Photo journal, Ireland 2018

I was recently on the Island of Ireland (I say recently, it was the end of March/start of April), for the Spring Gathering of European and Middle East Young Friends, and a little holiday. The epistle is here, and the official photos will presumably be available here eventually. In the meantime though here’s my photo journal – (almost) a photo a day from the trip

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Yearly Meeting Gathering 2017, Warwick

Every three years, British Quakers have a big get together, where around 1,500 Qs converge for a week or so, usually on a university campus or similar, mainly because they’re the only places big enough to put us all up.

In 2017, it happened in Warwick, and that’s where E and I headed from Oslo (via Lewes). As ever with Quaker gatherings there’s far too much going on for me to detail every little thing that happened, so I will group it into a few main themes: pilgrims, world stuff, business, and everything else.

Feel free to skip bits of less interest for you, and apologies to non-Quaker readers – I’m open to any and all questions you might have (maybe that should be another post..)

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The EMEYF All-Age Gathering 2016

Continuing our recap on my 2016, next up on my list of Quaker events was the one-off All-Age Gathering (AAG) organised by EMEYF, the organisation of young Quakers in Europe and the Middle East which I serve as secretary, and have done for almost two years now.

The AAG began slowly for me, as I had arrived early, and leant the organising committee a hand to set up the site and welcome the arrivals trickling in. Since I’m involved with the central committee of EMEYF, you might assume I had some idea what was coming, but I’d managed to keep out of the main organisation, only having helped to prepare a few sessions.. So I wasn’t really sure how the week was going to turn out, but as people  arrived from across the continent, from babes in arms to octogenarians, I could tell it was going to be a very particular kind of event.

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First of all, an acknowledgement – I’ve not written on this blog in at least 4 months (and that was just sharing something I’d written on Facebook – my appeal to people’s common sense re Brexit apparently had little effect). I’m currently au chômage, as they say in French. So hopefully I can kickstart this again, and get back to (semi-)regular posting.

First of all there’s a lot to catch up on…

Quaker update: I went to three Quaker Yearly Meetings this year – Sweden, Britain and the Netherlands. The first was for work, my last trip as a professional Quaker for QCEA (who I left at the end of May). The other two were for pleasure.

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FWCC WPM, Pisac, part 3.

Bear with me – these are long posts, and have the least photos. I decided to split it into three separate posts, and there are several parts in each, so do skip bits that don’t interest you.

Tl;dr. In January, I spent a week with over 300 other Quakers in Pisac, exploring a theme, building F/friendships and learning about each other – in the things that are eternal (and the things that are less so).  This is part tres – if you’re lost you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.

Talent show gems

One programmed event that I want to mention, but which doesn’t fall into any of the previous categories is the talent night. Sure it dragged a little (from half seven till midnight..) and some of the  acts were downright weird, or incomprehensible, but two deserve special mention.

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FWCC WPM, Pisac, part 2

Bear with me – these are long posts, and have the least photos. I decided to split it into three separate posts, and there are several parts in each, so do skip bits that don’t interest you.

Tl;dr. In January, I spent a week with over 300 other Quakers in Pisac, exploring a theme, building F/friendships and learning about each other – in the things that are eternal (and the things that are less so). This is part dos – if you’re lost you can find part 1 here and part 3 here.

Home groups

Another central pillar of the gathering, as at many Quaker events, were home groups – small groups of around 10-15, who would meet every day to discuss the day’s events, and generally get to know each other, in the things which are eternal, or otherwise. In our home group, we discussed our ways of worship, our conceptions of God, our ways of praying (or not), and our reaction to the events of the day. One particularly moving session included people talking about their experiences with death.

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Friends World Committee for Consultation World Plenary Meeting, part 1

Bear with me – these are long posts, and have the least photos. I decided to split it into three separate posts, and there are several parts in each, so do skip bits that don’t interest you. It took me a while to work out how best to write all this; the meeting brought lots of ideas, feelings and thoughts for me to express here. If you’re looking for travel blogs, you can skip these few.

Lost? You can find part 2 here and part 3 here.

The FWCC World Plenary Meeting began with a bus ride from Cuzco airport, through the city, up onto and over the mountains, to zig-zag back down the valley to Pisac again. As we travelled, we introduced ourselves and made Quaker small talk. Upon arrival at the Royal Inka hotel, on the outskirts of Pisac, the scale of the event became clear – our minivan of Quakers dissolved into the ocean of Friends there – 320 of them, from 37 countries, and 77 yearly meetings, 8 independent monthly meetings, and 2 worship groups.

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