Church leaders question a no-deal Brexit – Quakers included

Representatives of seven Christian denominations – including Quakers in Britain ─ have written an open letter to the new Prime Minister expressing concern that failing to agree a deal on Brexit will “hit those held back by poverty very hard indeed”.

The Church leaders say they have been “compelled” to write to the new Prime Minister because of his position that leaving the European Union without a deal is acceptable.

The full story can be found on https://www.quaker.org.uk/news-and-events/news/church-leaders-question-a-no-deal-brexit

Art Exhibition in Room1

Our largest room upstairs makes a very fine exhibition space for art. We try to change the work on display every few months and show work by different members of our meeting.

Currently there is a display of drawings, paintings and a collage inspired by the Double Joy orphanage in Kenya. Double Joy is a home and school for children who have no living guardians or are in need of a place of safety.

The pictures are mainly of children and young people and include their rural environment. Children who have left Double Joy, now living as young adults, are also featured.

Double Joy is a UK registered charity, number 1087172.

http://www.double-joy.org.uk

All the work is for sale, in aid of Double Joy.

30 Years in our Meeting House

The stone on our building says 1989 – so this year is our 30th anniversary there. Hard to believe. There are still a good few of us who remember meetings at the old Meeting House, on Hartshead. We were informed that the building was to be demolished to allow new developments in that part of the city….well, it’s still there.

We plan to have a small celebration to mark the anniversary, probably in October. More details will be posted here in due course.

New fully ethical Current Account from Triodos

Triodos, Europe’s leading sustainable bank, has opened registrations for
its first ever UK personal current account.

The account – the most sustainable personal current account ever brought
to the UK market – will begin with a phased rollout from June this year.

More details here:

https://www.triodos.co.uk/en/about-triodos/news-and-media/media-releases…

Note that Triodos already offer a ‘charity account’ for banking by a
registered charity or community group meeting their ethical criteria.
See here for more details:
https://www.triodos.co.uk/en/business/ethical-current-accounts/charity-a…

Quakers stand alongside victims of racist policies

News release, 4th February 2017, from Quakers in Britain.

Quakers in Britain have responded to the global unease about recent political developments around the world with a clear statement asserting that, “Humanity needs leaders of integrity and conscience, ready to be held to account by individuals and institutions, national and international.”

In the statement made today (Saturday 4 February) by their representative body, Meetings for Sufferings, Quakers say, “There can be no peace without justice; no love without trust; and no unity without equality. Our faith urges us to welcome the stranger as our equal and friend, feed those who are hungry and shelter those who are homeless, needy and frightened.

“Alongside Quakers in the USA, and their American Friends Service Committee, we stand with those whose lives are blighted by racist, discriminatory policies and those whose faith is denigrated by association with a tiny violent minority.”

The full statement from Meeting for Sufferings held at Friends House, Quakers’ central offices in London is here:

“’We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love and unity’ (Margaret Fell, writing to Charles II in 1660). Quakers in Britain see these values now under growing threat around the world, not least from recent developments in the United States of America.

“We condemn all acts of government which set people against one another; which discriminate against people because of who they are or where they were born. We reject policies which condone suspicion and hatred; which turn away those who need and depend upon our help. We were not put on Earth for this, but to be a people of God, to live in harmony with each other.

“There can be no peace without justice; no love without trust; and no unity without equality. Our faith urges us to welcome the stranger as our equal and friend, feed those who are hungry and shelter those who are homeless, needy and frightened.

“Alongside Quakers in the USA, and their American Friends Service Committee, we stand with those whose lives are blighted by racist, discriminatory policies and those whose faith is denigrated by association with a tiny violent minority. We pray for the courage and steadfastness that will be needed as we uphold our testimony of equality, justice, peace, sustainability and truth. For us, prayer is inseparable from action.

“Humanity needs leaders of integrity and conscience, ready to be held to account by individuals and institutions, national and international. We pray for those in positions of power. We call on them, as public servants, to work with all of good faith to build the world we seek, to fertilise the soil in which the tender shoots of peace, love and unity may flourish.”

There can be no peace without justice; no love without trust; and no unity without equality.
– Meeting for Sufferings statement

Supporting homeless young people

Could you and your spare room make a lasting difference to the life of a vulnerable young person in Sheffield?

The team at Sheffield Supported Lodgings are looking for Sheffield residents who are willing to offer their spare room and support to help young people transform their lives.
Supported Lodgings providers come from all walks of life and offer the use of their spare room for up to 12 months. In addition to accommodation, they also play a key role in supporting young people to develop the practical life skills they will need to live independently in the future.
The Supported Lodgings team offers providers full support, training and guidance throughout from a designated member of staff, as well as a weekly payment of around £150.
The new service is run by national youth homelessness charity Depaul UK (https://uk.depaulcharity.org) in partnership with Sheffield City Council. The charity also provides the hugely successful Nightstop South Yorkshire service in Sheffield, through which local volunteers to provide emergency accommodation for young people in their own homes.
The Depaul Group was formed in 1989 by Cardinal Basil Hulme in response to the growing number of homeless people on the streets of London. He brought together as founders the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and The Passage day centre – all organisations rooted in the life and work of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Though Supported Lodgings in a new service for Sheffield, it runs successfully in many other locations around the UK, including nearby in York.
Nightstop Manager Amy Smith said: “The young people using Supported Lodgings don’t just need a roof over their heads, they also need a stable and secure home environment in which they are supported to mature and develop.
“It’s a chance for members of the local community to make a tangible difference in the life of a young person facing homelessness.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Supported Lodgings provider or finding out about other volunteering opportunities can get in touch via email at sheffieldsupportedlodgings@depaulcharity.org.uk, or by calling 0114 2787152.

Follow this link for guidance from Sheffield City Council (scroll down):

https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/caresupport/health/community-wellbeing-prog…

Evensong at the Cathedral

5.45 – 6.15pm, Tuesday to Friday in term time.

From one of our friends-

As some of you know, I attend Sheffield Cathedral every now and then for Evensong. Whatever your take on the Anglican church, this service is sublime: one of our city’s most atmospheric buildings, readings from the
St James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer and an excellent choir.

I’ve been saying for years that it’s the best free gig in town.

There’s no need to join in, you can sit at the back and wallow. Sadly however, the 2 evenings I’ve been this week, I’ve been the only person there; there were fifteen in the choir last night, singing just to me –
and now I’m away to Spain for a week and fearful they’ll be singing to the stained glass and the silence.

If you might consider going – it’s 5.45, Tuesday to Friday in term time, lasts half an hour – pick up an order of service in the foyer or just sit at the back in quiet contemplation.

Statement on poverty matters

Statement on poverty matters from the Area Church Leaders in Covenant together through Churches Together in South Yorkshire (CTSY)

Statement on poverty matters from the Area Church Leaders in Covenant together through Churches Together in South Yorkshire (CTSY)

Jesus said that the poor will always be with us (Matthew 26:11), but he didn’t add – so that’s all right then ! Our responsibility to people in poverty never goes away. We are called to comfort those on the margins and challenge the reasons for poverty.

The use of sanctions in the benefit system undermine human dignity and foundational Christian principles of justice as they impact hardest on those in greatest need. The majority of appeals against sanctions are upheld.

The Government pledged in the 2015 election to make £12 billion of welfare cuts. The Chancellor has announced various welfare cuts since the Election but these fall well short of £12bn.

In the Queen’s speech at the opening of Parliament in May 2016 there was a commitment to new legislation enact “to tackle some of the deepest social problems in society, and improve life chances”, yet the Government Green Paper on Disability (overturned by the Lords in November) would have had a negative impact on many people.

We welcome the Chancellor’s promise in the Nov 2016 Autumn Statement that “The government has no plans to introduce further welfare savings measures in this parliament beyond those already announced” but continue to be very concerned about the impact of those already announced.
We will be working to raise our concerns together to advocate for those communities and people in greatest economic need.

We call upon our local and national government to ensure that any policies designed to cut the deficit and re-order the economy should impact least on people who are already disadvantaged.
We call upon our local churches to pray, reflect and act to combat poverty in the UK, including making themselves more aware of the extent of poverty in their area, joining the End Hunger in the UK campaign.

We will be praying together:
Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus, became poor for humanity’s sake,
inspire us by your Holy Spirit
to be aware of the impact our decisions have
on the poorest people in South Yorkshire.
May our actions,
as well as our words,
gladden the hearts of people in poverty in our county,
Amen

Signed: (8 signatories follow)

Rev’d Gill Newton, Chair CTSY, Chair of Sheffield (Methodist) District;
Rt. Rev Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster, (Acting Bishop of Sheffield);
Rt. Revd Ralph Heskett CSSR, Bishop of Hallam;
Pastor Musa Bako, Provincial Pastor, Redeemed Christian Church of God;
Major Richard Borrett, Divisional Commander, Yorkshire South with Humber,
Salvation Army;
Rev. Kevin Watson, Moderator, Yorkshire Synod, United Reformed Church
Rev. Mary Taylor, Regional Minister, Yorkshire Baptist Association;
Kate Napier, Representative of Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Peace and justice: anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism

Peace and justice
Quaker and Jew Sue Beardon writes about anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in The Friend

Quaker and Jew Sue Beardon, a member of our meeting, has written an opinion piece for Quaker magazine ‘The Friend’, published 9th September.

“I believe as Quakers we should not fall into the easy ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ positions. As Martin Drummond himself says: ‘We were never for you, in that tribal sense. We are for peace, and truth, and justice.’ We have to extend that same attitude to Palestinians, however much we empathise with their plight. Principled impartiality is the stance of EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel) and is very effective.”

See attached for full text.

For more about The Friend, visit https://thefriend.org.
For more about EAPPI, visit: https://www.eappi.org/en
For more by Sue Beardon, visit http://jfjfp.com/?p=69081
Also from Sue, read: On Being a Jew and A Quaker from ‘Quaker Voices’

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Anti-Zionism and anti-semitism Sue Beardon 38.04 KB