On Human Folly: John Woolman play | Sunday 21 November 2010 2 pm

On Human Folly - played at Woking QuakersThis two-man play is presented at Woking FMH, after a shared lunch, by Plain Quakers theatre company. It was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008 and then toured the country. It has also been seen in Ireland, France and the Netherlands.

On Human Folly raises difficult questions and provides a quizzical sideways look at token environmentalism. The play moves easily between the past and the present, and recounts the 1772 journey to England of John Woolman, the 18th century American Quaker, and his death in York that year. Woolman’s story is told from the perspective of two historical Quakers who might have observed his progress, Caleb Marsden a Yorkshire tradesman and Samuel Galton, an important Birmingham arms manufacturer whose family was subsequently disowned by the Quakers. Woolman worked tirelessly to abolish slavery: three generations of Galtons sold weapons to slave traders.

Talk: Bethlehem Under Seige | 4 June 2010

"Cage" containing PalestiniansWORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ISRAEL-PALESTINE WEEK: stories and experiences from Phil Lucas, WCC Ecumenical Accompanier.
Supported by Quakers with Churches Together (Godalming & District), Justice & Peace Group, and Guildford Peace & Justice Network.

Location: Friends Meeting House, Mill Lane, Godalming

Contact: Julie Gibson: 01483 428511 Anna Seifert: 01483 414767

28 April 2010   Anna S

Harvest of Hope | 20 March 2010

LogoSinger songwriter Martin John Nicholls appeared in concert in Christ Church, Woking in aid of those living in some of the poorest communities in the world. His new show “Harvest of Hope” is a blend of songs, personal stories and inspiring images from West Africa, revealing the challenges facing the poorest communities and what we can do to be part of the solution. The evening began with an authentic and delicious Senegalese meal followed by Martin’s unforgettable cabaret.

The evening, organised by Christian Aid, was a memorable one and was well attended. Martin’s performance was powerful and captivating.

20 March 2010 Keith Keith & Frank

10:10 campaign

The 10-10 campaign10:10 is an ambitious project to unite every sector of British society behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010.

Friends House is committed to this campaign and Friends are encouraged to sign up. At the time of writing, it seems about 80 Quaker Local Meetings are now involved in some way: the Living Witness Project’s Spring 2010 ‘earthQuaker’ newsletter includes news of what some of these meetings are doing.

According to Irene, Woking Friends are hoping to organise an opportunity to share ideas and experiences in the Spring.

21 February 2010  MaryMary & Peter

Talk: The Significance of Silence in the Buddha’s Teachings | 15 February 2010

The similarity of some Quaker and Buddhist insights is a helpful reminder that universal truths are not uniquely Buddhist, not uniquely Quaker. As with Friends, the unifying element in Buddhism lies in practice rather than in the underlying belief system.

This talk, followed by questions, was given by Geoffrey Hunt, who is the Buddhist Chaplain at the University of Surrey and founder of the New Buddha Way. He also chairs the ethics committees of two local hospices. He is Professor of Philosophy at St Mary’s University College and lectures internationally on professional and organisational ethics, especially in relation to emerging technologies.

Judging by comments afterwards, the event was extremely successful, with 35 people from and outside the Area turning up for the occasion. Geoff has indicated that he enjoyed being there and meeting such an interested & interesting group; he said he would be pleased to come again if invited – which he may be taken up on!

18 February 2010

Ice sculpture prompts varied responses

Darth  Vader snowmanThe sight of a ghostly Darth Vader apparently emerging head and shoulders from the meeting house lawn (courtesy of our flat tenant Chris Bramley) caused a mixture of feelings amongst those who managed to get to meeting today.

One person thought we were exercising Quakerly tolerance in allowing it to remain, since this Star Wars character stands for all that is evil, rather like Harry Potter’s enemy Lord Voldemort. Another felt that it symbolised the ego which, with greater self-knowledge and spiritual discipline, we could allow to melt away rather than fight in vain. Someone else pointed out that Voldemort was unremittingly evil whereas Vader eventually achieved a form of redemption.

The discussion ended in tears of laughter, however, with the final comment from someone who had only seen it through the window, from the side, and had thought it was a sculpture of Elizabeth Fry, the 19th century Quaker prison reformer, in her Victorian bonnet!

10 January 2010 Irene R   Irene

The Odessa Expedition | October 2009

Photo: meeting with AVP UkraineThe International Board meeting of Friends House Moscow was held in Odessa. One of the things that FHM supports is the Alternatives to Violence Project in Ukraine. Holding the meeting there enabled us to meet the people who run AVP and hear about their work.

The meeting was scheduled over a long weekend. It seemed a shame to go all that way from the UK just for a few days – and in the end it turned into a two week trip by train around various bits of eastern Europe. See our personal blog for more details.

04 January 2010 Mary & Peter PHOTOS