Conference 2018

QUG 2018 Annual Conference April 13th- 15th, 2018, at the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre,1046 Bristol Rd, Birmingham B29 6LJ

We are delighted to tell you that you are now able to book into our next conference. We do encourage you not to leave it until just before the conference because we have in recent years had to turn some late applicants away.

Our conference is entitled ‘Quaker understandings of truth – in religion, in a Quaker context and in the media.’

See detailed programme for this conference here.

One of our Quaker testimonies is truth and integrity: we will be exploring it from a universalist point of view, as an individual Quaker, and in relation to the mass and social media to which we are exposed.

We are pleased to have booked excellent speakers for each of these topics:

Ben Wood will speak on truth in religion.

Ben is a lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Leeds Trinity University. He is a Quaker who blogs under the title of Armchair Theologian and he has contributed to many Quaker courses and publications. His academic research interests include pluralism in western society, the intersection of Christian faith and liberal-secular culture and theological conceptions of political citizenship. He is a member of QCCIR (Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations).

Joycelin Dawes will speak on truth in a Quaker context.

Joycelin wrote QUG pamphlet 32, Choosing Life: Embracing Spirituality in the 21st Century. She has written on contemporary spirituality in The Quest, and, as clerk to Quaker Social Action trustees, compiled The Q-bit – at the heart of a Quaker-led organisation. Her recent book, Discernment and Inner Knowing explores our ways of knowing, probing truth through discernment.  Joycelin is curious about “what’s really going on here?” – how we interpret our experience and give it meaning. She hopes to bring a similar approach to her topic on truth now.
She is an Associate Tutor and trustee at Woodbrooke, and also trustee of Friends Provident Foundation. Joycelin loves time with her grandchildren, reading and walking.

Stephen Cox will speak on truth in the media.

A Quaker since 1994, Stephen has led the communications of four national organisations, including 13 years at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children covering issues as diverse as sexual misconduct, scientific breakthroughs and fundraising morality. He has been a front-line participant dealing with investigative journalism, honesty in government, hysteria and hype, journalistic and public relations ethics, and many other issues.  He says – ‘If you are not worried about truth in politics and the media, you are not paying attention’.  He is a member of the LGBT community, and a member of North London Area Quaker Meeting.  His novel comes out in 2019.

The conference will be introduced on the Friday evening by two members of the QUG Committee, Alan York and Tony Philpott. They will also organise a simple anonymous survey of participants on world views / religions that influence our spiritual awareness and on the media we use. A summary of the results will be reported to the conference on the Sunday morning.

There will be the usual meetings for worship, break out groups, epilogues and panel/general discussion – plus Saturday evening entertainment, the excellent Woodbrooke food and plenty of time to socialise.

The cost of the conference is £220 (full-time residential cost).  If you have any questions about the conference please contact Glen Gates by email at

You can down load the application form for the 2018 Conference here (MSWord format) or here (Adobe PDF Format)