4. Chapters/Weekend meetings/Discussion Themes


In 2019 we have planned two weekends; York and Stroud. Details and application forms can be found below. More details will be published later

- York 27 - 31 August 2019


Vera Silberberg has invited us to share the delights of York and its surrounding area. Many of us were there for the International in 2015 but we were all very busy being the hosts to our continental pilgrims so may not have had chance to explore much of York itself. Vera has both worked in the area and and spent many hours leading groups and maintaining the beauty of the North York Moors. So we shall gain much from her knowledge and experience.

York is an ancient city, famous for its Roman, Viking and mediaeval heritage, and it’s huge cathedral church ‘The Minster’.

Around York there are small market towns and picturesque villages in gently rolling countryside, framed in the north by steeper hills - the North York Moors.

We shall be staying in the hall of Vera’s church which is close to the old city walls and the railway station. We recommend not coming by car as there are parking problems in this old residential area.

There will be more detailed information later and an application form is included in this issue.

The cost will be:- Full price:  £45.00

Reduced rate (students over 12 and those living solely on state benefits):  £36.00

Children under the age of 12:   £18.00 

and pro rata.

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Application Form for York

We look forward to welcoming you.

-  More details from Ian Mason, 92 Bodmin Ave. Stafford ST17 0EQ

ianmason@talktalk.net telephone +44 (0)1785 662194

Stroud - October 4 - 7 2019

You are invited to join in a weekend at the beginning of October exploring the delightful small market town of Stroud on the western edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. It has, for the past few years, been the home of Paddi Spruyt and is a town of many charms, much history and an independent spirit which takes it forward into new life out of a significant industrial heritage.

Stroud is situated where five rivers meet on the scarp edge of the Cotswolds and thus it is noted for its steep streets, surrounded by beautiful countryside and full of many short and long distance trails.

Though there is much evidence of early prehistoric settlement on the Cotswold edge the town of Stroud began to grow slowly in the 13th - 15th century but owes much of its significance to its fantastic position when the industrial revolution started. The fast-flowing streams were ideal for powering woollen mills which developed to use the wool of the Cotswold sheep. The cloth making and tailoring industries were enhanced by sizeable communities of Huguenot refugees in the 17th century and then Jews in the 19th century.

The developing textile industries were enriched by wisely planned new transport links - Canals were built linking the Thames and Severn and the valleys provided a rail route from Swindon to the port of Gloucester via Stroud. Sadly the canals became disused for many years but are now being reclaimed to provide short and long distance trails or boat rides and lovely surroundings for new dwellings or mills restored for new use.


The lively entrepreneurial life of the nineteenth century has left its heritage today - Arts festivals and community events are a strong feature of this town along with an independent spirit which is shown in a history of campaigns - rescuing and restoring ancient buildings, trees, the post office, road safety measures . . . . funding issues. But they could not prevent Macdonalds!

We plan to arrive on Friday afternoon - spend 2 days exploring some of the canals and footpaths. Alongside the walking there will be an opportunity to discuss the 2019 theme and, hopefully, to join with local churches on Sunday.

We will end after lunch on Monday. But of course it will be possible to come for less time. Transport links are easy by train or National Express buses.

The cost will be:- Full price:  £45.00

Reduced rate (students over 12 and those living solely on state benefits):  £36.00

Children under the age of 12:   £18.00 

and pro rata

Please complete the application form and send to ianmason@talktalk.net

Enquiries - contact Sheana Barby telephone +44 (0)1332 383301 sheana@talktalk.net

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Stroud application form