Towards a Quaker View of Sex

Keith Wedmore talks about Working Group meetings


Keith Wedmore talks about the Working Group’s meetings at the University Women’s Club.


From March 20, 2013 interview with Mark Bowman.


Mark B.  You mentioned in the other interview that the group met once a month at the University Women’s Club, had lunch together in the library.  Was it the same date each month?  Did you schedule a day each month?  Do you know how that evolved, how that started?

Keith W.   We scheduled it, obviously, according to whether people were all going to be on holiday, or whether our prime members were.  We could obviously stand meeting without one or two, but to lose more than that out of the 11 would have been sad, so we just fitted it to needs.

Mark B.  So it was a different day of the week?  It wasn’t the third Sunday, or something like that?

Keith W.  No.  It might well have been at the weekend, because most of the group, including me, were working.  I couldn’t attend a thing which met on Friday or Thursday.  It must have been always at a weekend, possibly Sunday.

Mark B.  I saw a reference—I think it was in David’s work—that you always began with worship, that that was the beginning of your time together.

Keith W.  Oh, yeah, sure, sure.  We gathered in a very Quaker manner.  We had time.  We didn’t have to start talking as soon as we sat down.  And so we could start with a few minutes of silence with a little worship and finish the same way, in the Quaker tradition.  I mean, this is how all our committees function.  And the difference between a committee, so to speak, and meeting for worship, as such, the church meeting on a Sunday morning, is that you can eat through committee meetings, but you’re not supposed to chew sandwiches during meeting for worship.

Mark B.  You met for a couple of hours, an hour, three hours?

Keith W.  Oh, no.  It would have been most of the day.  I mean, we would have met at 9:00 or 10:00 and had lunch at the University Women’s Club and then continued afterwards until, I don’t know, 4:00 or 5:00, that kind of thing.  I see that I was the treasurer of the organization shortly after I got there.  You can see all sorts of things which give away very much how we did and what we paid for and all that.

Mark B.  Excellent.  And the early period, people came and gave presentations?

Keith W.  Oh, yes.

Mark B.  How did you start addressing the subject?  Where did you get your information from?

Keith W.  Well, we thought that we were sort of trawling on a random basis, but boy, it got better than that.  But we thought we’d have some, I don’t know, police officers or some probation officers, or some psychiatrists that weren’t already in the group, or a whole range of professional people, in the wide sense—probation officers, nurses, whatever—but people who would be likely to have some knowledge in right of their job, so that they didn’t feel that we were summoning them because we thought they were or might be gay.  I mean, that didn’t come into it.