Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section

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EMES Announces first four grants from Small Grants Fund

Four Quaker communities/organisations have received financial support from the Small Grants Fund managed by FWCC-EMES with funding generously made available by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) in the first round of applications.

A total of £9,750 was allocated to the following:

  • Finland Yearly Meeting, for their recently-held conference Remembering Quaker relief work in Finnish Lapland 1945 – 47; looking at current and future challenges. This event was an opportunity for a numerically small and hugely dispersed Yearly Meeting to come together to plan and run an event to commemorate 70 years since the start of the work camps for relief and reconstruction of Lapland, an area devastated in the latter part of World War II. American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in partnership with the Finnish Christian Settlement Foundation, led the work, and came together to remember. A wonderful opportunity for in-reach and out-reach, this event resonated deeply with the current challenge of accommodating new waves of war refugees and inspire us to respond imaginatively and generously. All the talks were recorded on camera, and can be seen here.
  • Friends House Moscow, for a project to provide a space for peaceful meditation in Moscow, enabling all those who are seeking spiritual connection to share our manner of worship. By providing this space, they hope to create a stable spiritual community that can support and encourage the internal growth and personal reflection of Friends and other participants.
  • Europe & Middle East Young Friends (EMEYF) for the All-age Gathering that will take place in the summer of 2016 to celebrate 30 years since its founding. A vital ministry, that has enabled young people to find and/or maintain a Quaker identity even when living far from any other Quakers, or Friends of their own age.
  • Quaker Worship Group in Dresden, for a project to address xenophobia in their city. Working with an established organisation called Spuren, the grant will support the Words between Worlds program, which takes recently settled foreigners into schools, youth clubs, college classes, churches, etc., to speak about what brought them to Germany, their lives here and their hopes for the future. A timely ministry in these times of fear and suspicion of large numbers of refugees arriving in Europe, and an opportunity for a small group of Friends to live out their testimonies in the wider community.

Only one application did not receive immediate funding, but has been encouraged to develop its proposals further and resubmit.

Any new applications received by early November may be considered at the next meeting of the EMES Executive Committee at the end of that month, or in March 2016. Further opportunities to apply will be in June and December 2016.

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