QUG Newsletter February 2019

QUG 2019 Annual Conference

FORGIVENESS – Why forgive?

Friday May 10th (6 p.m.) – Sunday May 12th (2 p.m.)

Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, 1046 Bristol Road, Birmingham, B29 6LJ

Our conference is only 3 months away and all our speakers are booked. We are very much looking forward to exploring all the different aspects of forgiveness at Woodbrooke in May.

We are now very near the time when we have to return any unused rooms to Woodbrooke. This allows them to book in other people or groups if there are rooms available. So if you are thinking of coming and have not booked yet please send in your application form by the end of this month to guarantee yourself a place.

Here is a reminder of the speakers at the conference:

Dr. Liz Gulliford will speak on forgiveness from a psychological perspective.

Liz obtained degrees in theology and religious studies before moving into psychology. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Positive Psychology at the University of Northampton, with a special interest in human strengths including forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, courage and hope.

Peter Varney will compare forgiveness as it is understood in the religions of the Hebrews, Eastern Christianity, the Yoruba of Nigeria and the Iban of Sarawak. Peter is a retired Anglican priest and anthropologist who has lived and worked in Nigeria and Malaysian Borneo and studied the impact of the introduction of Christianity on the existing religions.

The Rev Dr Jean Wadsworth will speak on the Christian understanding of forgiveness from the early church to present day. Jean spent most of her 35 years in the ministry in the Southwark diocese. During this time she found that the question of forgiveness was the one that exercised people the most.

Tim Newell will speak on forgiveness from a justice perspective. Before retirement, Tim was the Governor of Grendon prison, a unique prison that provides a therapeutic community for some of the most difficult prisoners. Since retirement he has worked on projects to establish how effective restorative justice is in meeting the needs of both victims and offenders, and he helped to establish the Quaker initiative Circles of Support and Accountability for high risk, high need sex offenders, now an independent national charity. He was the Swarthmore lecturer in 2000 on the subject of forgiveness, restorative justice and compassion.

As in recent years, we hope many of you will attend our conference. As usual, the programme will include breakout group sessions, a special Saturday evening event, opportunities to question the speakers and plenary discussion. There will be the usual meetings for worship and epilogues; and plenty of time to socialise and enjoy the wonderful Woodbrooke buildings and garden.

We have kept the residential price down to £234, despite the fact that Woodbrooke has substantially put up the costs of our hiring the conference centre this year.

An application form is available on our website (https://qug.org.uk/) and (for QUG members) in the recent Universalist.

Please apply as soon as possible.

Bob Booth

Last newsletter we mentioned the death of Bob Booth. Bob was one of our longstanding committee members and writer of many articles in Universalist. His memorial meeting will be on Saturday April 13th at 2.30 p.m. in the Hillcrest Centre, Newhaven, East Sussex.

Britain Yearly Meeting

A date for your diary – Saturday May 25th 2019. Our special interest meeting at BYM has been booked and will be in Drayton B06 at 12.30 p.m. It will look back at our 2019 conference on Forgiveness and look forward to our 2020 conference. If you are at BYM please come along. We will also as usual be at the Groups Fair on Sunday evening May 26th and anyone who would like to help please contact us.