WELCOME AND THANKS FOR VISITING QUEST IN THE NORTH
We meet every two months – usually on the 3rd Saturday of the relevant month.
Schedule of meetings for 2018-19
- 10th August 2018 Quest Annual Conference – Lincoln
- 22nd September – Sheffield ( Whirlow Spirituality Centre) Day of Reflection led by Fr Kieran Fitzsimons
- 17th November – Manchester – Film: “Holding The Man”
- 26th January – Manchester – “Inheritance Tracks” – Musical session
- 16th March – Halifax – After Suicide – Presentation by Mark Dowd
- 18th May – Manchester – Surviving Abuse – Presentation by Duncan Craig (CEO “Survivors Manchester”)
- 14th July – to attend York LGBT Mass with Quest East Midland)
- 9-11 August (Fri-Sun) – Quest Annual Conference – University of Winchester – Theme : Families
- 26th October – provisional – location to be confirmed
- 30th November – provisional – location to be confirmed
Our next meeting will be Sunday (note change of day) 14th July. We will meet be taking part in the Mass for LGBTQ people, their families and friends at the Bar Convent in York. We will be meeting up with Quest East Midlands to take part in this Mass (3.00pm) which is celebrated monthly and under the auspices of the Diocese of Middlesborough.
We are hoping to have lunch before hand around 12.30.
Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend.
More information to follow on the details of our proposed activities.
Our gatherings usually involve lunch on a bring and share basis.
If you would like details of the meeting venue etc then please contact Gez using the methods at the bottom of this page.
QUEST IN THE NORTH – SOME BACKGROUND
We are now in our ninth year of regular group gatherings. The meetings have been without exception enjoyable, supportive, often poignant, frank and by common consent well worthwhile travelling (in some cases) long distances to attend.
We have members across the northern region – from Hexham, York, Scarborough, Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Wakefield, Sheffield, Manchester, Derbyshire, Preston, Chester, Warrington, and Liverpool.
We still meet every two months. This means that the agenda / activities for each gathering is pretty full – and always involving food (it is the North and woolly vests come quite expensive) we need energy and heat for the long treks home!
As you may have guessed, we do not take ourselves too seriously and laughter is an important aspect of our gathering together.
COMPOSITION OF THE GROUP
Quest in the North is truly LGBT in that we have all of these aspects in our membership.
- We are clearly a diverse group.
- It is an inclusive, informal group of people supporting each other to value and integrate our spirituality and sexuality.
- Anyone supporting the group’s purposes may join us.
- It is not necessary to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or Catholic – simply sympathetic to our aims.
Here is a summary of past meetings:
- AFTER SUICIDE
Mark Dowd gave us a powerful presentation about this topic. It was based on his recent broadcast for the BBC World Service (available on BBC Sounds) about the effects of suicide on those left behind. The discussion was very interesting in relation to the numbers who have had some connection with the topic. Resources for help were produced by a couple of members of the group for the meeting – and made available to all as well as our contact list.
- INHERITANCE TRACKS
- Lunch hosted by Mark
- Discovering the Tracks (music) that we have inherited from early in our lives. The choice of tracks was very varied. It allowed us to realise much that we had in common and also how different our lives and upbringing were. A great amount of memories were shared – some very poignant.
- Drinks and meal – in Gay Village
- MOVIE SESSION – GOD’S OWN COUNTRY
the story of survival as a closeted gay man in an unforgiving environment in more ways than one. Set in rural Yorkshire it follows the story of an unlikely love between two farmers. A tender and poignant story in spite of adversity and misunderstandings.
- BIBLE BASED ACTIVITY SESSION
Three sessions which put the emphasis on doing as well as studying.
- Role play – Prodigal Son
- Other Bible passages
- Lectio Divina exercise
- Drinks in Gay Village
- ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES
The session was led by a visiting speaker who works with asylum seekers and refugees as an advisor in legal affairs. One section involved a “How much do you know” in the form of a quiz. Time was spent on the difficulties of LGBTI asylum seekers particularly.
- MOVIE SESSION – HOLDING THE MAN
Holding the Man is a movie based on the true story of two Australian men who met at high school (Jesuit Catholic) and fell in love. It is the story of their struggle to be together against the norms of society in the 1980’s. It is a moving and heroic story which had an impact on many of the group. Some decided to follow it up with research and reading the original book by Tim Conigrave (one of the couple in the story.
- DAY OF REFLECTION
We spent a day reflecting on the delving deeper into our humanity. Led by Fr Kieran Fitzsimons. Very well attended and the group felt that it was an inspiring day in beautiful surroundings.
We used our meeting to look at a range of prayer styles. Members experienced a carousel of prayer stations to cover a variety of prayer methods – using maps, play doh, music, speech bubbles, five finger exercise, Blob Tree exercise. The session was a calming, meditative introduction to the New Year.
- LGBT HISTORY
One of our members gave a very informative and entertaining outline of the relationship with the Church and homosexuality over the past 500 years.
We also discussed a consultation document asking for our responses in preparation for the full Synod on the Family next October.
- MANCHESTER JUSTICE AND PEACE TRAIL
A combined meeting of Yorkshire and North West Quest met at a member’s house in Manchester. We had lunch then embarked upon aspects of Manchester’s official Peace Trail. It was a great day with information and fun combined. Many thanks to all who took part. An excellent turnout as well.
- YORK – VISIT TO YORK MINSTER / MASS AT BAR CONVENT / MEAL
Our biggest number of participants attended the day in York. We explored the Minster – ably led by one of our group. We ended the visit with prayer and reflection in the Zouche chapel. Fr Tony Lester celebrated a most poignant Mass at the Bar Convent. Finally, the day ended with a meal at a local Italian restaurant.
- POST CONFERENCE FOLLOW UP
We had an excellent representation of Quest in the North at conference.
For our September meeting we met at Gez and Nick house in Wainstalls, Halifax and our theme was feedback and reflection on ideas from the Quest Conference. Several of the group prepared papers for consideration and Gez presented You Tube clips that were used at conference. We feel as a group that it is important to link with national Quest in their topics at least once a year. We also planned activities and themes for the next few meetings.
- “ALL IS GIFT”
The theme of “All is Gift” – where members bring a song, poem, reading which they feel has some significance in their life. We do this every couple of years and its always a great occasion for sharing personal stories or reflections.
- “AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS VERY GOOD”
We used the LGBT Foundation centre in Richmond Street, Manchester for the first time. Our North West members were well represented as well as 3 new faces. We had 20 people come along and considering two family emergencies and several double bookings for apologies I feel that the core group is in quite a healthy state.
We took the book “And God Saw That It was Very Good” edited by two Quest members (Sandra Taylor and Hazel Barnes) as our inspiration and held a workshop style day on twelve testimonials of LGBT people across Europe describing their experience of being Catholic. The day was very emotional and informative and was received very positively by attendees. Personal reflections by way of Post Its were displayed around the room and later distributed via email to participants for further consideration at home.
- MOVIE SESSION – CAROL / PLANNING SESSION
The first section of the meeting was important as it was to look at the future of the North West group. After discussion it was decided to merge with the Yorkshire Quest group to form a new group with the name Quest in the North. We will continue as we have before and this should ensure Quest members on both sides of the Pennines should have access to a vibrant local group. The decision was unanimous.
After a lunch provided by host Mark we enjoyed the film “Carol”. It was deliberately a “chilling out” session and enjoyed by all.
Comment from Gez Hodgson (Local Convenor)
- If anyone is looking for a suitable venue for a day of training, workshop etc then the LGBT Foundation in Manchester is excellent.
- Another very positive environment for spending a day together for discussion and quiet is the Whirlow Spirituality centre near Sheffield. Well worth considering.
- It is a pleasure to be able to bring such disparate members together to pray and reflect in such a unified sense of purpose. Long may it continue.
Things are going well in the Northern region at the present time. Membership and attendances continue to be vibrant and increasing.
Enquiries are very welcome. If you require further information please contact us via email (above) or the mobile (below).
Quest mobile number: 0774 550 4622
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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