Visiting Meeting Houses
- in person or virtually...
It may not surprise you to know I love visiting new meeting houses or revisiting those I’ve been to previously. Area Meetings or other occasions can be a great motivation to ensure that community members travel and get to see places they’ve only read or heard about in reports or minutes.
It gives visitors a chance to see and comment on something that others now take for granted.
- Yes, we redesigned that area in the garden and created a labyrinth.
- The library was looking sad, so we reorganised all the books and now it’s much more used – and the catalogue is available online in this app.
- The Children’s Meeting designed the mural in that room and we changed the name to reflect that, it’s now the ‘Rainforest Room’.
- Come and see the new showers!
'Life of' or 'State of' the Meeting Reports
The glimpses into a community that the ‘Life of Meeting Report’ gives are always interesting.
Have you considered doing one that is videoed? Or has video content which shows your building and members? This is another way to allow people who may not be able to physically get to your building to visit.
Muswell Hill did one with photos and quotes from the children’s meeting who wrote and read into a tape recorder their parts of the report. Adults only wrote the legally required bits as one Quaker put it. Gave us the giggles when we found copies of this a decade later!
Information and Tours
Covid required quite a bit of rethinking planned activities.
Uxbridge in west London took part in an annual historic building festival which was suspended. Instead they had a socially distanced video created – which was then put up on the website and has generated interest from potential hirers, enquirers and history buffs. One visitor in 2021 said they came to see in person what they’d seen on video.
This is aimed at the public, but creating a walk about tour can be used to let others visit.
School visits are a great way to reach people who think Quakers only exist in the history books. If you wouldn’t have people able to do an actual visit and talk during school hours, could the talk be videoed and shared on the day or online?
Bunhill Fields has a walking tour for their area, as well as a downloadable paper – George Fox.