Thursday, 30 October 2008

Of all the friends I have ever met...

Let us give prayer and due regard to our Friends who, no longer in Meeting, will always be with us in the Eternal.
We have our memories and their regard for the Spirit. Jessie now Eileen, but is this a time for remorse? They are gone yes but they will live until the last memory goes of that of David, Nickie, Alan and Irene. and other Friends.
For Eileen and Jessie
Our beloved Friends

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Give them shelter

This is from a recent article by Harrient Grant and Rachel Stevens in this week's New Statesman. You can read the full article here, or watch their documentary on More4 News at 8pm on Friday 17 October:

"In every major city, Christians of all denominations - Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists and Quakers - are going to great lengths to support asylum-seekers threatened with deportation.
When asylum-seekers come to the end of the application process and have exhausted all appeals, their benefits are stopped, they lose their accommodation and they are told to accept a free flight home or face being forcibly removed. But thousands stay, afraid or unwilling to return to their home countries.

Faced with overwhelming numbers of destitute asylum-seekers in their parishes, churches have responded by creating an informal support network that stretches across Britain.
The role of the church as a force for social justice is not one that gets much attention these days and it is often perceived as out of touch with issues that concern modern Britain. But, under the radar of the public eye, churches and Christian groups are becoming increasingly involved in subversive activities over asylum, one of the most controversial issues in politics.

Some church groups have bought up houses in which refused asylum-seekers may live rent-free after they have been evicted. For example, in Manchester, the Boaz Trust, a Christian charity for asylum-seekers, has eight houses, some donated by church members, which are specifically used as long-term accommodation for those the Home Office has refused leave to stay in Britain.
In other towns, disused presbyteries and vicarages are housing those the government says have no right to be here. Some churches are simply opening up at night, letting people sleep on the floor of their church hall.

In Sheffield, hundreds of destitute asylum-seekers go once a week to the Methodist Victoria Hall in the centre of town, where volunteers swap their supermarket vouchers for cash, and hand out bus tickets and bags of food to get the asylum-seekers through the week. Similar drop-ins are being established in churches in every major city in the country.

Notre Dame de France Church in London's Leicester Square is a vital source of support for many Africans who have been refused asylum but still do not want to return to trouble spots in countries such as Congo or Ethiopia. Only yards from the hordes of tourists and ticket touts, the church offers a comforting chat with a priest and a meal. Many who go there are homeless, sleeping rough or on friends' floors.

Drop-in centres and "safe" houses add up to a subversive network, helping families to stay in Britain against the wishes of the government. The church networks are raising considerable sums for this work, often via the collection plate, passed from pew to pew during services. In Liverpool, the Catholic diocese currently gives the local asylum group Asylum Link every penny it receives from collections during Lent - some £25,000 a year.

Around the country hundreds of thousands of pounds are being raised to support people the government says have no right to refugee status. Giving alms and shelter to the needy is a central tenet of almost all organised religions, but questions are being raised as to whether the churches should be taking such a strong line over what is essentially a political issue."

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Joy Zarembka's book

Hi All,

Having just spent a very enjoyable weekend with Joy and Dave Zarembka, who came to visit us at Sheffield Quaker Meeting, thought you might like a chance to check out this short film of Joy talking about her book 'The Pigment of Your Imagination- mixed race in a global society' She's leaving copies of the book for us to sell and it will be in the library at Sheffield Quaker Meeting. Do take time to check out this link, it's really worth it!

Friday, 10 October 2008


Thank you for the life of our Friend
I have just found this which may be of interest

Nov 2005
Jessie Baston
1926 - 1932
message via Roger Graham
Hi John,I have had a letter from Jessie Baston, an ex pupil and a donor to the Samuel Clegg Scholarship Fund, who is a retired teacher living in Sheffield. She told me that she was at School from 1926 to 1932. In this letter received this morning ( in reply to mine a few days previously ) she told me that she cannot come on Saturday adding that she is " too old to drive far these days ". She is 90.She and Prof. Alan Roper ( 1935-42 ) paid a nostalgic visit to the School in September 1994. Alan was a retired professor of genetics at Sheffield University and in his retirement he serves as a Quaker Chaplain. Shortly after their visit Jessie sent a sum of money to be added to the Samuel Clegg Scholarship Fund. I wrote to her thanking her for the donation and we have kept in touch ever since.Jessie had been one of the very first recipients of a Samuel Clegg award shortly after leaving school. She told me in a letter in 1994 that the grant to her " was an enormous help to me ". Both her parents died during her time at Nottingham University. She obtained a first in French and then embarked on a teaching career mostly at Woodhouse Grammar School in Sheffield. She became Head of Modern Languages, then Senior Mistress and finally Assistant Headteacher.She told me in a letter in 2002 that " Those days at LECS were really the happiest days of my life and I shall always be grateful for what they gave me. I didn't miss even one half-day of the six years that I was there."In the latest letter she also writes : " It's very sad that the school is leaving that lovely building. What memories come flooding back ! I wonder if any of my contempories will be with you - Peter Musson, Tagger Taylor, Philip Wright, Harry & Ernest Plackett, Joan Comery ? I shall look forward with great interest to reading/hearing all about it. " Other contempories of hers mentioned by her in previous letters were Gordon Hobday, Joan Knott and Enid Rowbotham.There is nothing confidential or similar in the 5 paras above & so please feel free to publish all or part as you think fit.Best wishesRoger.
In Friendship