As a student I was involved in religious broadcasting on student radio. How many people ever listened, other than those of us producing the programmes, we’ll never know. Even at the time we were aware that it wasn’t very many, if any. However, we took the view that if even one person stopped for a moment and thought for a moment, then our efforts were worthwhile.
Basically, this is still my view. If I can persuade one person to stop and to listen, to be still for one moment so that they have some chance to hear that inner voice – then that is success. That is my aim in outreach. I believe that once a person can hear that inner voice, they have the chance to heed it. Whether or not they do is their free choice. It is not for me to say where it will lead them.
If it leads them to the Quaker way it may be my role to support them in that. It may be my role to point them elsewhere. It may be my role to have no further contact or feedback or even awareness that they stopped and listened.
So I continue to accept opportunities to help on Quaker stalls, to speak in schools, to write a blog. We don’t have to try and convert anybody, but we do need to let people know that: we are here, we haven’t died out and don’t intend to, our way if applicable to the modern world, we don’t just eat porridge and they are welcome to join us for as short or long a time as is helpful to them.