02 April 2008

Meeting on Saturday 19th April 2008

We are meeting for an Easter gathering at Helena Woddis' house in Weybridge on Saturday 19th April at 2.00pm.

The theme will be "Hinduism, a brief look", and we shall concentrate on a central Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita.

In case you feel dubious about this subject, I quote Warren Hastings, Govenor General of Bengal and Head of the East India Company, writing home to the company Chairman in October 1784. He is commissioning a first translation from the Sanskrit into English, and explains what the Bhagavad Gita is and what it represents:

"Many passages may be found obscure, many will seem redundant; others will be cloathed with ornaments of fancy unsuited to our taste, and some elevated to a track of sublimity into which our habits of judgement will find it difficult to pursue them; but few which will shock either our religious faith or moral sentiments."

So you'll be alright! Read it if you can and please do come and meet up and have tea.

Contact helena.woddis@dsl.pipex.com telephone 07884 312 965

27 November 2007


Seven of us from the "resting" Surrey Group met on Saturday 20th October, at a day led by John Shelby Spong, sponsored by the Progressive Christianity Network. Jack was talking about his latest book, "Jesus for the Non-Religious".

It was a truly inspirational day and a happy re-union for the group. As a result, we have decided to meet up to further the experience on Saturday 15th December. We agreed to have a "bring and share" lunch, with time to catch up with each other, from 12.30, and then to discuss the day, the book and the DVD from 2.00 o'clock, finishing about 4.30.

No need to have attended the October event to justify joining us! It will be really good to meet again. All are welcome, but let us know you are coming.

The meeting will be at Helena Woddis' house, 7A Heatherfield Lane, WEYBRIDGE, KT13 0AS.
Tel 01932 851 561 email helena.woddis@dsl.pipex.com

22 June 2007

Hello Goodbye

The Surrey Local Group met on Saturday 16th June 2007 for the last time......at least, that was the intention. There were nine of us there, and three apologies for absence....and it felt very much that we were a real group, enjoying each others's company and as ready as ever to share our thoughts with each other.

The theme was "Letting go", and it felt appropriate, for we have had some sessions over the last with very poor attendance. yet when the time came some of us wondered why we needed to do that. Several people brought contributions, and our most recently joined member (the "youngest", he called himself, and perhaps he is that too) expressed regret and read us the Lennon/McCartney lyric:


You say yes, I say no,
You say stop and I say go, go, go.
Oh no.
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello.
I dont know why you say goodbye.
I say hello.

That said it all....so we have decided to hang on in there as an email group, and meet up once or twice a year to go to a lecture or an (appropriate?) play.

And there was a verse from William Blake, rightly so:

He who binds to himself a joy
Doth the winged thing destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternitie's sunrise.

So we have let go of our monthly meetings, and have said Goodbye but will soon again say Hello at the Jack Spong day on 20th October.

Dont hesitate to make contact if you want to join us there, or contribute to our emails.

25 May 2007

Goodbye to the Surrey Group; Saturday 16th June 2007

We have decided that it is time to lay our group to rest, at least for the time being.

We have been running for many years and have had a series of convenors, and a fluid membership. There has been a sense of trust and supportiveness in our group throughout, and for some this ending will be a loss. For others it will be time to move on. And possibly one of the remaining members will see fit to breathe life back into a Surrey group in the future.

We shall meet to reminisce and to say "Goodbye" on Saturday June 16th at 2.30, in Helena Woddis house. If you can make it, please come along and let us have a joyful wake. Bring any thoughts or writings on the theme of "letting go".

There are groups you may like to join in Croydon, Alton and Southampton. Helena in her role as Local Groups Co-ordinator can give you information, or you might even find they have a blogspot if you visit the SoF website at www.sofn.org.uk .

We shall be meeting up to hear Bishop Spong speaking in London on the 20th October. For information and to book a place, contact Mavis Cracknell on 0208 390 1549, email mavis.cracknell@btinternet.com , or check the website.

Thank you to all of you for contributions over the last few years when I have been convening the group. I have very much enjoyed the time we spent together.


31 March 2007

Meeting in Weybridge on Saturday 19th May 2007

We shall be meeting on Saturday 19th May at 2.30pm in my house as usual (unless I have moved by then!). We shall be discussing "God on the Bath", by Stephen Mitchell. It is a slim volume, so dont be deterred! It was reviewed very favourable in the last edition of Sofia....so let's read it.

I look forward to seeing everyone then.
(Tel 01932 851 561. email helena.woddis@dsl.pipex.com)