Quaker worship in Harpenden
Meetings for Worship are held on Sundays at 11.00 am and on Thursdays at 10.45 am.
The Elders of the Meeting are responsible for ensuring that meetings for worship are held in the right spirit but anyone attending may contribute spoken ministry. Meetings are not programmed in advance and there are no special services to mark the events in the Christian calendar.
A children’s Meeting is held at 11am on Sundays during which the children engage in activities that help them to develop their spiritual beliefs.
The Meeting is a member of Churches Together in Harpenden and members participate in many joint activities, especially those concerned with issues of peace and justice.
The Elders of the Meeting also organise study groups to help members develop their spiritual beliefs and apply them to the problems of the world.
Quakers sometimes wish to make public expression of their beliefs and testimonies especially on issues relating to peace and justice. For this reason members have been active in organising the annual Peace Service and, at times of concern about international conflict, peace vigils have been held in the town centre.
Concern for the well being of others is an important Christian and Quaker principle and this is expressed by a network of oversight which involves all members and attenders at our meeting. Although it is not usual to hold special services to mark particular occasions there are two events in the lives of members that are marked in a distinctively Quaker way:
- Weddings are celebrated in a typically simple Quaker ceremony in which the couple make their promises to each other in the presence of their friends and families and the marriage is registered by our own Registering Officer. As usual in a Quaker meeting, anyone present may offer spoken ministry and all are invited to sign the special marriage certificate.
- A Quaker funeral is a Meeting for Worship, often held in a crematorium, during which anyone may share thoughts and prayers for the deceased. It may be arranged for some favourite music to be played or poetry to be read. Sometimes a longer memorial Meeting for Worship will be held in the meeting house which allows those who knew the deceased a better opportunity to reflect on and celebrate his/her life.
Quakers in the community
In order to give expression to the Quaker testimonies to truth, simplicity, equality, justice and peace, Quakers are often involved in organisations that provide services to those who are less fortunate than ourselves, in the local or wider community.
At a national level there are Quaker organisations involved in providing services in areas of deprivation in the UK and in developing countries, which are supported by financial contributions from individual members.
At a local level many of our members participate in local voluntary organisations and we are pleased to make our meeting house available for use by such organisations and other groups. We are happy to receive visits from school groups or to provide information for use in schools.
For further information about Harpenden Quaker Meeting please contact the Clerk, Donald Robertson, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01582 460347.