Junior Yearly Meeting is a Quaker residential event attended by 70 young people aged 15 to 18 years old, It was held during the Easter holidays. Two Bootham students : Liam Roche and Lois Vohra attended this year. Liam had the extra responsibility of being part of the arrangements committee which organised the whole event. Congratulations to him for juggling his A level commitments and organising this amazing event. The participants at this year’s event considered the theme: “Diversity and Inclusivity: How can we use our ideals to change our reality?” Their reflections are below.
At the beginning of April, two Bootham students attended Junior Yearly Meeting, an event for young people involved in Quakerism. One of the students, Liam Roche, was in a leadership position of Elder. Thus he was responsible for the arrangement of worship and spiritual activities at the event. At the event, many different topics were discussed, such as the influence of privilege on society. This privilege could be due to many things such as age, wealth, gender, sexuality and many others. Following from this it was as well discussed that although the Quakers are an accepting and diverse group the reality is that the average Quaker is an: Elderly, cisgender, straight, middle class, non-disabled woman. For this reason, it was discussed how the Quakers could work to make their inclusive ideals reflect their reality as a whole. As well as the discussions the group of 71 total participants took part in activities such as the Easter Eggstravaganza in their Base Groups, which were small groups used throughout the weekend. They as well did a wide variety of activities offered by the venue such as Kayaking and The King Swing. There were as well community events such as Open Mic and the Quiz which were very helpful in breaking the ice. This event offered all of the attendees an exceptional understanding of the nature of Quakerism while simultaneously allowing for the making of fabulous friendships.
This Easter holiday I attended Junior Yearly Meeting at the Frontier Centre in Wellingborough. I was very nervous as it was my first Quaker Youth event but from the moment I arrived everyone welcomed me with open arms and made an effort to make sure I felt at home. I took part in lots of exciting activities such as the King Swing, an Easter egg hunt and a ceilidh on the final night. There were also many talks on current issues in the Quaker community and lots of silent meetings; I even ministered for the first time at the end of the week. I would like to thank the RS department for giving me the opportunity to go and for all the wonderful memories I have from the weekend.