London Link Group

Young Quaker London Link Group

Sun and fun in lovely Lewes

Outside Lewes historic Meeting House

On 29-30 June 2024, 15 young people and adult volunteers headed to the newly renovated Lewes Quaker Meeting for our first London Link Group residential event of the year.

Most of us met at Victoria station at 9am on Saturday and took a train to Lewes, with a few others making their way directly to Lewes Quaker Meeting. There has been a Quaker Meeting in Lewes since 1655 (!) and the meeting house was built in 1784.

We played games to get to know each other, aided by some tennis ball catching practice, and took a look around the meeting house to work out where we were going to be sleeping. Once we had established names we assigned secret friends for the weekend.

After lunch, we went to the Railway Land nature reserve, and played frisbee in the sunshine. There were a few hours to explore Lewes, when some people went charity shopping, and others bought things for their secret friend, or went back to the meeting house to sing songs and play card games.

Frisbee fun

We had a tasty dinner of takeaway pizzas and salads, and followed this up with a mighty, loosely Quaker-themed quiz! This included a picture round in which we had to identify whether a building was a current Quaker meeting house or not. Another question required each team to list as many facts as they could about an individual on the next team. The hilarious “false or true” round required us to work out what kind of Fox’s party ring biscuit was the favourite of George Fox, who would have been 400 this year. We finished the day with epilogue and hot chocolate/herbal tea before bedding down on the meeting house floor.

On Sunday, we joined Lewes Quakers for their meeting for worship. The children’s meeting made origami tulips. We had a shared lunch of quiche and salads before heading for the train back to London, having had a fun and fulfilling weekend among Friends.

Looking forward to the next residential event at Forest Hill on 12-13 October 2024!

Booking open for London Link in Lewes: Now closed!

Lewes Meeting House

Further details will be sent by email.

We’re heading from London to Lewes in East Sussex to the beautiful market town of Lewes (which has a recently refurbished Meeting House). There will be the usual array of hanging out, great food, visit to castle and gardens (tbc), seeing the town, games, Quaker reflection and the fun of camping out with Friends in a meeting house.

Book now!

London Link in Southend – day trip to Adventure Island theme park

We met by the Kindertransport statue outside Liverpool Street station, or some of us did – before realising there was another Kindertransport statue inside the station, which also happens to be the dedicated meeting point for the station! So two groups formed, packed lunches in hand, and boarded an early train for Southend.

We arrived at Adventure Island 2 minutes before it opened for the day, Southend Pier and the Thames estuary illuminated by glorious spring sunshine, which was the backdrop for the day, between intermittent brief April showers.

After sampling the thrills of various rides and attractions, we regrouped for a picnic lunch in the Cliff Gardens, supplemented with chips from the many fish and chip outlets. The adrenaline junkies were soon back on the rides, whilst others enjoyed the amusement arcades or took to the beach. At the appointed hour, we met to head back to the station (via the sweet shop!) and return to London on the train, our naps taking the edge off our tiredness from a long but enjoyable day together.

As one of our (older) participants said “I loved the trip to Adventure Island, it was so nice to see friends again and was a solid final London Link event”.

See you in June for the residential in Lewes!


On 28 January 2024 17 young people, and 4 adult volunteers, gathered at Westminster Meeting House for our annual Winterval get-together. As part of this we met a Quokka (well an image of one) and Julia Stacey who kindly agreed to write up an account of our meeting and afternoon….

Hello everyone! I am Julia, the new London Children and Youth Development Worker. I started this job in early January, and I’ve been learning loads. A big part of my job is getting to know everyone, so we can talk about how we can work together. I need to learn about what stuff Quaker teens, children and families are already getting up to, and what else you would like to do. It was fun to join London Link for their Winterval party.

The day of Winterval I walked over to Westminster Meeting House. I was a bit nervous, turns out that feeling never quite goes away when meeting new people! I hadn’t met any of the adults or teenagers yet. I sort of knew what to expect but not much, outside of the fact there would be pizza.

As more friends showed up, I could see many people already knew each other, however, I wasn’t the only new person. Initially, I was feeling a bit shy, but was well welcomed into the conversation. Once everyone arrived, we played some icebreaker games, and my nervousness quickly went away and was replaced by excitement and fun. Afterwards we attended to some business, such as nominations for a new clerk. I also took the opportunity to introduce myself and my work.

Next, we moved onto a Quaker quiz, I never knew how much I didn’t know about Quakers until doing this! From identifying famous Quakers, to filling in the blanks of Quaker quotes I was amazed how much everyone around me knew… thank goodness my teammates knew more than me. Doing the quiz reminded me it would be great to take some time to learn more stuff and read some books from the excellent Friends House shop and library. I want to learn more about the history of young Quakers, knowing more about our past can help inform our future.

After the quiz, we made pizzas. There were loads of vegetables to chop but luckily, I have past professional cooking experience & have been known to prepare lunch for 60 people, so made light work of all the chopping and grating! While working I got to talk with the other volunteers. Sally and I had an amazing conversation about the different eras of Beyonce’s career… along with Quaker stuff of course! It was no mean feat for everyone to make and cook their pizza with only one oven, but all that just made it taste even better.

As we finished off our pizzas, we began tidying up before heading into epilogue. The lights had been turned off, and fairy lights had been arranged in the centre of the circle. This experience of worship was so beautiful, the dark room lit only by the warm fairy lights was very calming. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can go about worship in a way that doesn’t fundamentally change it, but rather expands it.

Once epilogue was over, we all worked together to finish tidying up and people began to head home. I was tired out but was happy about how the day went. I can’t wait to get to spend more time with London Link and getting to know everyone better. The day also taught me a lot about what makes a successful Quaker event, apparently quizzes are the way to go (hah hah). But more seriously, it showed me how our teenagers are amazingly skilled and confident in leading and planning events and activities. I can’t wait to help them out with future ones.

If you would like to read more about me and my work and find my contact details you can check out my webpage I also hope to launch a newsletter soon, if I can ever figure out Mailchimp!

Please contact me if you have questions, ideas, thoughts or just want to say hi! I look forward to hearing from you.

Spring link – St.Albans

On a not-quite spring 3-5th of March 13 young people and 5 volunteers from across the south gathered in St.Albans Quaker Meeting House.

Although tired out by the week, our energy levels were soon replenished by seeing friends new and old.

For dinner we had a curry of coconut dhal, vegetable curry, pakoras and rice that filled us up. After that meal’s washer-uppers had finished we settled down to watch a film on the projector in main meeting room. We had a short candle lit epilogue and then bed.

At the crack of 8:30am we tided up and joined together to have a veggie cooked breakfast. For one particular participant the morning also marked the dawn of a new age, …age 15. Happy Birthday! In terms of getting up throwing birthday balloons at each other proved very effective.

The first activity of the day was free time in the historic town of St.Albans, with attractions such as the charter market, Roman ruins, a cathedral and the ever popular Tesco Metro and Wilko stores providing places to visit – everyone found something to enjoy.

St.Albans Meeting House is conveniently located close to the town centre, for several hours we opened our exclusive artisan (crisp sandwich anyone?) sandwich shop for participants to drop in. This was also a good opportunity to sing happy birthday and dive into to birthday cake #1.

After letting lunch digest, a few of the participants and 3 of the volunteers went to the leisure centre to try our wits at crossing the inflatable obstacle course. Volunteers struggling with the er…agility, benefited from nice team efforts.

Stock photo © St.Albans Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre

Once everyone was back there was time for some games before starting the main theme session on “What makes you, you? Exploring the world of our own identities”. We talked about about what is an identity and the protected characteristics in law. We went on to try to map out our broader identities with post-its. The meeting house floor was covered with colourful clusters of posits, reflecting the differences and similarities between us.

How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers are welcome? Seek to know one another in the things which are fundamental, bear the burden of each other’s challenges and uphold one another. As we enter with tender sympathy into the joys and sorrows of each other’s lives, ready to give help and to receive it, our meeting can be a channel for love.

Adapted version of Advice & Queries 18

A made-up example

After consent from the group we wandered around the room looking at what people had chosen to put. A very deep respectful silence was experienced whilst we were doing this, perhaps reflecting the braveness, honesty and vulnerability we were all experiencing. We considered the questions of whether the identities we express change depending on who we’re with or where we are. What parts of our identities change over time and what stays the same. How do we make sure our identities don’t divide us.

It felt like a safe and spiritually connected time.

After some refreshments the volunteers set about making dinner, while the young people organised themselves into playing various games around the meeting house.

A dinner of pasta, pesto, broccoli and tomato was demolished. Cake #2 gently lead us to our open-mic evening, with an eclectic mix of talented and entertaining performances.

Epilogue followed. With a reading:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

A Return To Love” by Marianne Williamson.

The next morning we got up and reassembled the Meeting House. A very long running cooked veggie breakfast got our hearts, stomachs and minds prepared for Quaker meeting. Some stayed in Meeting whilst others joined a group making clay models.

A lunch of left overs and sandwiches, a few last games and we were ready to head home.

London Link would like to thank St.Albans Quaker meeting for welcoming us again, shifting around bookings and generally letting us make the house our home for the weekend.

Thank you to all the participants and volunteers for an excellent weekend. – Michael, Philip, Amy, Rob and Margarita

« Older posts

© 2024 London Link Group

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑