10:10 campaign

The 10-10 campaign10:10 is an ambitious project to unite every sector of British society behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010.

Friends House is committed to this campaign and Friends are encouraged to sign up. At the time of writing, it seems about 80 Quaker Local Meetings are now involved in some way: the Living Witness Project’s Spring 2010 ‘earthQuaker’ newsletter includes news of what some of these meetings are doing.

According to Irene, Woking Friends are hoping to organise an opportunity to share ideas and experiences in the Spring.

21 February 2010  MaryMary & Peter

Talk: The Significance of Silence in the Buddha’s Teachings | 15 February 2010

The similarity of some Quaker and Buddhist insights is a helpful reminder that universal truths are not uniquely Buddhist, not uniquely Quaker. As with Friends, the unifying element in Buddhism lies in practice rather than in the underlying belief system.

This talk, followed by questions, was given by Geoffrey Hunt, who is the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of Surrey and founder of the New Buddha Way. He also chairs the ethics committees of two local hospices. He is Professor of Philosophy at St Mary’s University College and lectures internationally on professional and organisational ethics, especially in relation to emerging technologies.

Judging by comments afterwards, the event was extremely successful, with 35 people from and outside the Area turning up for the occasion. Geoff has indicated that he enjoyed being there and meeting such an interested & interesting group; he said he would be pleased to come again if invited – which he may be taken up on!

18 February 2010

Ice sculpture prompts varied responses

Darth  Vader snowmanThe sight of a ghostly Darth Vader apparently emerging head and shoulders from the meeting house lawn (courtesy of our flat tenant Chris Bramley) caused a mixture of feelings amongst those who managed to get to meeting today.

One person thought we were exercising Quakerly tolerance in allowing it to remain, since this Star Wars character stands for all that is evil, rather like Harry Potter’s enemy Lord Voldemort. Another felt that it symbolised the ego which, with greater self-knowledge and spiritual discipline, we could allow to melt away rather than fight in vain. Someone else pointed out that Voldemort was unremittingly evil whereas Vader eventually achieved a form of redemption.

The discussion ended in tears of laughter, however, with the final comment from someone who had only seen it through the window, from the side, and had thought it was a sculpture of Elizabeth Fry, the 19th century Quaker prison reformer, in her Victorian bonnet!

10 January 2010 Irene R   Irene

The Odessa Expedition | October 2009

Photo: meeting with AVP UkraineThe International Board meeting of Friends House Moscow was held in Odessa. One of the things that FHM supports is the Alternatives to Violence Project in Ukraine. Holding the meeting there enabled us to meet the people who run AVP and hear about their work.

The meeting was scheduled over a long weekend. It seemed a shame to go all that way from the UK just for a few days – and in the end it turned into a two week trip by train around various bits of eastern Europe. See our personal blog for more details.

04 January 2010 Mary & Peter PHOTOS

Pilgrimage to Santiago, Spain, 2009

On Bob in SantiagoApril 1st 2009, a friend (Peter) and I started our walk from Granada to Santiago – a distance of 750 miles. Peter wanted to raise funds for Leukaemia Research plus complete a long walk. I just wanted to achieve ‘something’ before I became too creaky.

Because the walk was for charity, Peter’s next door neighbour John – a mad Spanish speaking Welshman! – offered to drive an RV (‘recreational vehicle’) for us to stay in each night and to be chef and all-round ‘mum’. The meals he served up each night with only three gas rings were truly superb.

We finally arrived in Santiago on May 12th. Peter raised £1500 for his charity. Without John, who looked after us so well, we would not have achieved this amount.

Our journey took 42 days, 37 walking with 5 rest days – and yes, we both had blisters. For further information if contemplating this walk my e-mail is robert©robertalexander6·wanadoo·co·uk

22 December 2009 Bob     Bob PHOTOS

Quaker Voluntary Action working retreat, Sweden, 2009

In QVA working retreat, Sweden, 2009July I went on a Quaker Voluntary Action (QVA) working retreat to Sweden at Svartbacken, where we refurbished the Quaker residential centre set in beautiful countryside. We worked for the mornings and shared making meals. There were times for meditation and worship and free time for swimming in the lake or walking in the woods five minutes walk away or travelling to Uppsala or the nearby town. A wonderful time with lovely people. See the slide show.

22 November 2009 Keith   QUAKER VOLUNTARY ACTION website

Woking Friends Special Collections 2009

collection-boxHere is a list of the charities our meeting has been collecting for during 2009:    Woking Shopmobility • The Brooke Hospital for Animals (The animal charity that helps people too) • ICAHD UK (Israel Committee Against House Demolition) • Friends House, Moscow • Cape Town Quaker Peace Centre • International Alert (Understanding Conflict) • Fellowship of Reconciliation • Ramallah Friends School (The Quaker International Educational Trust) • Emergency Medical Aid to Gaza • Living Witness Project (Quakers working for sustainability) • Quaker Homeless Action • Friends House Central Funds.

01 November 2009 Polly HPolly  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS SINCE 2005