Report on the Life of Southport Meeting: November 2021

Our Meeting is a small Meeting in size but we have had a few new attenders of late. They have been warmly welcomed and continue to worship with us.

Unfortunately, 2021 saw the continuing Covid pandemic have a severe effect on the Meeting. We started Online Meetings to continue our worship together and these proved to be very successful. Following the relaxation of regulations in May we have gradually restarted meeting in the Meeting House once again. To enable those Friends still reticent to attend in person we have been able to offer a Blended Meeting. Some Friends now join the Meeting House meeting online. Initially our equipment to do this was simple, but over the summer months we invested in a large TV screen which together with the Sound System installed by our friends of the Unitarian Church has enabled the Blended Meetings to be very effective.

The third Monday Group has restarted following Covid. The group meets in the Meeting House and share a number of craft projects.

Sadly our childrens’ meeting has not restarted following relaxation of the regulations.

Our bees continue to improve owing to the care of our beekeeper Sue Hornby.

Our Warden, lettings manager and website designer Michael continues to look after our Meeting House and undertakes many tasks which keep us all comfortable and safe within the building. Our MH is used by a great variety of other groups and the income from these lettings is used wisely on the upkeep of the Meeting House. Most groups have now restarted their meetings following Covid. We thank Michael for all the work he does.

At the start of the year Gerard Hughes agreed to act as Clerk to the Meeting. Gerard joined the Society of Friends in 2010 and has found a spiritual home with the Southport Meeting. Margaret Hughes also became Correspondence Clerk. We thank Elizabeth Rowland Elliott and Sheila Galligan for their service as Clerk and Assistant Clerk over many years.

Sadly, our Friend Cherry Dowrick died in October and her memorial service was held in the Meeting House in early November. The Online Video and Sound was used as described above, enabling family in Australia and others to attend online. Cherry will be much missed.

We plan to relocate the plaques remembering Friends who have passed away from the garden table at the rear to a more prominent position at the front of the Meeting House. We shall add the name of Pam Ashworth, Cherry Dowrick and Shelagh Wright.

We have several doorkeepers to open up the MH and they are doing a great job welcoming Friends as they come through our door. We feel that this is a really important task. We are always glad to receive offers of help from other Friends with the clearing and washing up!

Collections have been severely restricted this year and our collections towards the end of the year have been for the Meeting House. We hope to start collecting for other charities in 2022. We cancelled our regular £50 per month donation to the local foodbank and replaced it with £50 per month to Andysmanclub, a group which works to support the Mental Health of Men.

Our coffee/tea break after M for W is a time when we love discussing a great variety of topics and feel that we are getting to know each other in “the things that are eternal”.

We look forward to continuous growth/ togetherness and loving Spiritual harmony growing together in our lovely meeting house. We very much hope that with the help of vaccines 2022 will see a return to more normality following the Covid pandemic. This will enable us to hold more events, meetings, trips, discussions etc. in the years to come.

Gerard Hughes
Southport Clerk

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