Western Europe

Zone Representative:  Howard Ray
The Zone is made up of Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Ireland, Britain and Belgium.

Superficially it looks as if they are all similar with dedicated Subud members, and together they make a large contribution to the international association. But experience shows that there are distinct differences between the more relaxed south, where emotions are more freely expressed, and the more “rational” and reserved north.

There are countries with strong organised groups and countries with mainly isolated members. There is Britain, where Subud got its first foothold in the West, with a well established organization and many Subud houses, while Belgium and Ireland have small memberships but nonetheless manage to stay together. There are six different languages, meaning that at zonal meetings and gatherings six different versions of English are spoken. But despite these differences there is a strong wish to share, cooperate and support one another, very apparent at the annual zonal meetings where the latihan unifies us.

Together we have some 1650 active members, and there are 26 Subud-owned or leased premises, from Perth in Scotland to Alpujarrra in southern Spain. There are active Susila Dharma and SICA organisations or projects in Britain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, and the Zone itself has SES and SYA Representatives on the Council. Youth activities such as the Basara gathering are strongly supported by the Zone, and this is organised through a youth team which works jointly with young members from Zone 4. In September 2017, members of the Zone 3/4 Youth team got together in Brussels to connect, share their latihan and talk about life experiences with the support of Belgium’s Kejiwaan Councilor. This inspired them to look at organising more of these get-togethers in other countries with the support of local KCs.

The Zone also has an SES Representative who has established a valuable mentoring programme for young members. A Zonal kejiwaan programme is provided by the KC’s dewan and funded by the Zone. The KC’s are able to meet at least once each year, and in recent years these meetings have been extended to include “Helper Sharing” weekend gatherings where helpers from the Zone can meet to develop their understanding of their latihan and their role.


An Alphabetical Tour of the Zone:

Belgium is smallest in terms of membership numbers and geographical area, but this nucleus of members is committed to the practice of the Latihan. Conflicts divided the membership in the past, but they are now dedicated to overcoming this, and working together to foster the growth of Subud in their country.

Britain has many members and several Subud houses. One of these, the Amadeus Centre in London, operates as a commercial enterprise, generating significant funds for the national organisation as well as hosting a group. Subud Britain has a well-developed organizational structure with regions, regional helpers and regional chairs, who also act as trustees on the national board. Financially it is a big contributor to both the zone and to the WSA. Wings activity is well represented, and the very popular Subud Youth Families Association has enriched the lives of many Subud families with young children both within the UK and the Zonally.       Subud Youth Families Association get together, Glansevin, UK.

France has a strong organisation, and has maintained a strong and steady development in recent years. A National Council gathers the four chairpersons of France’s major groups (Paris, Mayenne, South-West and South -East) together with the chairperson of the National Committee. This new body makes decisions in between national congresses, with the assistance of National Helpers. Several smaller groups (Nice, Montpellier, Toulouse and Versailles ) are linked to the main ones, and new smaller groups seem to be a developing trend.

Ireland has a scattered membership similar to Italy, but they are willing to frequently travel long distances to meet for latihan and social activities. Enterprise support has traditionally been strong here.

Italy has a small but persistent and dedicated membership. They are widely scattered with isolated members and small groups. Regular meetings are arranged in the one self-owned Subud house in Florence. This was originally financed partially through a concerted effort throughout the zone, and hopefully is now beginning to yield a very welcome rental income for the national organisation.

The Netherlands is a well organized Subud country, with a national committee, a national helpers team, two self-owned Subud houses, a healthy financial position, and the oldest uninterrupted national publication in the world, Subud News Netherlands. Membership has been stable for many years and, like other countries has an average age moving slowly to the grey area.

Apart from a small group in Porto and some isolated members, Subud Portugal is concentrated in Lisbon. For such a small membership Portugal has realized some amazing projects: Bucelas (a retreat/meeting place in the countryside some 60 km from Lisbon), the Lisbon Subud house, and the Roda Vida project for childcare of refugee children.  Roda Viva

Spain is the European gateway to South America; there are close contacts with the countries there, and there is an active Spanish translation unit. Spain is the country of fiestas, firmly held traditional values. The Alpujarra Group, near Orgiva in the south, has succeeded in building a new and beautifully situated Subud centre, officially opened at a WSC meeting in 2016. In a very real sense this is a centre for the Zone, hosting Zone Council and Zone Helpers meetings, as well as being the base for a group enterprise which provides a venue where local organisations meet.     Subud Alpujarrra’s new Subud Hall

Country Chairperson/cc Groups/Centers Members
Belgium Albert Jonkers Antwerp, Brussels 11
Britain Pollard Blakeley Groups (sub Groups in brackets):

ENGLAND and WALES: Ascot, Barnet, (Bath), Bedford, Birmingham, Bradford, Brecon, Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, (Cheltenham & Stroud), Chester, Chichester, (Cornwall), Derby, Devon South, Exeter, (Glastonbury), Hitchin and Welwyn, Hull, (Ilford), (Ipswich), (Isle of Wight), Lancaster, (Leicester), Lewes, (Eastbourne), (Hastings), Liverpool, London Central, London North West, London South West, Loudwater, Maidenhead, Manchester,  Norwich, Oxford,  Reigate, Sheffield, St. Albans, Sudbury, Turnbridge Wells, Wessex, (Wisma Mulia Retirement Home)
SCOTLAND: (Edinburgh), (Highlands), (Newcastle / Borders), Tayside

Ireland Andrew Thompson Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Galway 24
Italy Margarita Pizzi Bologne, Chiusi, Florence, Genzano, La Spezia, Rome
France Francoise Ivanoff “La Touche Bois” Subud House, Lyon, Mane, Paris, Toulouse, Versailles 139
Netherlands Hannah de Roo Amsterdam, Beekbergen, Bilthoven, Den Haag, Hillegom, Oss, Rotterdam, Utrecht 166
Portugal Anali Lopes  Lisbon, Porto 61
Spain Paloma de la Vina Aislados, Alicante, Alpujarra, Barcelona, Elche, Ibiza, Madrid, Salamanca, Sevilla 190

Subud Spain, Susila Dharma organized a meeting against hunger in the old town of Alicante

Zone 3 has an annual zonal meeting that travels from one country to another. Minutes are available on this webpage.
Three general gatherings have been organized in recent years. In 2010 Subud Britain held a joyous family holiday and hosted the Britain National Congress and a World Subud Council Meeting, in Great Malvern, bringing approximately 650 members together.  In 2009 the ‘El Camino’ meeting in Poio, northern Spain, included a pilgrimage to the large cathedral in Santiago de Compostella (photo) where Osanna Vaughn, then Chairlady of the WSA, gave a presentation of Subud to hundreds of pilgrims attending mass. In 2007 the ‘Thank You’ gathering in Ascot, England commemorated the start of Subud in the West 50 years ago and held special celebrations for the pioneers who were able to attend, that is, the original members who joined Subud.
ZONE 3 Council Meeting Minutes
2014 Zone 3 Council Report, Las Alpujarras, Granada, Spain  – English Spanish

Reports from Zone 3:

Reports to World Congress 2014: Britain, France, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain – Spanish, English

Archive – Reports 2008 – 2013

Newsletters:  January 2012, November 2011, September 2011, July 2011, April 2009, Special Edition, February 2009, November 2008, July 2008

Zone3 Council Meeting Minutes:
2012, Zone 3 Representative Report, June

2012, Beukenhof, Netherlands
2009, Poio, Spain
2008, Terrenia, Italy
2007, St. Prix, France
2012: Mid-Term Review from Zone Representative, February;
2011Zone 3 Meeting, from the Zone Representative, May; Ireland Congress, September; Spanish Congress, December
2008: French Congress Report from Osanna, October-November;
Ireland Congress 2011