Your First Time at Wandsworth Quaker Meeting
When you arrive at the meeting house you will be welcomed at the door by an Overseer and shown where the meeting room is. If you are completely new to Quakers, you will be offered an explanatory leaflet.
Please feel free to sit anywhere you feel comfortable, though you might want to avoid the front bench facing the door where the Clerk and Elder sit.
The wood-panelled meeting room is tranquil and calm. The room is not consecrated and there is no altar or any religious symbols. The seats face inward to a central table on which there are flowers, a Bible, and a copy of Quaker Faith and Practice.
The meeting lasts one hour, and starts in silence. Spontaneous spoken ministry may be given by anyone present. We are encouraged to stand when ministering, and to leave space between ministry for reflection. Copies of Quaker Faith and Practice and the Bible are on every bench. You are welcome to make use of these.
The meeting ends about 11.30am when the Clerk and Elder shake hands. After notices, visitors will be asked if they wish to introduce themselves by giving their name, but there is no compulsion to do so. We also ask visitors to sign our visitors’ book but you will not be contacted by us after the meeting unless you tell us that you would like to be.
Meeting for Worship is followed by refreshments in the library. This is an opportunity to find out more about us, if you would like to. Feel free to ask the Clerk or Elder (the hand shakers at the end of Meeting) or the person who reads the Notices. There is a good selection of Quaker books and pamphlets to browse and to borrow. A wider selection of books on Quakerism is available from the Quaker Centre bookshop.
We hope you enjoy your experience of worshipping with us at Wandsworth.
Please note that the main meeting room has direct wheel chair access from the street, via a small ramp, and there is level access from there into the library. There is a hearing loop in the meeting room.
Bringing Children and Teenagers to Meeting
Children are always welcome at Wandsworth meeting. Children’s meeting takes place every Sunday. There is no need to let us know in advance.
We have a big age range, and activities are designed so that everyone can take part. However, we realize that teenagers sometimes need different things from meeting, so we hold a separate Junior meeting for young people aged 11–16 years, on the first Sunday of the month.
Meeting for Worship starts at 10.30am, and all the children/young people join their parents in the meeting room for the first 10 minutes or so. We find that even the youngest children learn to sit still and become immersed in the silence. The children’s meeting leader will take the children out, when the moment is right.
You may want to stay with your child in the children’s meeting at first to help them settle in. Once your child is happy to go with the children’s meeting leader, you are free to remain in Meeting for Worship when the children leave.
The children’s activities are based on a monthly theme and include some Quaker education. Junior meeting themes are more suitable for the older age group, and might include discussions about faith, Quaker history, moral issues etc.
Juice and biscuits are provided at 11.25am, and the children are reunited with their parents after Meeting for Worship. On fine days, the children are free to play in the Burial Ground after 11.30am, accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
Please be aware that the main doors from the Meeting House onto the busy Wandsworth High Street are not locked, and from the end of Meeting at 11.30am there is no doorkeeper in attendance. So please make sure you keep an eye on your children at all times, from that point.