Friday with Friends

We gather on the second  Friday evening of each month in the Garden Room at Friends Meeting House. The aim is to enable us all within the Meeting to get to know each other better, and to share some of our “private passions” as well as inviting speakers from outside the Meeting who share our concerns. We sometimes also use this space to have time to discern our issues before they come to Meeting for Worship for Business.

Friends gather between 7 p.m. and 7.30 and sessions start promptly at 7:30 and finish by 9:0 p.m.

Topics are suggested by Friends so if you have an issue that you would like included, you are invited to read the guidelines and get  her phone number in the book of Members and Attenders.

For this month’s topic see our January 2019 Newsletter


Friday June 26th:  Catching the Originating Fire: the role of travelling ministers in carrying the Truth among Friends.  7.15 for 7.30
An evening with Debbie Humphries (Hartford Monthly Meeting, Connecticut) who has a travelling minute about her concern to deepen the spiritual life of the Society. Debbie will share stories and lessons from her experiences of traveling in the ministry.  As she has lived with her own call to this ministry of traveling among Friends, she has been encouraged and challenged in her spiritual journey and in her encounters with the spiritual condition of Friends today.

Friday 24th April: Housing  at 7 pm
Elders and OXFAP invite you to a meeting on housing in preparation for Britain Yearly Meeting

Friday 10 April: The Phoenix Prison Trust
Sam Settle will talk about how the Trust  encourages prisoners in their spiritual lives through yoga and meditation

Friday 13 March: How to Kidnap a General
Chris White will talk about the kidnap of German General Kreipe in Crete in 1944

Friday 20 February: Heart, Head and Hand
Richard Thompson, a trustee of Quaker Voluntary Action (QVA),  spoke on the QVA model which can be summed up by the words balance, wholeness and conviviality.

16 January 2015: My Writing Journey
Book discussion led by Sally Nicholls Sally will discuss her writing journey, including Ways to Live Forever, Close Your Pretty Eyes, and an upcoming book with Quakers in it.

30 January: An evening of Plain speaking
Plain speaking is an old Quaker tradition that serves us well if rightly used. Come along to an evening of full and frank views, exchange wise words, have some fun, get things off our chest and begin to find clearer ways of speaking truth with love to each other and speaking out confidently about our Quaker ways.  .Led by Deb Arrowsmith and Dorothy Dammitt.

28 November 2014: Judaeo-Christian Philosophy
We will discuss the long history of Judaeo-Christian philosophers, from Augustine’s concept of the divided will, the death-row Consolations of Boethius, the pantheism of Spinoza, the existentialism of Kierkegaard, to the more contemporary offerings of Buber, Macmurray and Tillich. These are just a few possibilities and everyone is encouraged to ‘bring your own philosopher’. Led by Rupert Booth

7 November 2014: Art and the First World War
Felicity Allbrooke will show and talk about her recent paintings and drawings inspired by the centenary of the First World War, together with earlier work on the theme of war. She will follow this with an illustrated talk on a personal selection of art from the First World War.

17 October 2014: A New Framework for Quaker Work
Meeting for Sufferings has set up a working group to develop a new Long-Term Framework for 2015-20. They want our discernment on how Quakers are led to work together and speak out in the world. Their
questions to us are at
We’ll address them at this Friday with Friends event led by Laurie Michaelis and Stephen Yeo.

18 July 2014: What it means to be a Quaker
Member? Attender? Time to share your thoughts and experiences… Led by Gwithian Doswell, Tina Leonard, and Lis Burch

30 May 2014:
Celebrating 25 Years of OxFAP
Led by Jane Harris of Aspire. Followed by a discussion about the future of OxFAP – what we could and should be doing over the next 25 years.

16 May 2014:
Commemorating International Conscientious Objectors Day
Led by the WWI Commemoration Group. An evening of sharing memories of relatives and friends who opposed war by refusing to fight in the First or the Second World War, or subsequent conflicts.

29 November 2013: Eckhart and ‘Arabī
Eckhart von Hochheim (1260-1328) is well known in Quaker circles for his writing on Christian mysticism. Ibn ‘Arabī (1165-1240) may be less well known for his Sufi mystical writings. Rupert Booth facilitated a general discussion on both.

22 November 2013: Carbon emissions
Led by the Environment and Economic Justice Group, we discussed carbon emissions as the next stage in Quaker action.

1 November 2013: Cycling adventurously
Becky and Roger Riddell described their recent 3,484-mile cycle trip across the USA from Los Angeles to Boston, saying “perhaps you will be inspired to ‘live adventurously’ too”.

4 October 2013: MEET in Oxford
Led by Sandra Figgess, Janet Toye, and Jane Fisher. MEET in Oxford is a low-cost, trauma-focused therapy service for people whose lives have been seriously affected by difficult experiences in the past and who are unable to pay the usual fees for private therapy or to access it through the NHS. It’s expected to begin in January in our meeting house.

27 September 2013: What is it really like to be homeless in Oxford?
Led by Jo Dobry.  ‘My Story’ is a new booklet which Oxford Quakers helped to publish. Volunteer Riki Therivel will talk about compiling the book and why those who spoke to her wanted their stories told. One of the contributors will be telling his story from rough sleeping to a home and a job.

28 June 2013: Being an Ecumenical Accompanier in Palestine and Israel Our Friend Gwithian Doswell had recently returned from three months’ service with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). She spoke about her experiences and what she witnessed, and shared ideas of small actions we can all take.

7 June 2013: Kierkegaard Our Friend Daphne Hampson had just published a book on Kierkegaard, and she discussed the philosopher. Daphne is interested in his famed ‘leap of faith’ in advocating the case for Christianity, his understanding of subjectivity as truth, the nature of the self, the origin of angst and despair, the concept of love as agape, and other topics.

10 May 2013: QCEA and militarism in the EU Chris Venables, Peace Assistant at the Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA), spoke about defending Europe: military cooperation, security research and inflatable robots.

26 April 2013: Quaker Peace Testimony at work Simon and Jane Fisher spoke about living adventurously, with stories about taking risks and uncertain paths in life and where this has led. Jane works as a family therapist specializing in the treatment of severe trauma with survivors of torture and organised political violence. Simon works in support of peace and justice initiatives around the world, as an activist, trainer, writer and part-time academic.

15 February 2013: Economic and Social Justice This was the first of three discussions involving Oxford, Headington and Abingdon Meetings exploring OSAM’s study project Ministry in all its forms in the Society of Friends. This session was led by the Economic and Justice Group who have been exploring tax justice, banking reform and action defending the NHS.

8 February 2013: An Affirming Flame: The work of QPSW Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) is one of the core central Departments of Britain Yearly Meeting. It supports a huge range of programmes which take forward our testimonies to equality, social justice, peace, and truth. Led by Lorna Watson and Sue Smith.

25 January 2013: Live Adventurously: From Cowley Road To Kabul Our Friend Susan Clarkson shared with us her experiences of being in Afghanistan the previous month as a member of a UK peace delegation.

Topics from Previous Years

2 November 2012: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
28 September: Tax Justice
20 July: New Leaf
15 June: Guide to 1652 Country
30 March: Cultivate Oxford
16 March: Spirit, Culture and the Brain
24 February: Dogma and the Deficit
6 January 2012: Becoming a Sustainable Community II
9 December 2011: Poverty: perspectives from the Salvation Army
2 December: Becoming a Sustainable Community I
4 November: Oxford Homeless Pathways
7 October: Quaker Service and Study Tour of Bolivia
2 September: QCEA response to sustainable living
1 July: Preparing for Remembrance Day
3 June: Spiritual Journeys – telling our stories
13 May: Poverty in Oxford: the Muslim Experience
6 May: Sustaining the Natural World
1 April: Spiritual Journeys
4 March: Saying Goodbye
4 February: Faith in Education
21 January: Tackling poverty here and now
7 January 2011: Experimental Quakerism
17 December 2010: Global Change
3 December: Quaker Attitudes To Drugs and Alcohol
5 November: Singing for Joy
1 October: Experiment with Light
3 September: Towards a specifically Quaker or deep politics
2 July: Walking the labyrinth
4 June: Herbert Hoover, the Flawed Angel
7 May: The Power of Music
23 April: Belonging to the Society of Friends – Does membership matter?
9 April: What makes a meeting Quake?
26 March: Talking Money – We are Banking on your Attendance!
5 March: Asylum Welcome and Human Rights
5 February: Religion and Dialogue
15 January 2010: History of Quakers
4 December 2009: A good death
6 November: Quakers and protest
2 October: Thoughts on John Calvin
4 September 2009: Deepening Worship

Topics prior to this have included medieval mystics, medical ethics, being in love with the earth, rebuilding the financial system and more.