Video channel in South Africa

South African Yearly Meeting has set up a new YouTube channel

Southern Africa Yearly Meeting (SAYM) has set up a new YouTube channel showing videos of Southern African Friends talking about their Quaker faith.

The channel currently consists of eight videos. One Friend says ‘spiritual experience should be the root of all religious life’. Another talks of how Quakers ‘don’t hesitate to speak the truth, no matter how difficult it is’.

A Quaker also describes her church-based activism against apartheid and the pleasure of attending a Quaker Meeting for the first time, with its ‘lovely silence’.

Director Justin Ellis told the Friend: ‘The inspiration for the videos was QuakerSpeak, a weekly video project from Friends Journal. There are some fascinating people in the Quaker community in Southern Africa, and it may be that fellow Quakers don’t know much about their stories.  Since there are only a few hundred Friends in Southern Africa, it is important to attract new members. So, we have to engage in some self-disclosure and reflect on our diversity and experiences.’

Justin Ellis said that the first group of recordings were made at the SAYM in January 2018, when over one hundred members met near Pretoria. Four members of Britain Yearly Meeting and Gretchen Castle, the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) general secretary, also attended.

Southern Africa Yearly Meeting includes four countries: Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Lee Taylor, from Milton Keynes Meeting, also attended the Yearly Meeting. She told the Friend: ‘It was vibrant with lots of young people, and the worship went very deep. They’re big on fellowship because they can’t get together often. When you have one hundred and twenty people spread over four countries, you have to be imaginative about how you connect. The link is’

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