Report from David Harries, Bridgend Quaker Meeting. Thank you, David, for sharing your thoughts about the meeting with us. The full minutes of the meeting can be read here.
Present were about 29 Friends.
The morning business was dispatched pretty speedily, with plenty of time to spare,
before the afternoon session with our speaker, Edwina Peart.
It is proposed to hold a residential weekend in 2024. We shall need to appoint
organisers. Our Nominations Committee will seek two members from each Area Meeting
that is part of CCQW.
We had some expressions of amusement and consternation at news of BYM’s
participation in the forthcoming “Loyal Address” to King Charles. The address will last
one minute. It will take place on 9 March. It will include references to our testimonies.
Erica Thomas (Swansea LM) will be one of BYM’s representatives there.
There is a short version, delivered on the day, and a longer one, handed over. The wording of the address will be shared with Friends when it becomes available.
Rhian Parry gave us an update on the work of GYDA’N GILYDD (Outreach and
Communications Committee). The foci are on improving communications across Wales;
sharing knowledge and experience; and outreach, for example, at the National
Eisteddfod. Plans include visiting Area Meetings to explain their work, and the
publication of a monthly newsletter, a bit like BYM’s Quake! Friends are encouraged to
contact committee members if they have ideas about strengthening a Quaker presence
at the Eisteddfod.
Jane Harries reported to us on the new CYFAN (Children, Youth & Families All-Age
Network). This is an informal network, aimed at promoting our work with children and
young people (across our Area Meetings). It aims too at supporting the Friends who do
this work (who can feel isolated), and to involve children and young people themselves
in the planning and organising of events. The proposed Terms of Reference were
submitted to Friends, and were agreed.
We heard a report on last December’s Meeting for Sufferings, from Deborah Rowlands
and Angela Arnold. One of the main items of business was the update on the work of
the Book of Discipline Revision Committee, which included the release of draft texts on
nominations and marriage. We were reminded that the Committee is requesting
comments on the draft texts by the end of May – from individuals as well as Meetings. Catherine James and Stevie Krayer (members of the Committee from Wales) will speak
to the October Meeting of CCQW about this work.
Judith Hedges reported to us on the work of the Quaker Committee for Church and
Inter-Faith Relations (QCCIR). QCCIR next meets next at Llangasty Retreat House near
Brecon, 9 – 11 June. Judith has invited some Friends to attend and would be pleased to
hear from any other Friends who feel they have something useful to contribute on the
topic of ecumenical and interfaith work in Wales.
Some Friends may know about the Focus Group of Meeting for Friends in Wales. It was
set up years ago to help the Clerks, in particular with regard to advocacy and responding
to Westminster and Senedd/Welsh Government policy consultations on matters of
interest and concern to us. The need to revise the arrangements has become apparent.
So a new Focus Group, also termed the Advocacy Support Circle, is replacing it. The
membership consists of existing role holders: a CCQW clerk, a trustee, a member of
Gyda’n Gilydd, the Cyûtn Representative, the QCCIR Representative and a Sufferings
Representative, the CCQW coordinator (staff member), as well as co-optees (ad hoc).
CCQW Trustees’ work is wide-ranging. They are occupied with the Symud Ymlaen
process, and with proposals for use of the legacy from Lynne Moseley (for which a sub-
group has been formed). The ideas about the latter can be categorised broadly as
follows: running a residential weekend, producing a history of Quakers in Wales,
outreach, peace education, and a Woodbrooke Where You Are Event. In respect of
Symud Ymlaen, and the setting up of the new charity, as a charitable incorporated
organisation (CIO), one of the questions is: what to name it? (Watch this space.)
Finally, we had some discussion about the use, in reports, of acronyms and
abbreviations which not all people understand. Hence, we minuted a recommendation
that both written and oral reports contain explanations of abbreviations, and that names of
committees and groups should be spelt out in full in the first instance in any report.
It was a very good Meeting.