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Circles and SPRIG for oversight and eldership
You are invited to join a pastoral circle if you have not already done so. Circles meet occasionally or more regularly, according to the wishes of circle members, for fellowship, fun and learning, and for a group of a dozen or so to get to know each other and to be well placed to offer pastoral support in times of need. The six circles in turn take charge of the tea/coffee and doorkeeping on Sunday mornings for a month, so everyone has an opportunity to offer service to the meeting.
Circles seem to work best when members meet, at least occasionally, but it is of course not essential to attend circle meetings. All the circles have ‘linked’ Friends, who, for whatever reason are happy to chat over a coffee and to take their turn with the Sunday tasks, but are not able or willing to attend the meetings.
In accordance with Quaker faith & practice 12.18 ‘..we are all to watch over one another for good and to be mutually interested one for another…’, Lewes Meeting adopted a structure of corporate oversight based on circles, and everyone is encouraged to take part. The circles are roughly geographically centred and the convenors look forward to hearing from you:
Brighton, convenor – Veryan Greenwood (firstname.lastname@example.org); Castle – Grace Blaker (email@example.com); Cliffe – Berta Busby (firstname.lastname@example.org); Needlemakers – David Martin (email@example.com); Prison Area – Patricia Cockrell (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Wallands – Bob Harwood (email@example.com).
Lewes elders and overseers have met several times in recent months to consider how best to offer service to the meeting in the light of Chapter 12 of Quaker faith & practice. We decided to combine to establish the Spiritual and Pastoral Resource and Information Group (SPRIG), and to work together with circle convenors to meet the pastoral and spiritual needs of the meeting.
Apart from supporting and nurturing circles the Resource Group will also:
- Encourage Friends to take responsibility for their rightful part in the life of the local meeting and in the local community
- Oversee the spiritual life of the meeting including opportunities for learning and deepening our ministry
- Promote the right holding of meetings for worship and for church affairs
- Seek resources for pastoral care including welfare
- Ensure the meeting as a spiritual community is functioning in right ordering.
For a full list of responsibilities please ask John Ashcroft, Patricia Cockrell, Bob Harwood, Anna Milner-Gulland or Helen Thomas.