"Quakers respect the creative power of God in every human being and in the world around us. We work through quiet processes for a world where peaceful means bring about just settlements."

OOn the afternoon of Remembrance Day, 10 November, a few members of the meeting met at the Devizes war memorial and stood in silent remembrance after laying a wreath of white poppies. The wreath symbolises a remembrance of all victims of war. It also acts as a reminder to us of our responsibility to work to reduce conflict wherever we encounter it and further challenges the tendency to glorify war and to restrict remembrance to military victims.

The white poppy was introduced as early as 1933 by the Co-operative Women's Guild to reaffirm the message of 'never again', the origin of Remembrance Sunday.

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We are called to live 'in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars.' Do you faithfully maintain our testimony that war and the preparation for war are inconsistent with the spirit of Christ? Search out whatever in your own way of life may contain the seeds of war. Stand firm in our testimony, even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence, yet always remember that they too are children of God.

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Bring into God's light those emotions, attitudes and prejudices in yourself which lie at the root of destructive conflict, acknowledging your need for forgiveness and grace. In what ways are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?

the finished bug hotel with wet workers

Many thanks to Ben, Oliver, Jenson, Riley and Arlo and their leaders Carolyn and Sid from Devizes Beaver. They braved the rain on Saturday 9 November to help build a bug hotel on the canal bank by the Meeting House garden. The bug hotel was built from pallets stuffed with natural materials gathered beforehand and scavenged in the garden. We are very grateful for their help.

The bug hotel was the latest action in our Eco Church award efforts. This is a scheme to encourage churches to make their worship, buildings, grounds,  outreach and lifestyles more environmentally friendly. We are working alongside other local churches to encourage each other by sharing ideas .

Devizes has three churches with awards so far and others working on it. The scheme is not just a seeking after a certificate but a way to monitor progress. For more information about the Eco Church award please go to: https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/

In the wake of news that Traidcraft is cutting back on the range of goods they stock, we held a well supported coffee morning on 24 November. A range of foods was available to buy and orders were placed for items not on display. Traidcraft ahs been important in spreading understanding of Fairtrade in this country because it provides a one stop shop for a wide range of goods to people running stalls in churches and elsewhere. Devizes Quaker Meeting is a Fairtrade church, pledged to support Fairtrade locally and we will need to think carefully about how we do that in the future.

On Saturday 6 October 67 people, from the different churches in Devizes,
gathered for a harvest supper at Sheep Street Baptist Church. Food prepared
by volunteers was served and we heard Katrine Musgrave from Christian Aid
speak about the importance of climate justice. We have heard much about
climate change but more recently have begun to understand that if we do not
look after people they will be unable to help protect the environment. To
get people thinking a climate quiz was available and information about the
work being done by local churches for Eco Church was  on display.
As always the support of volunteers helped make this an enjoyable as well as
informative evening.

 

under the oak canopy

On 5 August we held our annual meeting in the Quaker Burial Ground in Hillworth Park. It is many years since the burial ground was used for burials and the land is now managed by the Wiltshire Council. Nevertheless, Devizes Quakers maintain an interest in the space and hold a Meeting for Worship under the oak tree in the centre, exchanging the wooden beams of the Meeting House for the tree canopy. This year we were fortunate to have a lovely day for our meeting and the shade of the tree was very welcome. We were delighted to welcome Friends from other meetings and churches for this special meeting. 

 

Generally our silent meetings have no theme but for this one we usually do. This year, the theme was trees and it gave rise to ministry about the natural world and the need for balance in our lives. 

 

 

 The meeting lasted an hour following which we gathered for a picnic. Altogether a lovely morning.

Contact: Devizes Quakers 

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