Bedford Quaker Meeting is one of nine worshipping groups in
Luton & Leighton Area Meeting.
This is part of the wider Quaker Community known as Britain Yearly Meeting.
To find out about Quakers, go to www.quaker.org.uk.
If you would like to know more about Bedford Quaker Meeting, please email the Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org.
We take Safeguarding seriously in our Quaker Communities. See our Safeguarding Policy here.
History of Quakers in Bedford
There was no Quaker Meeting in Bedford in the 17 Century. Ampthill was the centre of Quaker activity, and there were several villages with Quaker Meeting Houses. The Ampthill Quaker Meeting House is behind The Bakery, but no longer belongs to Quakers. The original 17C Quaker Burial Ground behind this remains in Quaker ownership.
In the 1930s a few Quaker families lived in Bedford and began a Quaker Meeting for Worship by hiring out the Oddfellows Hall. By the 1950s this worship group had grown in size and strength and in 1955 was able, with help from the Monthly Meeting (now called Area Meeting) to purchase the house in Lansdowne Road. By the 1990s work was required to bring the building up to a higher standard of facilities. In 1999 work was underway to rebuild the back of the house with a new Meeting Room, new cloakroom facilities, improved kitchen and more extensive accomodation for community groups as well as for Quaker activities.
Today we remain a friendly community with wide-ranging interests and community involvement. Quotes below are taken from Advices and Queries. These can be found in their entirety at https://qfp.quaker.org.uk/chapter/1/
Love and Truth
A&Q 1 Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
A&Q 42 We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life. Rejoice in the splendour of God’s continuing creation.
Bedford Quakers among others in the Bedford Climate Change Forum at a lobby of MPs.
For more information on sustainability work in Bedfordshire see https://bedsclimatechange.org/
A&Q 41 Try to live simply. A simple lifestyle freely chosen is a source of strength. Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Do you keep yourself informed about the effects your style of living is having on the global economy and environment?
Quakers planted 600 trees in Marston Vale.
A&Q 21 Do you cherish your friendships, so that they grow in depth and understanding and mutual respect? In close relationships we may risk pain as well as finding joy. When experiencing great happiness or great hurt we may be more open to the working of the Spirit.
A&Q 18 How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers are welcome?
Our annual garden party.
A&Q 17 Do you respect that of God in everyone though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or be difficult to discern? Each of us has a particular experience of God and each must find the way to be true to it. When words are strange or disturbing to you, try to sense where they come from and what has nourished the lives of others. Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people’s opinions may contain for you. Avoid hurtful criticism and provocative language. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue. Think it possible that you may be mistaken.
See Events page for our newsletter and what we are doing this month.
A state of mind that sees possibilities and potential in a situation, whether in the present or the future “an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out” Havel Disturbing the Peace (Knopf: 1990) pp 181-2
A&Q 7 Be aware of the spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experience of your daily life. Spiritual learning continues throughout life, and often in unexpected ways. There is inspiration to be found all around us, in the natural world, in the sciences and arts, in our work and friendships, in our sorrows as well as in our joys. Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come? Do you approach new ideas with discernment?
Information about the Quaker Universalist Group can be found here: https://qug.org.uk