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Lancashire Quakers – News Items

Lancaster Meeting House Celebration – May 2016

“All real living is meeting.” So wrote Martin Buber the philosopher of dialogue and author of I and Thou. On Saturday 21 May 2016 the Lancaster Quaker Meeting House, on Meeting House Lane next to the railway station, hosted a community celebration day to bring together the different groups, individuals and organisations who use the meeting house on a regular basis. This includes the Society of Friends (Quakers) themselves who have used the building as place of worship, fellowship and conscience for over 350 years.

What does Lancaster Meeting House do? It is hosts different activities for a diverse range of individuals and groups. Upstairs on the wall of the children’s meeting room is a handwritten question which echoes Martin Buber and might tell us something about the role of the meeting house now and in the future. The poster queries: “How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured and strangers are welcome? Be ready to give help and receive it.”

The day was an opportunity to celebrate the virtues of hospitality, conversation and community that the meeting house witnesses on a daily basis. There were displays from those who rent the rooms at the meeting house, heritage tours of the building, talks from groups who meet in the building, and singing from a local choir who practise at the meeting house. A paper quilt where individuals could express what the meeting house meant to them was made during the celebration day, based on a design by the nineteenth century Quaker and quilt maker Mary Jane Clevenger. All accompanied by a wealth of homemade cakes and soups.

Since 1677 there has been a warm and open hearted welcome at the Lancaster Meeting House. It is a home to contemplation and action, providing light filled open spaces for groups to meet and be together in the name of a better present and future. Come and visit the Meeting House if you are passing by, it is generally an open access building. Everyone is welcome.

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