January 2017

It has been a comparatively quiet year in Malta with the big tides of political disruption yet to be felt on the islands. Few migrants have been stranded here on their way to the mainland while those of us with UK passports are waiting to see what will happen.

Much effort in 2016 was spent planning an exhibition of the Quaker Tapestry in Valletta ( cultural capital of Europe in 2018 ) but after the costs of the project became clear we had to reluctantly shelve the idea. We were likewise frustrated when our efforts to unite church groups to some kind of public prayer meeting while the Commonwealth heads of Government met in Malt prior to the Paris climate summit failed. Stonewalling by the Catholics and extreme security measures made it impossible to get noticed by the gathered world press. I hope however, that our group holding of the Climate Conference 'in the light' helped with the positive outcome!

In November we enjoyed a visit from a group ( a hush?) of Quakers from Sheffield who pleasantly swelled our numbers for Meeting. At a subsequent meal they mentioned how at home they had been made to feel and I would urge other travelling Friends to make the effort to contact and visit local groups. It means so much and is always a rewarding experience!

And so we face 2017 with some trepidation but with the certainty that the light will shine through, no doubt in some unexpected places.

Piers Headley
 
January 2014 It has been a mixed two years for our fledgling group here in Malta with attendances at meeting varying wildly amid many welcome visits from Friends from around the world. We started life in 2011, initial contacts being facilitated by EMES (European and Middle East Section of the Friends World Committee for Consultation) and held our first meeting in November. It was decided to meet on the first Sunday of the month in the Church hall of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Sliema and we have done so ever since! At that first meeting we were much helped by the kindness of Linda Hoy of Sheffield Meeting, who brought booklets, copies of ‘Advice and Queries’ and lots of encouragement.
 We attended as a group a performance of the play ‘Jesus had two Daddies’ given by an American Friend Peterson Toscano, which turned out to be a witty and challenging analysis of biblical stories and used the occasion for a bit of outreach with leaflets about the meeting. In November, Linda Hoy gave an inspiring reading from her book ‘The Effect’ to which some members of the Anglican congregation also came.
The second year here has seen changes with initial attenders leaving and new people joining. I, as clerk, had a moment of soul searching at one point, as it seemed as though I might be left on my own in the meeting. I was helped by Ann and Colin Millar from Aberdeen Meeting, who told me a tale of a Scottish meeting house where a lady attended on her own for quite some time before the meeting came back to life. I decided to ‘soldier on’ and seven people attended the next meeting, almost a record for our small group! Especially heartening are the meet up with Annie Pye and Valerie Morgan, both of whom are members of the society. Ellen Mchugh, a theology student visiting Malta and Timothy Katiba Chepkwesi from Kenya YM, who introduced us to other forms of Quakerism before leaving us for Oslo to continue his studies, also joined us for several meetings. Both contributed greatly to the spirit of the meeting.
 Please note our new e-mail address!
 In friendship, Piers
 malta_friends@yahoo.com