UK: Council of Communities Meeting Spring 2017
By Martine Masner, FFWPU Europe
The Spring Council of Communities Meeting, from April 28 to 30, 2017, in Belsey Bridge, Ditchingham, UK was focused on outreach and witnessing. Community leaders gathered from the whole UK, and they had also invited representatives of UPF and WFWP.
The purpose of the meeting was to create a place, where conversation can take place and where people can share their own ideas and agendas.
In the UK, lots of guests are coming in London and in Birmingham through UPF and WFWP activities. It is easier, to witness in an interfaith way. They invite guests through different events, they make them Ambassadors for Peace, and afterwards they invite them to various conferences. In London, they educate AfPs further and hold an introduction lecture every second Thursday, about what it means to become an AfP, using an introduction video and mentioning the Five Principles of AfPs (God, Spirituality, Living for Others, Family is the Unit of
Society, Ways of Cooperation). Every Tuesday of the month, they hold a Principle Topic Lecture (e.g. Living for Others) – each meeting has internal contents. The UK staff of UPF said that they feel big potential in their outreach, but that they are just a few people to take care of the guests. They have a reversed situation from the past: More guests, and less staff (97% guests and 3% staff).
In every quarter of the year, they organize a Two-Day Retreat—a Principles of Peace seminar.