Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 12th November 2023

Dear Friends, A Lewes Friend rang to ask if I had come across Gerrard Winstanley, Ken Loach’s choice for Great Lives. Yes, I had: Tatiana Pavlova, a historian, a member Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 12th November 2023

Dear Friends,

A Lewes Friend rang to ask if I had come across Gerrard Winstanley, Ken Loach’s choice for Great Lives. Yes, I had: Tatiana Pavlova, a historian, a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the first Russian member of the Society (and a personal friend), had found Quakers as a result of her research into 17th century English social history and had written a book on Winstanley.Pleased to discover that Quakers still exist, Tatiana wrote to Friends House in London in 1990 to ask for some literature; she then set up a meeting in the manner of Friends in her flat in Moscow.Born in Wigan in 1609, Gerrard Winstanley is remembered especially for his teachings on the stewardship of the earth, which he called the Globe (with a capital G). ‘The Globe should not be enclosed for the benefit of ‘owners’ but should be made the Common Treasury of livelihood for all mankind.’ He was a leader of the Diggers, or as he called them, the true Levellers. He predates the Quakers with his challenge to the compulsory national church and his teachings on equality, simple living and sustainability: ‘Every single man, Male and Female, is a perfect Creature, and the same Spirit that made the Globe dwells in man to govern the Globe’.A prisoner of his time where ideas around punishment are concerned, Winstanley influenced Quaker thinking on other matters and, having worked with Edward Burrough for some years, he died and was buried as a Quaker in 1676.Again, last Sunday, as I attended a zoom meeting with about 25 Friends, including Russians, Ukrainians and Georgians, I gave thanks for the grace of God as shown in the life of Gerrard Winstanley, the inspiration for the meeting in Moscow, and therefore also, as a result of outreach, in Kyiv and in Tbilisi.Patricia Cockrellon behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Caroline Pybus, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall)