Berks & Oxon Regional Meeting: Building Understanding and Tolerance in a Divided Society

Saturday 26 October 2019 at

Reading Quaker Meeting House

11:00 (coffee etc. at 10.30) to about 16:00

‘In what ways are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?’  – Advices and queries, 32

Quakers strive for the peaceful resolution of conflict. This applies as much to our everyday lives as it does to the wider national and international scene.

All are welcome to this Regional Meeting where

  • The morning speaker will be Oliver Robertson, General Secretary of Quaker Peace & Social Witness, who will give the keynote address on the theme of the day.
  • Martin and Robyn Appleton of Reading Meeting will facilitate sessions based on the themes that emerged from the “What Can We Do?” initiative at Reading Meeting in 2017/18. The meeting will use spiritual practices of attention, to explore, in a workshop setting, how we might open our eyes to the other through opening our eyes to ourselves. We will have two [1]workshops which will draw on different methods of building relationship used in faith communities, by political leaders and by international artists.
  • The workshop will end with a review of the day led by Martin & Robyn
  • Friends in the Region have the opportunity to get to know each other better.

Please bring a packed lunch.  Reading Quaker Meeting House (2 Church Street, Reading RG1 2SB) is half a mile from Reading station. Car parking is available in the street for disabled badge holders. Recommended public car park: Saxon Court, Letcombe Street, RG1 2SQ; or, on street metered parking in London Street nearby).

Directions at                 

Enquiries to John Crosfield, clerk of arrangements committee,

tel. 0749 337 0030, e-mail

Provision for children’s activities will be made, but please let the clerk of arrangements committee know by 12 Octoberof any children intending to attend, including their ages, so that the Friends volunteering to provide such activities can prepare.

[1] Friends, one of the exercises will invite you to remove your shoes, so you may like to come with unholey socks.

Poetry Reading: Philip Gross & Lesley Saunders

@ 43 St Giles  Oxford
free admission +  a collection + refreshments 
@ 6.30 for 7pm till 9pm on Sat. October 12th

Philip Gross and Lesley Saunders will read from their book A PART OF THE MAIN: A CONVERSATION (Mulfran, 2019), a dialogic poem, even an improvisation, born of the difficult feelings and public discord arising from the events of 2016. Philip is a Quaker as well as a T.S.Eliot prize winner and author of 20 collections of poems. Lesley is author of several books of poetry, most recently Nominy-Dominy  (Two Rivers Press, 2018). She is a creative collaborator with many other ‘makers’ of  different art forms. Lesley and Philip first met through a collaborative poetry venture A Game of Consequences in which 26 poets were invited to share their thoughts and feelings about living in a nuclear age.

The October 43 Newsletter

Giving and Receiving – A New 43 Newsletter Section

Many of you will have read the article in last month’s 43 Newsletter lighting ways to overcome reticence when asking for money to help maintain and open up the premises at 43. Inspired by this, and more particularly by Deb’s story of the pleasure and success of raising money for Garden Room work by offering the service of carpet cleaning in exchange for donations, we are beginning a new service column in the newsletter: Giving and Receiving. In this, anyone interested can specify the service they are looking for, or offering, and also the amount to be donated, if they so choose. A fair basis for donations might be the living wage of £10 per hour. For example:

Apart from ensuring that we manage to make the Meeting House premises more sustainable, a bit of G & R service offers a fun way to share our talents and get to know other Quakers in a new context. Win Win. We await your requests for services or offers in number for the November issue of 43 Newsletter! Juliet Henderson

Want to read more? Click below for the latest editon of our Newsletter.

The online version of the October 2019 edition is now available.

Update on the London Arms Fair Blockage Event

Meeting for Worship at the Arms Fair Protest 2019

This  2 minute video gives you a bit of the atmosphere and inspiration of the DSEI Arms Fair blockading event.

The Fair begins next Tuesday, and we were part of a rolling programme of groups blocking the setting  of the Fair: this evening at our debriefing meeting we learned that Sadiq Khan  condemns the Arms Fair, and intends to prevent it happening in London again. But we don’t know if he has that power.

Alan was arrested at 3 30, because he was so incensed by one of the police trying to break up the second Meeting for Worship half way through. Arresting people at  worship is evidently illegal. He was kept standing outside the police station in Plumstead for 4 hours , as there was such a queue of arrestees, but then got a seat during the booking process. Four hours later he phoned me to say where he was, and he was given a cell, loo, mattress and his book back. By midnight he got back to the hotel, after useful legal assistance.  The  sergeant heard his statement, and then switched off his tape recorder, and expressed his agreement that the government’s actions are illegal.

It’s been a moving and exhausting week

Virginia(Member of the Oxford Meeting)

Hope you can watch this great video of yesterday’s action!