Kath Forder’s Service on September 2nd, her last as our Lay Pastor, picked up the theme of the August Swindon play reading The God Shaped Hole. Kath suggested that as humans wrestled with the why’s and how’s of existence they came to a point where the questions were unanswerable without a concept of God – the God shaped hole. Kath led us through the numerous ways that people shaped the divine to fill their holes, starting with words and music by mystic Hildegard of Bingen. This was another of Kath’s rewarding and thought-provoking Services, and, following a lovely tribute from Peter Godfrey, the congregation showed their appreciation of her work with a presentation of flowers, a book token and applause. Kath became the Fellowship’s interim Lay Pastor while the Cotswold Group looked for a new Minister. Now that the Cotswold Group has appointed a new Minister, Rev Mark Hutchinson, we hope that Kath may feel able to fill some of the Minister shaped holes when Mark is away. We are looking forward to welcoming Mark in October and hope he will enjoy the area and working with our varied congregations.
On September 16th we were joined by five members of Swindon Quakers for Tom Wilkes’ introduction to the work of the Swindon Equality. Catherine Day‘s thoughtful Reflection set the scene, exploring various kinds of inequality and contrasting the concept of ‘inequality’ with that of ‘being different from each other’. Tom outlined the ways in which Swindon Equality is trying to support the Equality Trust by raising awareness of the damaging levels of inequality in the UK. It was especially encouraging to be able to discuss these issues together with our Quaker visitors. Change can be uncomfortable and requires trust. We felt our current adversarial political system prevented the issues being properly thought through.