Marple Quakers and Methodists held a joint service in January

In January we joined with Marple Methodists for a shared service.  This had been a regular annual event until the disruptions of 2020.

Deacon Jude Laycock and Hilary Brooks devised a programme of worship which included readings from Quaker Faith and Practice and a very enjoyable question-and-answer session where Jude and Hilary reflected on the similarities and differences between our two traditions.

Sue Pounder presented a “Quaker Feely Bag”, containing items that reflected various elements of Quakerism: peace flag, fox, candle, Cadbury’s, old £5 note showing Elizabeth Fry, tin of Quaker Grey paint, Quaker Oats promotional plate, “The Light that Pushes Me”, picture by our youngest member of a smiling person with outstretched arms..

After listening to some verses by John Greenleaf Whittier we settled into silent worship for about ten minutes, and then closed with our final hymn “The Spirit lives to set us free – walk, walk in the Light”.

It was – as always – a joyful occasion, and we were warmly welcomed.  Several interesting conversations followed over coffee.

When the old Marple Meeting House was sold, in the late 90’s, and the Methodists heard we were seeking new premises, they immediately offered us the use of one of their spare rooms.  A formal ‘licence’ setting out the terms of use – a legal agreement,  is renewed each year.  However, we also have what we call ‘The Real Agreement’, which reads as follows, and carries the signatures of about forty Methodist and Quakers.

Marple Quakers and Marple Methodist Church

The message of the gospel is love. It is in this spirit that we come together under one roof. We will celebrate that which unites us and guard against differences becoming a barrier between us.

We will:

Welcome one another to worship

Share fellowship together

Seek opportunities of learning from one another

Share pastoral concern

Share information of interest to one another

And remaining faithful to the insights of our traditions we will share one heart for the light given to us.

Sue Pounder

February 2024