12 to 19 October
We moved energetically into Sidcot Quaker Week 2018 with a Cèilidh led by the band Rapscallion at which students of all year groups, from the Junior School to the Upper Sixth, and members of staff had much fun dancing, and drinking Quaker-themed mocktails – ‘The George Fox: guaranteed to make you walk cheerfully’, for example.
We also ran a few craft workshops: a friendship bracelets making workshop (for which we were joined by The Singing Children of Africa), and in preparation for Hat Day, we ran a hat/crown making activity for all students. You might wonder why Hat Day has become a feature of our Quaker Week. The answer is in the story that was re-enacted by students for the Quaker Week presentation assembly. Freddie Brasher and Freddie Fearnley-Derome took on the roles of William Penn and William Mead who came to trial in 1670 for disturbing the peace. They then proceeded in front of the judge to refuse to take off their hats because they did not believed ‘that to be any respect’. Although Penn and Mead were only fined for refusing to observe ‘hat honour’ in the presence of a social superior, many male Quakers were imprisoned for this crime in the 17th Century – in fact George Fox recalled in his journals "O! The blows, punchings, beatings and imprisonments that we underwent, for not putting off our hats to men! Some had their hats violently plucked off and thrown away, so that they quite lost them." Hat Day is an opportunity for us to raise money. This year, the money we raised will go to MAC-UK and Educate the Kids / The Singing Children of Africa.
Two other notable events during this year’s Quaker Week were a discussion we held with parents about Quakerism, and our first Friendly Walk. The discussion was used to introduce the history of the Society of Friends and what Quakerism means for us today. The Friendly Walk is a weekly event for members of our Sidcot Quaker Meeting and was joined by a group of Sixth Formers and teachers who had a happy time chatting, getting to know each other and walking in the Combe behind school.
The whole week reflected the true Sidcot spirit through its theme of ‘community’.
Freddie, Clara, Merle, Spencer and Céline
Senior School Quaker Elders and Overseer