"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."

One of our members attended a very powerful weekend gathering on  26-29 August to discuss Quaker responses to the climate change and ecological emergencies. It was felt important to share concerns with Quakers as widely as possible and a closing epistle was composed and agreed by all attenders. The epistle can be read below.
We are 63 Quakers gathered from across Britain, with a sense of urgency and under concern.
Addressing all Friends, as far as we can reach. We will outline our experience, own our own response, and issue a call to action.

We have heard clearly, with hope and excitement as well as fear and grief, an acute sense that this is an extraordinary time – a time of enormous challenge which can change us profoundly in ways we need to change. It is the great, holy work of our time, it is our privilege to be part of it and we must prepare our spirit for what is coming.
The climate and ecological crisis changes everything.

We value the work which is being done by Yearly Meeting staff and Woodbrooke on climate justice and encourage Friends to participate. We also see clearly that there is a need for grassroots action/response to the climate and ecological crisis in addition to that currently embodied in Yearly Meeting and Woodbrooke structures.
Local and area meetings are aware of the urgency and much is happening, both within Quakerism and beyond. Meeting for Worship isn’t just a place to feel comfortable, but a crucible in which we scrutinize our lives and see how they can be aligned more closely to our faith.
Arising from this gathering we know that there isn’t one right thing to do, the important thing is to do our best, and not give up. We each commit to listen to each other, love and support each other, work and worship together. We will find ways to ground ourselves and heal ourselves, and build resilience and inclusion wherever we can.

We carry forward from this gathering many strands of work, both large and small. We recognise that injustice in the ownership and control of resources raises questions about our entire political and economic system. We commit to work with children and young people; we have a concern to address the current cost-of-living crisis, including offering our meeting houses as warm refuges; we make a commitment to support those taking direct action; we will respond to promptings to work more on food and biodiversity; and we are led to support local communities in becoming carbon neutral, alongside many other ideas and actions.
We believe Faith groups can take a lead which will help the nation listen, and Quakers must play our part in this. We would like to see an Interfaith commitment to climate justice leading up to the next general election so that incoming government is clearly focused on this issue.

The last time Quakerism renewed itself was the 1895 conference which became the basis of 20th century liberal Quakerism. Quakers had to reorientate their faith.
Today, we are a similar position. Rather than evolutionary science tearing up our sense of the past, we hear the prophetic voice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that is tearing up our sense of the future and ending the notion of the inevitability of growth.
The science and the events it chronicles, together with our increasing awareness of the legacy of extractive colonialism, are once again calling on us to renew our faith. This is the context of our gathering. We open ourselves to this pregnant sense of the present. Quakers and Living Witness can be midwives of the spirit.

The universe is participatory, there are no bystanders. Our commitment to climate justice encourages us to see everything we do as something which is of god or against god. We are called to be whole with creation and act on the Truth which we find.

(6 September 2022)

At Devizes Quaker Meeting we are very fortunate to have a garden adjoining the canal. It is a peaceful place appreciated by users of the building as well as the members of the Meeting. We are endeavoring to make it a more sustainable place by using perennials and by managing the site, especially the canal bank, for wildlife. We are developing a small herb bed behind the Marsden Room. We participate in the Living Churchyards project as part of our commitment to combating climate change.

The garden is tended with the help of a young man who comes once a week. We also hold regular, quarterly work parties of members to do major work. We have compost bins and use the compost made for mulching the beds and potting up. We are able to use our two water butts to avoid using tap water on the garden. However the current drought is making the garden very dry and sad looking. Once we get some rain it will be good to plant out more drought resistant plants to keep it looking brighter as we begin to experience more hot dry periods. We would welcome gifts of plants for this purpose.

The gardener comes on Tuesday morning before the Midweek Meeting for Worship at 11.30. We invite people wishing to join us for the Meeting to make use of the garden as a quiet space at that time.

We do not open the garden to the public because the building is in regular use by hirers and the tenant of our flat and we need to give them some privacy.


Following a trial period we have decided to go ahead with regular mid week meetings. We will meet at 11.30 for half an hour which will be followed by an opportunity to chat over a packed lunch. This could be a good opportunity to find out more about a Quaker meeting if you have ever wondered what they are like. The meetings will be in person only for the benefit of those who prefer not to use the Zoom links. Our Sunday meetings at 10.30 will continue to be blended meetings using Zoom. We hope this will give the best of both worlds for anyone wishing to join us.

To join the Sunday Meeting by Zoom please email Robin Brookes at clerk@devizesquakers.org.uk

11 July 2022

There will be a public meeting at the Town Hall in Devizes at 6.30 on 23 March. The discussion will consider how as a town and district we can best support Ukrainian refugees who may come to our area.

It seems a long time ago now but in 2019 we had a visit from Ivan Randall from the Living Churchyards project in Wiltshire. We were able to show him the efforts we have been making to encourage wildlife into the Meeting House garden especially on the canal bank. We received a certificate to welcome us to the project and in 2020 a second one for ongoing work.

One of the things we would like to do is to increase the number of perennial flowers we have in the garden that attract pollinators. We need plants for nectar for as long a season as possible to support early and late flying insects. Various people have popped plants in over the past couple of years but we could do with more.

We have been in touch with Ivan in the meantime and finally received both certificates recently.  We have participated in the Living Churchyards scheme as part of our Eco church challenge. Having achieved the Eco church silver award we now need to go for gold.



Contact: Devizes Quakers 

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