Message from EORG for Sunday Meeting 12th June 2022

Dear Friends Having worked within the National Health Service for over two decades, I have attended more than twenty annual safeguarding training sessions.  Within Quakers we need to focus on safeguarding more closely but I will admit to a slight sense of tedium when I saw it on the agenda of the last Area Meeting. Message from EORG for Sunday Meeting 12th June 2022

Dear Friends

Having worked within the National Health Service for over two decades, I have attended more than twenty annual safeguarding training sessions.  Within Quakers we need to focus on safeguarding more closely but I will admit to a slight sense of tedium when I saw it on the agenda of the last Area Meeting.

Margaret Newton, our Deputy Area Safeguarding Co-ordinator, introduced the work underway and I was startled by her assertion of our responsibility to care for not only the victims of abuse, but also, just as importantly, to have compassion for the perpetrators.  I have never heard this perspective stated in any other training session and it made me fall a little more in love with Quakers.

Since then, I have heard about Circles of Support and Accountability in Britain (quakersintheworld.org).  My awe for the depth of compassion at the heart of Quakers continues to grow.

There was no weakness or trouble of mind or body which might not safely be unveiled to [Elizabeth Fry]. Whatever various or opposite views, feelings or wishes might be confided to her, all came out again tinged with her own loving, hoping spirit. Bitterness of every kind died; when entrusted to her, it never reappeared. The most favourable construction possible was always put upon every transaction. No doubt her failing lay this way; but did it not give her and her example a wonderful influence? Was it not the very secret of her power with the wretched and degraded prisoners? She always could see hope for everyone; she invariably found or made some point of light. The most abandoned must have felt she did not despair for them, either for this world or another; and this it was that made her irresistible.”

Priscilla Buxton, 1847.  Quaker Faith & Practice 23.99

In Friendship

Theresa Samms

On behalf of the newly named Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET); Bob Harwood, David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall