NEWS & VIEWS
Milford Haven Quakers - What's happening because of Covid19
QUAKERS GO ONLINE BECAUSE OF COVID 19
24 March 2020
Whilst the lockdown lasts our Sunday Meetings will be online.
Milford Haven's online Meeting starts at 11.00.
South Wales Area Meeting and Woodbrooke both run online meetings that start at 10.30. See our Upcoming Events section for links.
It is recommended that you download Zoom in advance and familiarise yourself with it. Once you have done that you will be ready. On Sunday:
You will receive an email invitation from the meeting host
Click on the link in the email (join via PC, Mac, iOS or Android)
You will be taken to the meeting.
If you have problems, ring or text your host.
Like most of these things it is easy the second time!
It is also worthwhile having either Advice & Queries or Quaker Faith & Practice to hand, a Bible, or other sources of inspiration. They would normally be on the table in our Meetings.
Our sense of community does not depend on all professing identical beliefs, for it grows from worshipping together, knowing one another, loving one another, accepting responsibilities, sharing and working together. We will be helped by tried and tested Quaker methods and procedures, but the meeting will only live if we develop a sense of community, which includes children and adults alike. If all those who belong to our meeting are lovingly cared for, the guidance of the spirit will be a reality. (Quaker faith & practice 10.03)
ASBESTOS SURVEY AND BUILDING WORK
21 March 2020
As a member of Milford Haven Steering Group and your link trustee, let me give you the good news.
Our Asbestos survey is to be carried out by Santia, a health and safety registered specialist company based in Cardiff on Monday 23rd March. This will give us a recognised certificate indicating where/if we have any asbestos on the premises and will recommend any action we may need to take in its management/removal.
From our recent quinquennial survey two suspect areas were identified. The porch roof tiles, possibly an asbestos composite and the roof of the two little store cupboards adjacent to the Annexe. Santia will check these and all other areas, taking samples for testing and give us a detailed report mapping out where they find asbestos and what kind it is. Such a survey is now required for all buildings that are open to the public, so it is a necessary expense. It does not come cheap. This is coming out of our local bank account.
Tree and Son, who are doing our ground works (to help with our damp problem), are happy to liaise with the council for planning and listed property purposes and we expecting they will start later in the spring when the weather is more reliable and the days longer. We are hoping that nothing comes along to prevent this work taking place. Finance for this has been allocated from SWAM’s building fund. We are aware that this fund is insufficient for all the work that needs to be done in all of our Meeting Houses, so are lucky this has been approved. (I think we got in first) We may need to consider fundraising for future works.
SWAM, have several employees and contracted tenants. It is a difficult time, as we are trying to sort out the relationship between them and us that will both support them and also not result in financial difficulties for ourselves. Things are very fluid at the moment and we are hoping the situation will become clearer. Holding those that have to come to a decision in the light would be greatly appreciated
Lastly in these unusual circumstances, keep safe and don’t panic. There’s someone at the end of a telephone or email that can respond.
OUR QUAKER MEETING
"a snug neet thing" Abiel Folger, 1 March 1811
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.
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, but chose from among their 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.
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.
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. Part of the burial ground is now a wildlife sanctuary.
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 bought from the Meeting.
Quakers do not stand apart from the world but have a history of being involved, joining with other to bring about change.
True godliness don’t turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavours to mend it: not hide their candle under a bushel, but set it upon a table in a candlestick.
William Penn, 1682
A History of Quakers in Pembrokeshire
by Stephen Griffiths
£4.95 plus postage.
Stephen Griffiths was a member of our Meeting form 1949 until his death in 2010 at the age of 101. He taught for many years at Pembroke Grammar School. He was born and raised in Blaenau Ffestiniog and wrote several books and articles in his native Welsh.