Category Archives: News and Events

Rathfarnham Friends celebrate 60th anniversary!

Maureen McCaw cutting the cakeRathfarnham Meeting celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special birthday cake after meeting for worship on 25th September.

Maureen McCaw, who has attended Rathfarnham Meeting since its early days, did the honours of cutting the special cake while the children of the meeting looked on. The cake was made by Noel Jenkins.

vincent-daniau-left-and-alan-harrison-look-at-photos-of-rathfarnham-meeting-taken-in-the-past-60-yearsMembers and attenders enjoyed looking at old photos taken over the years at the meeting house, which sparked many memories.

The meeting house and social centre, which was designed by Quaker architect David Haughton and has recently been listed as a protected structure, was built on land  given by Lamb Brothers – the Quaker firm of jam manufacturers.

Maureen reminisced about “the sociable fun (and intense competition!) of tennis and badminton” over the years and gave thanks for “the vibrancy of the children, the future of the Meeting.”

She said: “Rathfarnham welcomes a number of Attenders who are attracted by the Quaker attitude to the life and spirit of Christ, the peaceful green setting and the Friendly sense of community.”


You can find out more about Rathfarnham Meeting here.

To see more photos of the 60th anniversary celebrations, click here.

‘Experiment with Light’ ~ Cork, 11th-13th November

sunlight‘Experiment with Light’ is the title of a weekend workshop that will take place in Ennismore Retreat Centre and Cork Quaker Meeting House from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th November 2016.

‘Experiment with Light’ is a method for actively engaging with the silent worship practised in Quaker Meetings, inspired by early Friends’ experiences, as illustrated by their writings.

It was originally devised by the British Quaker Rex Ambler and has since been continued and developed in various Quaker study centres and Quaker Meetings.

The workshop provides an introduction to this practice, as interpreted by our two facilitators, John Spencer and Medhina .

The weekend will start with an evening meal on Friday at 18.00 and will end after lunch on Sunday at about 14.00.

Cost: €110 (£95) per person for meals and accommodation, or €50 (£40) for meals only. Further information about payment will be sent upon booking.

Booking forms can be downloaded here – Experiment with Light booking form – or may be obtained from Denise Gabuzda (085-7285287, Completed booking forms should be sent to Denise by email or post (4 Shrewsbury Villas, Bellevue Park, St. Luke’s, Cork) by Monday 24th October 2016.

Spaces are limited to 20 participants, so don’t put off booking too long!

If you would like to come, but find it difficult to pay for the full cost of the weekend, consider being in touch with the Elders, Overseers or Clerk of your Meeting about possible sources of financial assistance.
A more complete programme will be distributed closer to the event.

Hundreds of visitors call in for Culture Night

img_2101Quakers in Dublin and Cork were delighted to welcome hundreds of visitors through their doors on Culture Night.

Visitors to Eustace Street, Dublin, learned about the history of Quakerism as well as current concerns, including displays and talks by the Alternatives to Violence Project and EcoQuakers.

Cork visitors not only had the opportunity to browse an exhibition about Quakers in Ireland but they were also treated to a concert by the Zingle Zingers Viol Consort.





National Famine Commemoration Ceremony

rachel-bewley-batemanThe National Famine Commemoration Ceremony 2016 was held in Glasnevin Cemetery on Sunday 11th September.

The Religious Society of Friends was represented at the event by Rachel M Bewley-Bateman, Dublin Monthly Meeting Clerk and Member of Churchtown Meeting.

celtic-crossPresident Michael D. Higgins spoke eloquently about the tragic events in Ireland in the 1840s and unveiled a new Celtic cross in memory of those who died at that time.  It is situated just to the right of the chapel.

22,000 of the one million famine victims are recorded as being buried in Glasnevin.

Rachel M Bewley-Bateman’s great, great uncle Joseph Bewley (who died in 1851) was Joint Secretary of the Friends Famine Relief Committee along with Jonothan Pim, who later became an MP.

Rachel wrote the following prayer, which she shared at the commemoration:

As we remember all those who suffered, died, or were forced to emigrate during the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s  –

Let us remember also those around the world today who are without adequate food, water and shelter, for whatever reason.

Let us consider some of the possible causes of such disasters – dependence on a single crop, poverty and neglect, inequitable land and water distribution, selfishness and greed, abuse of power, climate change, inadequate care for our fellow human beings and our planet.

Let us also give thanks for those who have given and continue to give their lives in the service of others.

May we be given the vision, strength and generosity of spirit to help, in whatever way we can, to alleviate current and future suffering.

New Quaker Meetings in West Cork!

A new Quaker worship group has begun in West Cork, meeting at bantryBantry and Skibbereen.

Bantry: Meeting for Worship on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 pm, at the Bantry Christian
Fellowship Church on the Square (behind the cinema – map)

skibbereenSkibbereen: Meeting for Worship takes place on the last Sunday of the month at 11 am at the Family Resource Centre,Field’s Car Park, Skibbereen. The Family Resource Centre is wheelchair accessible. (map)

Church and Peace in Britain and Ireland, Birmingham 29th October

peaceA day of reflection on the theme ‘The church as an agent for peace in an increasingly insecure world’ will take place in the Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF, on 29th October 2016.

The keynote speaker, Simon Barrow, Director of Ekklesia, will look at what makes us secure and what makes us insecure, and how our faith fits into this. We will look at how the churches can play a prophetic role in building true security today.

Workshop sessions and an afternoon panel discussion will give opportunities to reimagine the face of Church and Peace in Britain and Ireland, to see what the network’s unique contribution can be in the future and how we can strengthen the work already being done.

The event, which is free of charge, will run from 10.30 to 16.00.  A soup and sandwich lunch can be booked at a cost of £6.00.

For registration and further information, contact Barbara Forbes at To register, please send your name, contact details and the name of your church/meeting/organisation, as applicable. Individual participants are also welcome.

Thanks for letting us know if you’d like to book the lunch, and if you’re a vegetarian or have a special diet. Please register by 20th October.

Church and Peace brings together Christian communities, congregations, study centres, peace organisations, and individuals across Europe who are committed to becoming a peace church. Its members seek to live out the Gospel call to nonviolence through shared worship, theological reflection, and practical action for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

EcoQuakers booklet to help Meetings become more sustainable

EcoQuakers Ireland has produced a booklet to help Quaker Meetings in Ireland become more sustainable in line with the commitment made at Ireland Yearly Meeting in April 2016 that each Meeting would develop a sustainability plan before January 2017.

Responding to IYM 2016 booklet coverThe booklet, Responding to IYM 2016: Living sustainably and fairly on this earth, aims to help each Meeting answer the call to live peacefully and sustainably, with a vision that emerges from their own Meeting.

What does your Meeting feel led to do? What does love require?

The Quaker testimonies of equality and peace are witness to our vision of a world grounded in love and in answering that of God in each other. They call for a transformation of the economic and political system, as well as the ending of the misuse of the Earth’s resources, which we recognise creates inequality, destroys community, affects health and wellbeing, leads to war and erodes our integrity.

Friends all over the world are – in the Quaker tradition – stepping out of their comfort zones to see where their lives may contain the seeds of war in relation to sustainability. As part of this, the 2016 Friends World Committee for Consultation World Quaker Gathering in Peru called on Yearly Meetings around the world to initiate at least two concrete actions on sustainability by January 2017. In response, IYM in Spring 2016 committed to divest from fossil fuels, and has asked all Meetings to develop a sustainability plan, no matter how simple, before January 2017.

The booklet, which you can see here, outlines two example sustainability plans to demonstrate how different they can be, and contains some possible actions under the categories of Energy and Transport, Food and Biodiversity, Consumption and Finances, Cultivating Community and Speaking Truth to Power. This process needs to be joyful and spirit-led, and the booklet contains only promptings to help you create your own vision for sustainability within your Meeting.

We hope you find the booklet inspiring, comforting and challenging, and we look forward to exploring each others’ experiences at IYM 2017. In the meantime, please get in touch if you’d like a member of the EcoQuaker committee to come and talk with your Meeting. More importantly, we must remember to be compassionate with ourselves and others as we hold each other accountable to this task. This challenge is as much a spiritual call as a material one, to act not in fear, but with hope and love.

EcoQuakers Ireland – Richard Bloomfield (Cork), Alice Clark (South Belfast), Lynn Finnegan (Coleraine), Fiona Murdoch (Rathfarnham), and Jane Touhey (Churchtown). The IYM representative to Eco-Congregation Ireland, Gillian Armstrong (Rathfarnham) is an ex-officio member.

Minute 39 of Ireland Yearly Meeting 2016:

Call to action on Sustainability from Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Plenary in Peru Claire Conboy-Stephenson has read the minute agreed at the FWCC Plenary in Peru urging the worldwide Quaker community to re-double its efforts in relation to sustainability. It calls on Yearly Meetings to initiate at least two concrete actions on sustainability by January 2017.

The Special Interest Group facilitated by Eco-Quakers Ireland has reflected on this and has proposed a number of actions. We agree to the following two actions:

1.To commit to making all the Meetings within Ireland Yearly Meeting as sustainable as possible, considering such factors as accessibility by public transport, energy efficiency, use of Fairtrade tea and coffee and use of organic and locally sourced food when possible. We ask Meetings to develop a sustainability plan, no matter how simple, before January 2017. We ask Ireland Yearly Meeting to take its sustainability plan into consideration when planning for its next Yearly Meeting.

2.To follow in the steps of FWCC by developing an investment strategy, by January 2017, to ethically invest all the funds within the Yearly Meeting in sustainable and peaceful companies, and divest from destructive industries, including fossil fuels.

We also ask all Meetings to consider how truth prospers with regard to sustainability, taking care to relate this to all of our testimonies – peace, simplicity, truth and equality.