Lasting memories of Spiceland summer settlement
Over the last weekend of August, more than 100 Quakers gathered together at Spiceland Meeting House in Devon for Spiceland Summer Settlement; to build and live in a temporary Quaker community.
Friends from Spiceland Meeting in Devon – and many Quakers who participated – still feel very invigorated and inspired by this event. One Friend recently described it as 'magical, and so affirming of my Quaker faith and commitment to this community'.
The event was put together by a small team of Friends, supported by 3 Local Development Workers and a Youth Development Worker. They worked collaboratively to create this opportunity and had to consider everything from how to blend all age worship between a yurt, a meeting house and zoom to how to feed everyone from a field kitchen. The whole thing took much creativity, planning and collaboration!
Friends described the event as 'hugely invigorating, heart warming and connecting', with many Friends moved by the incredible sense of community they managed to build over the weekend; truly 'knowing each other as people sharing joys and sorrows' (Quaker Faith and Practice 10.10). This was facilitated by a spacious programme; including a human library (where you could borrow a human 'book' for conversations on a topic), music and singing, walks in the locality, sheltering under trees to hide from heavy rain together, daily worship, eating together and much more besides.
Friends and development workers are hopeful that similar gatherings will be held in future years in the southwest. Other development workers in other patches, including Yorkshire, are inspired to explore offering something similar in their regions too.