|Home Biography Inviting Bruce Contact Articles Reviews Links|
Date and time of meetings
To avoid misunderstandings, which have occasionally happened in the past, I only think a fixture is definite when it has been confirmed in writing (by letter or email) by whoever is organizing the event. Verbal agreements are provisional only.
It is a great help when those inviting me either enclose a train timetable or tell me which train they would like me to catch. I like to get back to London at a not-unreasonable hour if at all possible. I am not keen on staying overnight unless I am doing a bit of a tour. So before planning the start of a meeting please check the times of return trains. (Incidentally, if the programme is likely to include a meal, I’m happy to eat anything.)
I would like expenses, mostly travel, which I keep as low as possible, to be paid at the time of the meeting. Cheque or cash welcome. I do not expect anything on top of expenses from peace groups, student societies or other such impoverished bodies. But a little extra from schools, colleges, trade unions, churches and others with funds would be welcome. To avoid misunderstanding, I am thinking of something between £10 and £25.
If you could put all your queries about a meeting into one letter or email it would be a big help. I normally answer fairly promptly. It is also helpful if I make arrangements through one organizer only.
I am a Vice-President of CND, Pax Christi, and the Movement for the Abolition of War. Am also a past-President of the International Peace Bureau. I was an active Catholic priest for nearly 30 years and have now retired but remain involved in the life of my local parish. Other biographical details can be found on this website.
If you want me to bring leaflets, booklets etc. from CND, Pax Christi, MAW or other organizations, I would be glad to do so, but please give me enough warning.
I am happy to be interviewed by the press if someone wants to see me before a meeting starts, but normally I am reluctant to come in the afternoon or still less in the morning for a radio interview relating to an evening meeting.
Tips about Meetings
If in doubt choose a small room rather than a large one. The atmosphere is so much better when people are crowded in than when they are dotted around a large hall. Leave plenty of time for those coming to put their points of view or ask questions. For that reason it is better to have me either on my own or with just one other speaker.
Please keep in mind gender balance: if you are going to have a chairperson, why not a woman?
My experience is that an hour and a half is about as much time as people can spare for meetings. If you are planning refreshments, provide them at the beginning or at the end of the meeting. If there is a break in the middle it takes a long time to get everybody back together – or they leave.
In schools, where the time available is usually less than an hour, I usually speak for about 20 minutes followed by a general question/discussion session.
The 15-minute MAW DVD ‘War No More’ is an excellent way to kick off any peace/disarmament meeting.