Tag: June

At Meeting: June 8th 2014

Flowers June 8th 2014

Today was a warm day that flew in the face of recent rains. We once again shared our Meeting with Friends from Harpenden. Silent worship is seldom entirely silent. The welcome sounds of nature via wind in the trees and the blackbird song is punctuated by airport traffic overhead and distant police car sirens. It reminds us that life is all around us and Meeting isn’t about shutting these things out.

Drawn Together

During Meeting a Harpenden Friend was moved to speak.

Sharing worship with Luton Friends had reminded them of their time in Auckland, New Zealand and an invitation to speak about their experience of being Quakers in another, different yearly meeting in Britain. It was a challenging thing to do however the similarities between New Zealand yearly meeting and Britain YM were not as great than perhaps those differences between some other countries.
They felt that sitting here today reminded them of how they felt part of Britain Meeting & strongly attached to their home Meeting.
They were reminded of this Advices & Queries 8:


icon-quote-left Worship is our response to an awareness of God. We can worship alone, but when we join with others in expectant waiting we may discover a deeper sense of God’s presence. We seek a gathered stillness in our meetings for worship so that all may feel the power of God’s love drawing us together and leading us. icon-quote-right

Something Itinerant About Being A Quaker…


Later another Harpenden Friend reflected on this and said that they were struck by the notion that there is often something quite itinerant about being a Quaker in that the progression of places you go through and the Meeting Houses that you may attend that become local to those places can feel quite meaningful.
They also reflected on attending Quaker camp where one or two Meeting Houses are visited and that this was a very positive experience. In the same way that welcoming visitors to Harpenden Meeting is often energising it was nice to be welcomed into Meeting houses and that perhaps Quakers make more fuss of this via visitors books etc.
They also felt that there was something always very special about your 1st Meeting house and so too the memories and experiences associated with it.
They were reminded that Luton was their first Meeting and felt quite emotional at how welcomed they and later their children were here and so they felt it was very positive to be here at Luton Meeting.

Meeting gave way to notices then tea,coffee and chat.

At Meeting: 1st June 2014


icon-quote-left For a Quaker, religion is not an external activity, concerning a special ‘holy’ part of the self. It is an openness to the world in the here and now with the whole of the self. If this is not simply a pious commonplace, it must take into account the whole of our humanity: our attitudes to other human beings in our most intimate as well as social and political relationships. It must also take account of our life in the world around us, the way we live, the way we treat animals and the environment. In short, to put it in traditional language, there is no part of ourselves and of our relationships where God is not present. icon-quote-right

Harvey Gillman, 1988

Quaker Faith & Practice 20.20

A glorious day weather wise as well as Meeting wise. Our small Luton outpost enjoyed swelled numbers today as Harpenden Quaker Meeting joined us for the first of many weeks in which we shared our Meeting House whilst theirs undergoes refurbishment.

Quaker Faith & Practice 20.20 (above) was read during Meeting.

The Burden And The Gift Of Meeting Houses

A Friend from Harpenden later spoke of how Quaker Meeting houses are not imbued with any great attechment whether religious, spiritual or otherwise and that many Meetings often wrestled with what may seem at times the burden of upkeep of property and wonder if the money is wisely spent. Whilst Quaker Meetings don’t rely on an special place these locations do form the backdrop for history and memories and our Friend hoped that once their current refurbishments will help them serve better the needs of their community and the causes they help enable.

Luton Memories

Later still another Harpenen Friend spoke of their memories of people associated with Luton Meeting in early years and mentioned the Browns, Plumbers and Lawrences in particular. They thanked Luton Meeting for their hospitality and reflected too that it was fortunate that trustees did not sell the Luton Meeting house some years ago.

Making A Difference

A Luton Friend later stood to say the continuation of Luton Meeting house was a gift and told of how the Princes Trust made use of our simple property for helping young unemployed improve their lives and chances for work and that attending the final day of the scheme last year as some of us did was an inspiration to see the difference it had made to some who might otherwise have found it hard to find direction in sometimes what could be chaotic lives. Ours is a simple building with a simple natural wild green space which was to be treasured in an urban area such as Luton.

Remembering Castle Street

Another Luton Friend told of her memories of Luton Meeting when it was at Castle Street in a building with little access to sunlight and ‘thank goodness’ or ‘thank God’ for the difference this current building had made to many.

Quaker Study and UN Forum

Meeting ended and many hands were shaken. During bridging time  a Luton Friend expressed their Welcome to Harpenden members and attenders and how much more powerful they had helped our Meeting become this week.

Notices included mention of Quaker Study on the 11th of this month and also the highlighting of an upcoming UN Forum 2014 on June 28th.

So more cups of tea and coffee than we normally cater for and a lovely getting to know each other. Welcome Harpenden Meeting.

Translate »