Quaker Week / Heritage Open Days 2017

Quaker Week 2017 will run from 30 September to 8 October 2017. It is an opportunity to witness and share our worship across the community of Canterbury and its surrounding towns and villages. Meetings, with or without Meeting Houses, throughout the Yearly Meeting, will be hosting outreach events such as ‘open days’, ‘family days’, a stall at a local festival, and ‘bring a friend to Meeting’ Sundays.

In 2016, 58 Meetings participated in the national event called Heritage Open Days, drawing many newcomers into Meetings Houses, and many people into contact with Quakers. Although the Heritage Open Day weekend in 2017 will be three weeks before the start of Quaker Week, it is the ideal opportunity for Canterbury Meeting to open its doors to the people of, and visitors to, the historic city of Canterbury: Quakers are part of Canterbury’s history too. We shall do our bit for Quaker Week, just a little bit sooner than usual.

The proposal is for the Meeting House to be open to the public on Saturday 9 September 2017. There will be exhibitions on the history of Quakers in Canterbury, on Quaker values, on the Children’s Meeting, and possibly on the Quaker Tapestry. Members (and Attenders) of Canterbury Meeting are invited to come along and be available to talk with visitors and answer questions. Were someone willing to give a short talk, that can be scheduled into the day. We might wish to invite Friends from other Local Meetings in Kent to participate, especially from Meetings without their own Meeting House. Undoubtedly there will be refreshments available.

Three Friends have been appointed to co-ordinate preparations and activities on the day: David Clarke, Catherine Kemp and Peter Hughes. If you would like to be involved, there are two obvious ways in which you can do so. First, there will be the preparation of the exhibitions. Doreen Rosman and David Birmingham have kindly offered to co-ordinate the creation of exhibition about the history of Quakers in Canterbury, although they may require some help with the physical construction of the exhibition. Carolyn Edrich is currently exploring what resources might be available to us from the Quaker Tapestry centre in Kendal. Janet Wilson has agreed to co-ordinate the creation of an exhibition about the Children’s Meeting. If one (or more) of these, or anything else, takes your fancy, then please feel encouraged to offer your help and support. Second, there will be a need for friendly, welcoming Quakers in the Meeting House on the day (Saturday 9 September 2017). We shall require greeters, tea-makers, and Friends willing to answer questions about who we are and what we do. If one of these roles appeals to you, please make a note of the date in your diary now so that you do not find yourself double-booked.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if attendance at Quaker meetings around Kent increased as a result!

If you want to know more, or wish to volunteer, please contact Peter Hughes.