Open Day.
Come and join us to see the 1836 Meeting House and enjoy tea, coffee and a chat!
‘Quakers: The Spiritual Journey of Earthcare’ – a film by EcoQuakers Ireland – premiered during Yearly Meeting at the Millennium Theatre, Limerick, on 19th July 2018.
The film features a number of Irish Quakers talking about the spiritual challenges around sustainability, where they find joy in the sustainability journey and what their one wish for change in Ireland would be in relation to sustainability >>
You can find out more about EcoQuakers Ireland here.
‘Living Our Faith Daily: the practice of testimony’ was the title of the public lecture delivered by Ben Pink Dandelion of Birmingham University and Woodbrooke at Ireland Yearly Meeting in Limerick Institute of Technology on 20th June.
His talk took a Quaker perspective on what it is to try and be a ‘mystic in the midst’ – to try and lead an authentic spiritual life amongst our daily concerns and attachments.
Testimony in the Quaker tradition refers to the way our faith is expressed in everyday life and so living our faith daily is about the practice of that expression.
The Quaker testimonies include Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community and Equality. Some would add the testimony to Sustainability too.
Ben spoke from his knowledge of Quaker tradition as well as his own experience in reflecting on how we can best inhabit our spiritual aspirations.
You can read the full text of Ben’s talk here >> ‘Living Our Faith Daily: the practice of testimony’
Religious Society of Friends in Ireland statement, 21 July 2018:
Quakers in Ireland agree to same sex marriages in their meetings for worship
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Ireland has agreed to the holding of same-sex marriages in Quaker meetings for worship, currently legal in the Republic of Ireland.
If any Quaker Meetings, solemnisers or members do not wish to participate in meetings for worship for same sex-marriages as a matter of conscience, there is no obligation to do so. This is to facilitate the range of views held within the Society.
The decision was reached at the Society’s Yearly Meeting – its annual conference – which took place in Limerick Institute of Technology from 18-22 July 2018.
Quakers have a diversity of views on marriage between people of the same sex taking place in a meeting for worship because of the range of their theological, spiritual and biblical approaches but we are united through love for one another.
Notes for editors:
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is a Christian denomination founded by George Fox in England in 1652. Quakerism was introduced to Ireland by William Edmundson in 1654 and there are approximately 1,500 Quakers today in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Quakers hold testimonies on Simplicity, Truth, Equality, Peace and Community that all members are encouraged to live out in their daily lives. There are no clergy and meetings for worship are based on silence with everyone present welcome to make a vocal contribution if they feel moved to do so by the Holy Spirit.
Quaker Office, Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, Stocking Lane, Dublin 16.
Tel: 01 4998003
The theme was ‘Discerning and Living Our Testimonies Together’.
A report of Yearly Meeting 2018 may be viewed here >> YM Report 2018
Eurosatory, the biennale of the biggest arms trade fair in the world, took place in Paris from 11-15 June 2018. This year the organisers, Stop Fuelling War, managed to be part of an event in central Paris which gathered people from all over Europe in a peaceful and fun-filled event in the days leading up to the start of the arms trade fair. Unfortunately, this Quaker was not looking where she was going and took a nasty fall the day beforehand which meant a period of recuperation during this musical and fun-filled event which had opportunities for interaction and reflection, where folk were invited to vote on military budgets. The efforts to raise awareness in the French public, of the enormous economy generated by an industry whose end product is death, was well received. Many people in France are completely unaware of the size of their military budget each year.
Our hosts, Jenny Haughton and Brian Maguire, were, as always, generous in their hospitality and Jenny joined Helen Fanning from Churchtown Meeting, myself and my grandson, Callum Wrixon from Limerick, in attending the peaceful Quaker vigil against the arms trade. Jenny managed to go inside the Eurosatory buildings where she had some interesting conversations with standholders who were working for the companies represented at the arms trade fair. She brought out a catalogue, which one Young Friend, on seeing it at IYM in Limerick, described as being “bigger than an Argos catalogue”. I was delighted to see old and new faces at the vigil, and indeed some Irish “non-Friends” who had been inspired to travel to witness for peace having heard about it for the first time during a talk in Limerick last year.
On the first day, we were joined by another activist group, who unfortunately were more aggressive in their approach, which swiftly drew security and police personnel. Holly Spencer from the Stop Fuelling War group, skilfully negotiated a time-sharing compromise and we were able to attend separately each day. In fact, many of the thousands attending stopped to talk and tell us of how the more aggressive approach tended to “close down any chance of dialogue” and that our quiet, yet persistent, presence and our willingness to listen, created a space where conversations were able to take place. It felt affirming to hear this kind of feedback and also to even hear friendly suggestions from those who were engaged in the arms trade. One man suggested that more information about alternatives in of peacebuilding should be included in the literature and it certainly set me thinking that so many wonderful projects, supporting peace, remain unseen and unknown, a bit like the arms trade itself.
Joining in worship, with all those who had travelled, at Maison Quaker settled our souls for the days ahead and a workshop on The Arms Trade and The Alternatives was held, which was a practical preparation and information-filled event.
I recommend a visit to the Stop Fuelling War website and Facebook page to see some lists of peace-building projects there. QCEA have published a wonderful book in February 2018, which they hope to send to our Irish politicians, called Building Peace Together: a practical resource. it can be ordered from QCEA in Brussels >> qcea.org
Friends at Eurosatory vigil, Paris, June 2018 – Helen Fanning Dublin; Julia Ryberg, Stockholm; Karen King, Brussels; and an unnamed Friend from Britain Yearly Meeting.
Wishing you all peace in your days.
– Pauline Goggin, Limerick. Western Region Monthly Meeting
Friends from Dublin Meetings joined Friends at Ballitore Meeting, Co Kildare, for meeting for worship on Sunday 24th June. Ballitore is possibly the oldest original meeting house in Ireland still used for Quaker meetings.
Participating Friends then travelled to Rathangan Burial Ground to meet members of the Rathangan Tidy Towns Committee who, in the course of the past few years, cleared away the jungle of undergrowth and transformed the site into a beautiful public park. They arranged for the preparation and installation of wall plaques with the names of all the people buried there.
This was the second year in a row the Committee invited Friends to visit the burial ground and be their guests at a picnic lunch. It was a joyous occasion where Friends met with the organisers, with local historians and with some of the descendants of the Quaker families who once formed a thriving community.
The title of this year’s annual lecture organised by Yearly Meeting Historical Committee is ‘Quakers and The Enlightenment’ and will be delivered by Julianna Minihan in Quaker House, Stocking Lane, Dublin 16, on Friday 6th July.
There will be an exhibition in the Quaker House Library from 7pm and the lecture will begin at 7.30pm.
Refreshments will be served afterwards.
Senior Moyallon Camp for any F(f)friends aged 14+ will be held from 6th to 13th July 2018 at the Moyallon Centre. For more information and application forms visit http://www.moyalloncamp.co.uk
Senior Moyallon Camp invite Friends to join them at the Moyallon Centre on Sunday 8th July for a Missionary Meeting at 3pm. The Meeting will be led by campers and. It will be an opportunity to support the camp missionary project which is Cosmovision. An organisation that works with refugees and migrants in Athens. Light refreshments will be served after the Meeting.