Gloucestershire Quakers are a Sanctuary Area Meeting. Local Meetings at Cheltenham and Nailsworth are as well. This means we are committed to creating a culture of welcome for all those seeking sanctuary in Britain, by – joining local efforts to oppose the ‘hostile environment’ – exposing the destitution and suffering caused by the present system – confronting racism wherever we meet it – campaigning for justice in the laws on detention and deportations We support http://www.garas.org.uk who work with refugees and asylum seekers in Gloucestershire.
Mary Brown’s new book, “The Undiscovered Country : Conversations about Death and Dying”, was published in October. In it, she confronts the taboos surrounding death by talking to those who have lost loved ones, and to those who work with the dying and their families. She brings out their unique experiences of and perspectives on death and shows that it is not something to fear, but part of life to be acknowledged and discussed openly.
Mary is a member of Stroud Quaker Meeting. “The Undiscovered Country : Conversations about Death and Dying” can be ordered at bookshops or online for £20, or from Mary herself for £10.
Nailsworth Quaker Meeting are making a special contribution to the Nailsworth Remembers activities to mark the end of the First World War. Members of the meeting are making a large fabric banner (12′ by 5′) to hang in front of cottages adjacent to the Meeting House in the week leading up to Armistice Day (11 November). The banner is inspired by the description of the official war artist William Orpen who visited the Somme six months after 415,000 men had been killed there. He wrote:
I had left it mud, nothing but water, shell-holes and mud – the most gloomy abomination of desolation the mind could imagine; and now, in the summer of 1917, no words could express the beauty of it. The dreary, dismal mud was baked white and pure – dazzling white. White daisies, red poppies, and a blue flower, great masses of them, stretched for miles and miles. The sky was dark blue, and the whole air up to a height of 40 feet, thick with white butterflies.”
The banner will carry the words “In memory of victims of conflict everywhere and in the hope of peace”.
Anyone who would like to contribute is invited to make red, white and blue flowers in different mediums (fabric and felt as well as knitted). These can be left at the Meeting House over the next few weeks – by 21st October at the latest, please. The butterflies can be knitted or more easily made from white felt. Patterns and templates have been circulated via News of Friends and can be downloaded here.