Devizes Local Quaker Meeting
Our Meeting House has been closed throughout the Covid 19 lockdown period but we are making plans to reopen both for our regular worship and for our hirers. Using the building will inevitably be a different experience for us all.
During this period we have been holding our regular Sunday meetings for worship via Zoom, a new experience for some of us. Others have joined us in spirit sitting quietly at home. There have been a few hiccups but generally it has been a success. We have even been able to welcome members who are normally not able to attend in person. We'll be looking into keeping that going even when we are back.
We will be contacting regular hirers in the next few days to ask about their hopes for coming back to use the building and discuss how to keep everyone safe.
One inadvertent attender has been the appearance of a single orchid in the garden because the grass was allowed to grow longer than usual. A positive during difficult times.
If you would like to join our Sunday meeting while the building remains closed, please contact Jean Thomson at the address below.
WHO ARE THE QUAKERS
Formally Quakers are the Religious Society of Friends and hence they often refer to each other as Friends. More than twenty seven thousand people attend Quaker meetings for worship in Britain. These quiet times of seeking the presence of God are held regularly in about 500 places, many of them Friends' Meeting Houses.
Our Meetings for Worship are central to the life of Quakers. The basis of the Meeting is a shared silence. Anyone may offer spoken ministry, a prayer or reading at any time during the hour-long meeting.
If you want to know more about Quakers refer to Quakers in Britain website, the website of Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. If you do not live in or near Devizes, Quakers in Britain will help you find a meeting in your own locality.
For a Quaker response to current events at national and international level visit the Quakers in Britain website.
MEETING FOR WORSHIP AT DEVIZES
We in Devizes have a simple but attractive Meeting Room. Friends sit where they like within the circle of chairs. Meeting ends when an Elder shakes hands with the person sitting next to him or her. Notices will be read out by the Clerk, after which we have coffee and a chance to meet with one another. However, should some prefer to be left alone with their thoughts or to leave immediately we do, of course, respect this.
All Quakers share responsibility for the administration of the meeting. Elders are appointed to watch over the spiritual well-being of the Meeting; overseers are responsible for pastoral care.
The Religious Society of Friends warmly welcomes all, regardless of race, creed, gender or sexuality. We seek to make our Meeting a loving, caring community.
Families and Children are very welcome and we aim to make children feel part of the Meeting. Currently children have their own separate meeting with one or two adult Friends (who have been vetted by the Disclosure and Barring Service). Children join the adult Meeting at 10:30 am for the first ten minutes after which they depart to their own room where they have stories, drawing and crafts; children's meeting is not a Sunday school but a time of exploration, creativity and spiritual seeking. The children's meeting ends at 11:30 am at which time they are invited to re- join the adult meeting and tell us of their activities.
THE MEETING HOUSE
Quaker meeting houses are not consecrated or regarded as a special ‘house of God’. The spirit is present everywhere and meeting for worship can be convened anywhere that two or more Friends decide to hold one.
We like our meeting houses to be used by the surrounding community and let them out at times other than when we need them. At Devizes the meeting house has been used for a Buddhist wedding, Buddhist meditation, Muslim prayer meetings as well as more secular sessions such as yoga or day conferences. If you want to find out more about hiring the Meeting House follow this link