MILFORD HAVEN QUAKERS
Meeting House, Meditation & Wellbeing Centre
Join us on Sunday mornings for our time of gathered silence and reflection. Everybody is welcome.
Because of Covid19 regulations, please let us know in advance if you wish to come so we can set out the required amount of socially distanced seating.
Details of our Meetings can be found along with our other Upcoming Events
During this difficult time we have been pleased to welcome new people to our Meetings, both online and when we have met in person: that place of stillness and calm in which our tradition is rooted is there for all.
QUAKERS AT A GLANCE
Simplicity, Truth, Equality, Peace, Stewardship
Our Testimonies have stood the test of time and guide us in what we do:
Truth and Integrity applies to our words and deeds, and to our understanding.
Equality is fundamental in how we treat people.
Peace in how we live and through our peace-work.
Stewardship and concern for the earth we have inherited.
ABOUT MILFORD'S MEETING
"a snug neet thing" Abiel Folger, 1 March 1811
Quaker meetings are rooted in shared stillness and silence.
Anyone who feels moved may stand and "minister" about what is in their heart.
They are listened to in silence, and the silence returns when they sit down.
The Meeting ends with a shaking of hands.
The Clerk then deals with the notices and asks if there are any afterthoughts, which is an opportunity for anyone to speak about what came to them during the silence but about which they did not feel compelled to minister, or perhaps to bring before the Meetings some matter that has been bothering them. Sometimes a period of discussion follows before tea and biscuits are enjoyed.
Quakers do not have ministers or priests. We chose from among our number someone to be a Clerk, and someone to be a Treasurer. All decisions are taken collectively. Quakers do not vote, but work to find the "sense of the Meeting" which all can support. We try to observe our discipline so as to preserve 'right ordering' in all our proceedings.
The Meeting House was built by Quakers who had moved from Nantucket Island following the American War of Independence. They first arrived with their whaling ships in 1792, creating the town of Milford Haven in the process. The Meeting House was opened in 1811.
Weekly Quaker Meetings are still held in the main Meeting Room and are open for anyone to attend.
Next to the main Meeting Room is the Library which has resources and books about Quakerism, other religions, and spirituality. There are notice boards and leaflets about Quaker work and the organisations we support.
Adjoining the original Meeting House is the Nantucket Suite, the main room of which is well provided with chairs and tables, and has a kitchen and toilets. Beside the entrance to the suite is a plaque with a quotation from Waldo Williams, the Pembrokeshire poet, pacifist and Quaker, whose Meeting this was. Adjoining the Meeting House is an annexe built in 1971 to house the Children's Meeting and which now functions as a Wellbeing Centre.
Behind the Meeting House is the old burial ground. The gravestones of the original settlers from Nantucket can be seen fixed to the wall of the Meeting House. They are notable for only having the initials of the deceased and date of death. Amongst them is that of Abeil Folger, a copy of whose diary the Meeting has in the library.
A plaque with the names of Clemency and Stephen Griffith is also to be found on that wall. Stephen wrote A History of Quakers in Pembrokeshire, copies of which can be purchased from the Meeting.
Milford Haven Quakers' Meeting House, Meditation and Wellbeing Centre exists to help meet spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the community. It is open to members of all faiths and none. In addition to the Wellbeing Centre, we let out spaces in the Meeting House to groups who share our values. The Nantucket Suite is ideal for group actives or meetings, and is designed to allow disability access. To hire any of the spaces in our Meeting house please contact our Clerk.
Reinforcing our Commitment
For many years this part of the premises at Priory Road were occupied by the Pinocchio Nursery School. These rooms have been refurbished since the nursery closed and are now re-opened as a Wellbeing Centre in which a number of health and wellbeing practitioners will be offering their services.
The space is designed to be very private, calm and peaceful. It has its own discreet entrance.
One Step at a Time
Quakers accept that each person's faith is rooted in their experience, particularly in the practice of silent waiting, and must be allowed to grow over time. What we come to believe or are moved to do comes from that inner place of peace, love and connection.
Our Meetings are there for everyone, whatever your beliefs or past experience; what you bring will be of value and is a unique gift – we are all seekers after truth.
Finding that Place of Calm
We encourage people to take time each day in meditation, contemplation or prayer.
"Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit from thy own thoughts …" as George Fox counselled in 1658.
Beginning with stillness our faith becomes action.
In silence which is active, the Inner Light begins to glow – a tiny spark. For the flame to be kindled and to grow, subtle argument and the clamour of our emotions must be stilled. It is by an attention full of love that we enable the Inner Light to blaze and illuminate our dwelling and to make of our whole being a source from which this Light may shine out.
Pierre Lacout, 1969: Quaker Faith & Practice 2:12
Quakers, Whales, Poets and Peace
Quakerism began in Britain about 1652. Before the 1688 Act of Toleration made life in England and Wales better for Quakers, many emigrated to America to escape persecution and frequent imprisonment.
Refusal to take part in The American War of Independence led to Quakers from Nantucket returning to Britain in 1792, establishing the town of Milford Haven and making it the base for their whaling fleet. They built the Meeting House in 1811.
We have designed a walk around the town that links many of the sites related to those first Quakers in Milford Haven and telling something of the history.
That Quaker concern with peace also led Waldo Williams - the renowned poet of the Welsh language - to campaign during the 1950s against the Preseli Hills being used as tank ranges, and to his being imprisoned for refusal to pay taxes that might be used for war.
Stephen Griffiths, a long time Member of the Meeting, wrote a book about the History of Quakers in Pembrokeshire, which can be obtained from the Meeting.
CONTACT MILFORD HAVEN QUAKERS
We welcome enquires about our Meeting or about Quakerism. Please use the form opposite to get in touch. We will get back to you as soon as we are able.
Bookings for the Nantucket Suite, the main Meeting Room, or for the Wellbeing Centre can be made via our Clerk. Please use the form opposite.
Friends Meeting House