All Day Area Meeting attracts over 60 participants

Sheffield Quaker Meeting House hosted the first, full-day Sheffield and Balby Area Meeting on Saturday 7th March 2015. The event was aimed at offering everyone a deeper experience of our wider community and its work and the clerking team were delighted with the turn out.

Over sixty participants, including nearly twenty children and young people, attended. We began the day with an all age session facilitated by Paul Parker, the Britain Yearly Meeting Recording Clerk.

Meeting together as an all age community we were asked ‘what kind of community are we?’ and we explored the wide range of experience in our meetings. We discovered many things, including that some of our younger Friends have had more years of Quaker experience than older Friends.

In the second part of our session, while the children and young people were taking part in separate activities, we spent more time considering what our ministry is. Local, area and yearly meetings have both different and shared ministries. We spent some time in considering our ministry as individuals and as a community. Thoughts were shared of the range of different ministries we fulfill which can all be seen to help the love to flow. In coming to meeting for worship we are nurtured and encouraged to reach out to others within our meetings, in the wider community and around the world. All our ministry flows from the love we connect with through our meetings for worship.

We also heard accounts of the varied activities that our local meetings are engaged in which gave us much to celebrate and be thankful for. All the meetings had much to share and brief examples include:
Balby (Doncaster) meeting opens its doors to local refugee and asylum seekers, Nether Edge are building strong ecumenical relationships, Sheffield Central have a large and thriving children’s meeting and Hope Valley meet with those who come on retreat to the Bamford Quaker Community.

The children and young people also participated in a varied program of activities and workshops that included music, art, animation and games.

We have been reminded that the aim of our changed arrangements is to encourage a wider group of Friends to participate when we come together for area meeting. To this end we are asked to share with others about our time together today both in conversation and by contributions for sharing on the area meeting website.

Our next meeting will be held on 10 May 2015 at the Bamford Quaker Community 1.15 – 4pm.

Photos on this page include work from the young people’s art group where they looked at Hosukai’s great Wave (re Tsunamis and global warming – climate change) to tie in with the climate change march in London.

Area Meeting Reports can be found as attachments on the Area Meeting Website.

In friendship, Olivia on behalf of the Clerking Team