Richard and Chris Sear, Britain Yearly Meeting.
“To everything there is a season and a time, to every purpose under heaven. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance…” [Eccl.3]
We have just finished seven weeks as friends-in-residence at the delightful Quaker Centre of Silver Wattle, set in rural NSW. Quiet and secluded, yet only twenty minutes from the bustling little town of Bungendore and forty five minutes from Canberra.
We arrived with open minds and hearts, plus plenty of working clothes. We were immediately absorbed into the almost monastic daily rhythm of prayer, study, work and meals. We felt an integrated part of the community from the very first moment.
The days were strikingly varied. We experienced weekly structured courses; an intense weekend course; an Easter family camp; a gardening work camp, and also activities outside of the centre. We collected gusts from the airport and rail station, shopped for food and tractor parts, even managing a day off per week so to be tourists in Canberra and the coast.
Throughout all of this activity there was daily meeting for worship and evening epilogue, and a weekly silence from Wednesday into Thursday. Pervading all of this was a continual calm and spiritual peace.
We gave our labour freely and slept well at night. We leave greatly enriched by the experience and having made many new Australian friends.
Thank you, Silver Wattle, and thank you Australia.
“ Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world answering that of God in everyone.” George Fox.