This year’s Foxtrot made the most of the warm September. Even up in the Lake District we were fortunate to enjoy clear skies and excellent views from the top of Pendle Hill. Joining students from four other Quaker schools we travelled up to the Lakes to follow in the footsteps of George Fox, the founder of Quakerism. This annual pilgrimage is often a moment of realisation for the students that take part. They get to understand just where Quakerism came from and how such a rebellious and forthright character, George Fox, persuaded and rallied others to a radical new religion. As Jess Starkey (Quaker Elder) said: “We think Quakerism is just about sitting in silence but now I realise just how important it is to have your say and to stand up for the things that you believe in.”
Often it can seem that life in a Quaker school is different and unusual, but by connecting to other Quaker schools our students came to realise that they are part of an international network of schools. As Rhys Stacey said: “By meeting others and sharing our experiences I got to know more about the differences and similarities between our schools. For example, we all run our weekly meeting for worship slightly differently – this was very interesting.”
James Eyermann enjoyed hosting two students from Friends School Lisburn and then visiting Sibford School and suggested that we make more of the Quaker school network and think about having student exchanges. The Foxtrot has been part of the Sidcot calendar for over 30 years and long may it continue, offering our Sixth Form students a better understanding of the origins of Quakerism and an insight in to the rebel who stood for what he believed in. George Fox joined with others in challenging orthodoxy in order to bring about accountability, equality and justice.
“If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it? Our responsibilities to God and our neighbour may involve us in taking unpopular stands. Do not let the desire to be sociable, or the fear of seeming peculiar, determine your decisions.” – George Fox 1652