Welcome and Thanks for Visiting Quest in the North
Enquiries are very welcome. If you require further information please contact us via email.
Mark (Interim Convenor)
Schedule of meetings
Typically we meet every two months – usually on the 3rd Saturday of the relevant month. This schedule is currently affected by the pandemic.
23rd – 25th July 2021: Luther King House, Manchester – Quest Annual Conference (click here for more information)
More information will follow on proposed activities, and in line with government guidance during the pandemic.
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 us using the methods at the bottom of this page.
Quest in the North – Some Background
Quest in the North membership and attendance at meetings continues to be vibrant and increasing with things going well. 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 membership is truly LGBT+.
- 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 sample of past meetings:
Presentation by Duncan Craig (CEO “Survivors Manchester”): Duncan is a survivor of abuse and also the founder of the Survivors Manchester Organisation. He started this support group 10 years ago and it is at the forefront of work in the region: involving advice, counselling and legal support for anyone who feels that they are a target of abuse. He gave a very positive and affirming talk about their work. He also talked about a new project with the catholic diocese of Salford and the positive approach of Bishop John Arnold in pushing this initiative.
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.
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.
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
Followed by drinks in the 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.
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.
“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.