Frenchay Meetings for Worship during the Covid19 restrictions
We are currently holding Meetings for Worship every week on Zoom. Details are emailed to our members and attenders each week.
If you are a newcomer to our meeting, please introduce yourself to the Frenchay meeting clerk, Kate Cashmore, at email@example.com . You will be welcome to join us.
About Frenchay Quakers
Members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) have been meeting in Frenchay since 1673. Frenchay Quakers meet for worship together every Sunday 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. We sit in expectant collective stillness, in which truths may be revealed to us. The combination of silence and speech makes each Quaker meeting unique. If an hour turns out to be totally silent, it will also have an atmosphere, character and depth all its own: the spiritual teaching absorbed in a meeting for worship does not necessarily come from the mouths of other people. So it really is as easy as coming in and sitting with us quietly for an hour.
We do not tell people what to believe or how to behave but we do help each other develop with our rich range of experience and beliefs. Quakers have been guided by four “testimonies” to Peace, Equality, Truth and Simplicity. These are principles that we try to be guided by in living our lives. We all do so imperfectly but continue the journey.
We extend a warm welcome to visitors and newcomers, all of whom enrich our community. There are usually about twenty of us, with more on the second and fourth Sundays during term time when we also hold children’s meeting. About six children regularly come, joining meeting for the first fifteen minutes, then continue with supervised activities in an adjacent room, our beautiful garden or on the nearby common. If you are planning to bring children with you for your first visit, it would be helpful if you contact our clerk or warden beforehand, so those supervising the children can be sure to have prepared age-appropriate activities. We ask that children under three are accompanied by an adult for health and safety reasons.
Frenchay Meeting House is steeped in its rich Quaker history, which can be sensed in the tranquility of the simple meeting room. Although mainly silent, a Quaker meeting is deepened by spoken contributions, and a sense of togetherness and interconnectedness is often tangible. After notices we enjoy a chat over tea and coffee. In addition to weekly meetings, we hold a bring and share lunch on the fourth Sunday of the month, to which everyone is welcome, and a monthly evening discussion group, currently exploring sustainability. A monthly newsletter keeps us up to date with upcoming events and shares experiences and viewpoints.
Frenchay Quakers themselves have many interests within the Quaker community, contributing locally and nationally. We hold a weekly collection to support charities chosen by the meeting. We support Bristol Refugee Rights by collecting food and other items; we organise an annual tea for older guests for the charity Re-engage; and we are actively involved in community events e.g. Heritage open day and Frenchay flower show.
Outside the Meeting our members’ interests include local history, NHS campaigns, working with homeless people, local community radio, gardening, eldercare, and support for refugees.
The Meeting House
The current meeting house was built in 1809 and comprises two large meeting rooms, a kitchen, toilets, two smaller rooms in an annexe and a large burial Quaker burial ground garden.
Our premises are available for hire and are used on a daily basis by several local groups including local history, health and fitness groups, mental health charity, fellowship groups, counsellors, circle dancers and model railway club. We are also used by local and national organisations for meetings, training events and away days.
Getting in touch with us
If you would like more information, do contact our Resident Warden on 0117 956 7337, or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop in and see us.
Meeting for Worship:
Sunday 10.30 – 11.30am, everyone welcome.
10.30 – 11.30am on the 2nd and 4th Sundays in the month. Children attend the first 15 minutes of Meeting for Worship.
Frenchay Meeting Clerk
0117 956 6680
0117 956 7337
For room hire
please follow the link below
The history of the meeting
Friends (Quakers) have worshipped in the area since the middle of the seventeenth century, first meeting in private houses. In 1673, a Meeting House at Frenchay was completed near the site of the present one. A caretaker’s cottage was added at the back of the Meeting House in the mid 18th century.
Hannah Rogers, who lived in Home Farm next door, now the site of Frenchay Lodge Cottage, gave a portion of her land for a burial ground to be added to the Meeting House. The oldest grave stone is that of Mary Gaynor, 1756.
The current meeting house is a listed building dated 1809. Since then Quaker meetings for worship have been held in the building which stands facing Frenchay Common. The new building consisted of the present room where Meeting for Worship is held, and the space upstairs, now the kitchen area. A small corridor gave access to the road and the burial ground. Five years later, responding to a request from the women of the Meeting, an extension was built to the front, providing a meeting room above and stabling below, and the corridor was extended. The interior wood panelling and screen is of Archangel red pine imported from the Baltic through the City Docks.
A notable local Quaker in the eighteenth century was Anthony Purver, schoolmaster and Clerk to the Meeting. He was friendly with John Wesley and undertook the formidable task of translating the Bible; a copy of this translation can be seen in the glass case in the library. Quaker merchants who lived in the area included Joseph Storrs Fry. Another noted Frenchay Quaker family was the Tucketts, who gave the field opposite the Meeting House, in a corner of which the Village Hall now stands, for the people of Frenchay.
In 1996/97, the exterior of the Meeting House was extensively refurbished at which time layers of paint were removed and the walls treated with lime wash similar to the original.